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Friday
Apr032009

Pete's Corvette

The Colonel just showed up all excited, he has a good story for us!

Guys, here I am listening to Blues on XM and checking my e-mail I get mail from Pete Klain that I have known since 1976 been a few years. Last year I had dinner with Pete must have been 20 years we had not seen each other, although we always staid in touch. 

After you don't see someone for 20 years you do some catching up, a few remarks about aging, then the conversation migrates to the Corvette. This car must have zen qualities coming up in the conversation as if it was yesterday, besides a fellow is restoring the car. After all those years I ask Pete "where did that car come from?" he replies "I got it on a bill of sale, it was never going on the road".

I have photos of when I interfaced with that car, they are "somewhere" in an album. 

Back to the e-mail, this fellow called Gary Smith took the time to scan his photos, and put them on his blog, he must be a cool dude for taking the time to scan over 100 photos, and tell his perspective about the Corvette. 

Here is my story about that Corvette.

Its 1976, Pete Klain with Ron Weaver are racing in Trois Rivieres, on the Saturday I'm there watching Pete do most of the work, he's the only crew member, I'm the spectator, until something happens to the transmission late afternoon. The M22's although called rock crushers were getting crushed by the big blocks in those cars.

I think Pete had a spare transmission in the Burgundy Rallye Wagon he was using to tow the car. Its late afternoon, everyone is a little tired, after a meeting of the minds fully realising that these guys had towed from Detroit to Trois Rivieres. Lets get going we can do this transmission job, we all got down did some work, and swapped the transmission. It was a little late by the time we finished. 

I met Pete that morning, by the time we swapped transmissions Pete and Ron look at me and say "You know your way around a car" to which I replied I would hope so, been working on them long enough. Should mention that at that time we were all employed by the same employer.

That Saturday's thrashing must have been additional motivation for Ron, on Sunday's he did very well in the Trans Am race, finished 3rd if I remember correctly. 

Its 1977 Pete is not there, Ron is in St.Jovite for the Trans Am race, I'm supposed to catch up to Ron on Saturday, I think it was Friday night that Ron calls me "Tino need your help George is shipping by air a camshaft, just in case see if you can find such a camshaft, if we don't get a camshaft we're not racing".

It was a new motor from Leader Automotive, and George is George DeLorean (John DeLorean's brother) and flat tapped high lift camshafts could easely eat up a lobe, exactly what happened. On a Saturday morning chase down to see if the air freighted camshaft arrived...no it did not. Now find an L88 camshaft, I locate a Crower cam with similar specs to the L88 cam, the fellow at the speed shop is telling me "this is not for street use" and I'm telling him "Don't worry about it". Now drive up to St.Jovite, Ron had 2 guys helping him out, we all ganged up and put the cam in the engine. I remember Ron driving about 10 klms on public roads to get to the track in time to qualify. It was that close!

Sunday morning pick up the camshaft that was air freighted, and return to the track. one of the fuel pumps is acting up, you would run 2 fuel pumps in the fuel cell, one on each side. Obvious that in the race the fuel pump acts up again.

Pete and I have staid in touch for all these years, and always knew what was up with Ron too. 

Take a few minutes to look at the photos that Gary Smith put on his blog...Click Here.

Gary Smith has an interesting blog...Dean's Garage.

Is it the old race car that is the Zen or the individuals that applied their knowledge, innovation, creativity, scraped knuckles, and worked to win that is the Zen of that old Corvette?

 

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Reader Comments (2)

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Ann

http://racingonlinegames.net
Sunday, April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
Thank You!
Sunday, April 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterStrada

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