Our friends over at Source Interlink Media, David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan, have this cool web series called “Roadkill” where they take to the road in anything from a Chevy-powered, turbo Datsun 240Z to a rat rod Jeep. Wherever they are traveling to, they always have some cool adventures along the way.
Their main objective in this video is to source the junkiest, most beat-up Corvette they can find and drive it all the way to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky where they will visit the sinkhole and view the Corvettes that were damaged, as well as take a tour of the Corvette plant to see how the C7 Corvettes are made – sounds like a good time to us!
Finnegan’s mission was to find the worst Corvette for him and Freiburger to roadtrip in and the first place he looked was on Craigslist, which led him to a man named Jamie Hannan in Florida. Hannan picked up the 1975 Stingray six years ago and was going to do a full restoration, but found rust and just let the car sit for the remaining years. The exterior of the car looked great – however, the only thing missing was a windshield. The interior of the car? Not so great. There were parts all over the floor, the gauges weren’t mounted, there was rust all over, the seats were out of a Jeep Wrangler, and there was tangled wiring everywhere, but it still managed to turn over and fire right up. Finnegan deemed the Stingray “the perfect car for Roadkill.”
The last task for them to tackle before they left was to find a windshield for the Corvette, and that wasn’t going down so hot. While looking over the car some more, in walked Don Schumacher – a drag racing legend who happened to be a friend of Hannan. While talking with Schumacher, he invites Freiburger and Finnegan to Las Vegas to hang out in the pits and watch his teams compete, and the pair change plans; the destination is now The Strip at LVMS, and they are on a tight deadline to make the race.
Test driving the car, they come to find that the Stingray barely has any brakes, which caused Frieburger to roll a stop sign and get pulled over shortly after that.
The cop was cool about it and told them to just get the car off of the street, so they drove back to Hannan’s shop and got to work replacing the brakes and topping the engine off with fresh fluids for the voyage. Finnegan and Freiburger also fixed the windshield by applying a sheet of acrylic with some tech screws, which actually looked pretty decent.
Shortly after the maintenance was complete, they taped a Kobalt tool chest and a sculpture of a bald eagle to their Stingray, and were off to Las Vegas. About ten miles west of Hannan’s shop, the Turbo 400 Transmission in their Stingray gave way, leaving them stranded on the side of the freeway until further notice.
They knew their chances of making it to Las Vegas on time were slim to none, so the car was towed back to Hannan’s shop where they ripped the old Turbo 400 out. One of Hannan’s friends just happened to have a spare Turbo 400 laying around, which he ended up bringing to the shop for Freiburger and Finnegan to install in their Stingray.
Twelve hours later, the transmission is finally in and they were on the road. Their revised plan of traveling to Las Vegas was scrapped because of the time lost and the original plan of driving to Kentucky was back on. The next morning they jumped on the road and headed for the National Corvette Museum, and on their way they visited Finnigan’s family in Georgia for a nice home-cooked meal and a place to sleep for the night.
Once on the road again, it was smooth sailing until the duo realized that their fuel gauge was broken when they ran out of gas on the freeway. Luckily, they were able to coast off of the freeway safely to a gas station to re-fuel. After that mishap, they jumped on the road again and finally made it to the Corvette mecca – the Corvette manufacturing facility and the National Corvette Museum.
“I was just at Disneyland like a week ago with my kid, and it looks a lot like this, except this is brighter and moving a lot slower, but somehow this is more fun than Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” explained Finnegan. We like to think of the Corvette plant as a giant, slow roller coaster of automated vehicle birth, which is kind of like a theme park, but not at the same time.
After the plant tour, it was on to view the museum and the cars that were damaged in the sinkhole – they even got some cool hard hats to rock. Viewing the sinkhole, Freiburger asks a worker if he and Finnigan can drive their 1975 Stingray into the sinkhole and leave it there as a time capsule item, but there was no luck with that.
Since their Corvette wasn’t going to be buried and paved over, Finnigan had some fun doing donuts with all of the furious 165 horsepower the L48 engine puts out, then simply left the keys with their friends at Holley. We could think of a plethora of things to do to that car, but we’ll leave that to Bill Tichenor and Jeremy Stoermer!
For more of this entertaining series, check out Roadkill’s Youtube Channel.