The thunder of a V8 is not something you would typically expect to hear at a rallycross event. The scream of a high-winding inline four-cylinder? Sure. The lumpy rumble of a flat boxer? Definitely. But a Small Block Chevy? Now that’s definitely off the beaten path. Nevertheless, this 1987 C4 Corvette was on the scene at the recent CalClub RallyX Glen Helen Championship No. 2 event in Southern California to buck the trend in its own weird way.
This C4 Corvette race car belongs to Adam Jeffery, whose usual stomping grounds are the road courses of the 24 Hours of Lemons series. For those that don’t know, the 24 Hours of Lemons is an amateur endurance racing series where cars are limited to a $500 budget. Participants typically give their old jalopy some sort of comedic twist to go along with the relatively lighthearted spirit of the series, hence the “Rat-Chet” theme seen here.
The rat theme is actually a nod to the car’s past – as it turns out, the car was originally abandoned and filled to the body line with rodent droppings, but subsequently rescued to live on as a racing machine.
“The story behind the car is it was in the back of somebody’s field, and a bunch of rats had chewed up all the wiring, and basically rendered the car needing a full restoration,” Jeffery tells GM Authority. “So another [24 Hours of Lemons] team had bought it, put a cage in it, made it carbureted for simplicity.”
“They bought it, built it, and raced it three times, and then we bought it,” he adds.
According to Jeffery, a run in the recent CalClub RallyX Glen Helen was purely a spur-of-the-moment sort of thing.
“We’ve had it sitting in the barn for a while, about a year and a half now, and we decided to bring it out rallycross racing. We’ve never done any event like this, so we thought we’d bring it out with the road racing tires we use just to have some fun and do something different.”
Jeffery say he’s participated in the 24 Hours of Lemons twice so far, and has a background in Baja 1000 racing, dirt oval racing, and road racing. He also makes a living as a professional stunt driver. All told, Jeffery’s experience behind the wheel made it easy for him to transition to the tail-out action of rallycross racing. However, adapting the C4 Corvette to the event proved to be slightly more difficult.
“The [700R] transmission in it is a good transmission, except it isn’t holding first gear, where with the slower speeds here you need it to stay in first gear,” Jeffery says.
The engine is more or less stock, with the exception of a mild cam upgrade, upgraded oil cooler, and transmission cooler, while the suspension and brakes are stock as well. In true DIY fashion, Jeffery was also running a dog leash in lieu of arm restraints, which were accidentally left at home.
Overall, Jeffery says the rallycross experience was a positive one, and he’s considering going out to another event with his C4 Corvette.
“I’m looking into how big a tires we can run in the rear, get more of an aggressive tread pattern to get more bite, and then I also need to put in more rear brake in the car,” Jeffery says.
Here’s to hoping the C4 Corvette soundtrack plays again at the next one. Check out the full photo gallery below.