Old racecars have lots of tales to tell, and Scott Knick’s 1965 Corvette has many of its own. Better yet, its narrative is still developing with each track mile that accumulates on the odometer. For starters, Knick grew up with this car. His father bought it from the original owner in July 1969 and began campaigning it in autocrosses and road races with local clubs and the National Council of Corvette Clubs in the 1970s.
“I keep it a lot of times at my dad’s place and in his shop they have a whole wall of all their trophies,” Knick said “My mom has track records in Charlotte and different places and Dad did at Mid-Ohio — not in this car, but in other cars.”
His parents built another race-prepared car they used for road racing, so the Stingray was turned into a drag car and had been sitting in a barn for 10 years when Knick took ownership of it in 2003. In fact, the car still has the line-lock button on the shifter from its drag racing days.
Knick brought the car out of mothballs for a while, but even he shelved the car again for awhile. He took it out of storage again three years ago, went through the engine, transmission, differential and suspension — and added new wheels — and began autocrossing it again and running in NASA events.
The engine is an old-school small-block LT1 350 from a 1970 Corvette. Knick rebuilt it with all stock parts, including the rods and pistons and intake manifold. The car puts out about 334 horsepower at the wheels.
Knick has been picking and choosing his events based on the tracks he wants to drive. In between local autocross events with the Miami Valley Sports Car Club, which is associated with NASA, he’s visited Mid-Ohio, Roebling Road, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America, which is where Speed News discovered the car.
This is where the Corvette’s narrative continues, and it’s something that could only happen to a car like this. During Knick’s second session on track Saturday, he was black-flagged for excessive smoke coming from his car. Turns out the dipstick tube had popped out of the engine and was leaking oil all over the left header and throwing a cloud of smoke.
“At that point, I started walking around the pits, talking to the American Iron and CMC guys, asking around to see if I could find anything, but nobody had a tube that would fit,” Knick said. At that point, Knick started calling local auto parts stores to see if any of them had a dipstick and tube. Any old Mr. Gasket chrome tube likely would have done the trick, but nobody had one. So, Knick borrowed a rental car because his family was stationed in his RV, which was connected to his trailer, and drove to a Farm & Fleet store to get some tubing to see if he could make something work.
“When I was driving out there, I passed this old farmhouse and barn that had a lot of cars sitting around and I took notice of it, and after I came back from town — I still couldn’t find a dipstick — I had bought a tube, I decided to pull into that farmhouse and knocked on the door,” he said. “A lady answered and I gave her my story, told her I was at Road America and 10 hours from home and looking for a part. She got her husband and he came out and opened up his barn. He had a lot of 30s cars and some 50s cars, but a lot of small blocks sitting around. He went right above his workbench and had three dipsticks and tubes, and offered me one of those. We walked around and tested it on a couple of different motors, and I threw the guy a $20 bill and headed back to the track.” The cool part is by the time he got back to the track and got the car put back together, he had only missed one session. He ran the rest of the day and all day Sunday without incident.
The car’s history continues this winter with the addition of Van Steele control arms for the front and trailing arms for the rear with JRI shocks and springs all the way around. Knick will be removing the factory-style fiberglass transverse rear leaf spring. He’ll also be adding a Borgeson steering gear, which will tighten up the steering ratio and eliminate the need for a slave cylinder on the steering linkage. Next season, Knick will do more of the same, picking and choosing the choicest tracks and gathering more tales to tell. “I was really raised in a parking lot, watching them (mom and dad) autocross,” he said. “That was my upbringing and now I’ve got two little girls and they’re into it. It’s awesome. “I enjoy the car,” he added. “It’s a racecar. It will never be anything but a racecar in my mind, and I just want to go check out all the neat tracks, meet the people and just live the experience.”
|3,270 lbs. w/driver
|1970 LT1 350, 334 rwhp
|Front: stock upper and lower control arms, Vette Brake Products, chassis brace, 950 lb. springs.
Rear: stock, Vette Brake Products fiberglass rear transverse leaf spring
|Front: 315-35-18 Hoosiers or Pirelli
Rear: 315-35-18 Hoosiers or Pirelli
|Front: Stock calipers, Hawk HT10 pads
Rear: Stock calipers, Hawk HT10 pads
|Raft Racing, Corvette TLC