Corvette Kart built for $1,000

The recipe is simple: buy a junk corvette, run it, and add lots of levity; then maybe a face.


Kart Vette GRM

Basic motorsport magazineis annual $2,000 Challenge proves that car race does not require a large wallet. Thrifty participants compete for prizes in a series of events including drag racing, autocross, and “contest” judging.

As a recent YouTube video shows, one attendee at last year’s event took pinching to the next level. Starting with a non-driving 1984 Chevrolet Corvette he bought for $750, Danny Varner turned scrap into speed, building a “Vette Kart” racer for a total budget of $1,087.


GRM Challenge Vette Kart

Varner describes the construction process: “He was in a pretty rough shape when I got him. There were mechanical issues…needed a new fuel pump…the fuel system was completely clogged,” he said.

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Once he got it working, Varner began to shed unnecessary weight from the car. ” [I] basically chopping the car, what you see now with a saw and a grinder,” he said. “We ditched the leaf-spring suspension up front and went to coil-over shocks from an ATV.”

In the interest of stretching the budget, he sold off parts of the car that were no longer needed, including the side door and rear window assemblies. Then it was time for some cosmetic upgrades.

“When I took the car apart and took the hood off, it looked really bare from the front, and I didn’t like the way it looked…I had the old headlights on the ground and I took them off. placed on the radiator,” he said. When a friend of his remarked that the front “looks like a face,” Varner decided to complete the face. “I bent a piece of metal, put teeth on it, and decided to add a tongue,” he said.

$2K Vette Kart Challenge Results


Kart Vette GRM
by YouTube

The Vette Kart performed well in competitive events, finishing 8th in the autocross and 9th in the drag race with a quarter mile time of 13.8 seconds. Overall, the car finished in 9th place in the $2K Challenge event.

Having tasted success with this budget build, Varner plans to return for future events. “I plan to bring the car back next year. Hopefully I can take whatever money is left in the budget and put some into the mechanical side; put some more power into the car and bring back something much faster for next year.

Source: YouTube, Grassroots Motorsports

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