"This Corvette has been a part of my life since 1971. I was there when my brother-in-law pulled the body off the frame, and I really enjoyed when he and I raced it during the '70s. It was so much fun to bring it back to life as a street-legal open-road racer. I only wish that Smokey was here to see it."

Hedekin is just as proud to see his old Vette back in action. He has taken turns enjoying the Vette on the street and on the course. To Harlan, however, this vintage race car's completion is much more personal. His three-decade wait, from his first sight of this Corvette in 1972 through its completed restoration in 2002, has been worth the Herculean effort. After all, he's successfully honored his favorite hero and brought a once-forgotten Corvette back to race once again. After all, isn't that what Smokey would have wanted?

Car '68 Corvette
Owner Gary Harlan
Block SBC iron
Displacement 383ci
Compression Ratio 11.251
Heads Brodix Track 1, port matched
Valves Manley steel, 2.05/1.60
Camshaft Comp Solid Roller; 0.639/0.630 lift,
258-deg/258-deg duration @ 0.050-in, 108-deg LSA
Rocker Arms Comp Pro Magnum steel, 1.52 ratio
Pistons JE forged
Crankshaft Eagle forged
Rods Eagle H-beam, forged
Intake Manifold Brodix single plane
Carburetor Barry Grant Mighty Demon 750 Road Race
Fuel Pump Barry Grant Mighty Sumo w/regulator
and fuel return
Ignition MSD Digital 6 Plus, 6AL Backup,
dual pick-up distributor
Exhaust System 17/8-in Hooker side-mount headers
with glasspack mufflers
Transmission Tremec T5 with 0.82 overdrive
Clutch Centerforce Dual Friction,
Weber aluminum flywheel,
10.5-in Heim-jointed clutch linkage
Driveshaft Stock