Record-holding M/SE. Corvette clocks 129 through the quarter mile
ONE OF the slickest, most ambitious racing teams in Southern California got its start when Big John Mazmanian bought a new Corvette early last year. With mechanics Dlck Bourgeois and Dwayne Ridehour driver Richard Siroonian, and assists from Don Nicholson and Junior's House of Color this team took an immediate giant step foward getting together one of the hottest 'Vettes in history.
In stock form the car took the '61 Winternationals for a Stock Class NHRA. record of 109.96 mph in the quarter.
In 1962, again at the Winternationals, but.with.modifications the same Kandy red convertible set another NHRA record at 113.84 mph in CM/SP. These records still stand. Three months ago, with different block mounted with an Hilborn injector, a GMC 4-71 blower and lots of Isky innards, the team came back to break 129 mph and 11 seconds ET in modified Sports class.
Meanwhile, Big John wasn't neglecting this Vette's looks. A flawless Kandy red paint job, custom (but stock-looking) interior, special chute custom-tailored by Deist, and a long list of chromed land unchromed accessories brought home a third-place trophy from this year's Winternationals Show.
It's quite a hunk of machinery, as you can see.
At the heart of the matter the original 283-inch mill was bored to 316 cubes, with all the usual balancing, and headwork. A wicked Iskenderian “Polydyne 505” camshaft, along with Isky valve springs, lifters, pushrods, etc., add, to the rumble. Cragar supplied the intake, Joe Hunt the Vertex mag, Jardine the headers; Hayes the clutch and flywheel and these are only part of the - goodies. The car has a four-speed gearbox, to which Mazmanian added Getz gears but. even so Richard Siroonian never uses low, always starts in second. There's so much power that the throttle has to be treated with an extremely light touch, else the rear fishtails completely out of control.
Those American Racing mag wheels were hand polished. Up front, they're 6.70 x 15, and in the-rear they're 10 inches across and 16 inches in diameter. The Racemaster slicks are 'so large that' rear wheel cutouts had to be sawed, and from the rear the car looks like a speedboat riding on a wide trailer. The slicks hang 2.5 inches over each side of the body.
Yet the surprising thing is that John hasn't even removed the usual street equipment. The 'Vette still has its radio and heater. But the Moon tank, mounted fore of the aluminum radiator, the hole in the hood which accommodates the injector scoop, and the chute on the turtle, now make this car entirely unsuited for street use. In fact, it's never run more than one direction on the strip, and John has a special trailer to haul it wherever it goes. Those trips include outings to the drags every weekend - the car is never idle.
Dick Bourgeois," the team mechanic, says John has at least $10,000 invested in this car. John himself admits to $6300. So the question arises: Why build a track machine that's good only for quarter-mile drags when John could have the fun of driving this car anywhere for half the expense?
Is, it because he's out only for records? No. Not the way John sees it. First, it's a hobby with. Mazmanian - he likes the sport and likes to see it grow. He enjoys improving the breed. The money isn't so important as, the satisfaction of knowing he has an untouchable Corvette. Anyone can drive a stock 'Vette - lots of people do it every day - but how many have one that turn almost 130 mph in the quarter? And not many ever will have that sort of car
So where do you go from here? John's, a powerful Chevy enthusiast - he's owned Chevys and race them for many years. Even his pull-car, a Chevy pickup, runs a record holding engine. When the 63, Corvette comes out, John will be one of the first to own one - and not to drive on the street. He wants a fast-back coupe which he'll make into another record-holder
Meanwbile this car, one of the neatest most _ maticulously put-together jobs anywhere, will go on eating up asphalt until Chevy and Mazmanian get together to raise speeds and excitement even higher.