Today

Now temporarily retired from racing (we posed the car at Island Dragway in New Jersey purely for effect), the '59 sits at Walsh's shop in Shohola. He's got plans for the car, including putting it back the way it was when raced. Right now, a healthy 454 big-block sits between the front wheels, shifted by an automatic transmission. Walsh is already searching for an appropriate 427 to put back in the engine bay, and he still has that Hemi-spec four-speed sitting in the shop, along with a host of other parts that came with the car.

Given the expertise and drive of the boys at The Early Vette Shop, chances are good that the "Midnight Express" will once again be making quarter-mile runs on the dragstrips of the greater Northeast in the near future.

As far as the history of the car before Jim Davy's purchase, nothing's been uncovered. But due to the clues left with the car, we can pretty much conclude that it was born a big-brake/fuelie car. It now lives as a rolling testament to the crazy '70s, and its racing heritage will remain intact for generations to come.

Author's note: I'd like to thank Mike Walsh and the guys at The Early Vette Shop, as well as Jim Davy, for taking the time to relate the tale of the Midnight Express.

Spec Sheet: '59 C1
OwnerMike Walsh; Shohola Falls, PA
BlockGM 454
Displacement460 ci
Compression Ratio9.5:1
HeadsGM #3904391 rectangular port
ValvesManley 2.19/1.88
CamshaftCrane solid flattappet, early L88 grind (0.540/0.560" lift)
Rocker ArmsHarland Sharp roller
PistonsTRW forged
CrankshaftStock GM
RodsStock GM 7/16
Intake Manifold'66 Corvette
CarburetorHolley 750 double pumper
Fuel PumpHolley "blue" electric
IgnitionAccel HEI
Power AdderN/A
Exhaust SystemHerbert & Meeks fenderwell headers
TransmissionTurbo-400
Torque Convertor3,500-rpm B&M Holeshot
DriveshaftCustom 3-inch
Front SuspensionStock with "fast" steering adapter
Rear SuspensionBack-halfed with coilovers and ladder bars
RearendNarrowed 12-bolt with Moroso Brute Strength differential and 4.56 gears
Front BrakesStock
Rear BrakesStock
Wheels150inch Weld pro Star
Front TiresStock
Rear TiresStock
Fuel Octane93
Weight3,000 lbs
Best E.T./MPH9.91 at 139.31 mph (with previous 427 ci engine)