For as long as there have been cars, there have been people trying to see just how fast they can go. In the United States, the ultimate playground for this sort of activity isn’t on a road or a racetrack, but rather a dried up lake bed. The Bonneville Salt Flats outside of Wendover, Utah are flooded with racers each year, all of whom are in pursuit of top-speed records. This particular 1984 Chevrolet Corvette is no stranger to that task, as it remains the fastest Corvette on Earth, officially. Now, it’s headed to a new home at the National Corvette Museum.
The C4 Corvette isn’t exactly known for being a speed demon. It’s much-derided 5.7L L83 V8 leaves a lot to be desired, producing only 205 horsepower. That didn’t suit the needs of one Juris Mindenbergs however, who enlisted the help of Mike Dorgan, Don Schellberg, Art Morrisson and Larry Kalsch to build a proper racer in 1986. At the 1988 USFRA Bonneville meet, the resulting race car was able to run up to 271.04 mph, with a two-way average of 266.45 mph. That was quick enough to beat Mickey Thompson’s longtime AA-GT class record, and remains the fastest speed ever recorded in a Chevrolet Corvette. Not bad for a naturally-aspirated car.
In the years since, this C4 Corvette has competed in the AA/GT, AA/MS, and A/MS classes at Bonneville with great success. According to Super Chevy, It now features a 580 cubic-inch (9.5-Liter!) V8 built by NHRA Hall of Famer Bob Creitz, which produces a ludicrous 1,100 horsepower on 110 octane fuel. That power is sent to a GM 12-bolt solid-axle via a Doug Nash five speed manual gearbox. Additionally, there are two parachutes out back to assist in braking, as one might expect from a car capable of speeds over 270 mph.
It is only right that the fastest Corvette in the world is heading to the national Corvette Museum. While this 1984 C4 Corvette can surely still be competitive in today’s Bonneville racing, it is probably time that this icon is shared with diehard fans. The question remains however, how long before we see another Corvette surpass 270 mph?