Video: Lew Stitely’s ’53 Corvette “Tijuana Taxi” Runs Mid 9’s

There is something special about watching a nostalgia racer hit the drag strip, but when that racecar is a 1953 Corvette it just becomes a little cooler. Lew Stitely is the current owner of the 1953 Corvette dubbed the “Tijuana Taxi.” According to the DailyItem, Stitely has been a lifelong drag racer and since retiring from the Department of Public Welfare he has taken on racing the ’53 on a full time basis. Stitely purchased the C1 in 1974 and planned to use it as a parts car for his 1954 and 1955 Corvettes. In the end the ’54 and ’55 were sold, leaving Stitely with the Tijuana Taxi. Originally, the ’53 started its racing career in Texas during 1958 racing season and despite never winning a major event the car was consistent.

After naming the car the Tijuana Taxi as tribute to couple local racers, Stitely begin making a few changes to car. Currently it is powered by a Seth’s Engines 393 small block Chevy that runs on alcohol, resulting in a best time of 9.38 at 144 MPH. During a race at 2011 Gasser Nationals at Marion County International Raceway Stitely’s ’53 ran a 9.93 at 133.18 and a 9.67 at 136.80 – each pass resulted in the win light in Stitely’s lane. Watching the Tijuana Taxi take off the line is a sight to behold; despite the lack of any crazy wheel standing antics it is the epitome of old school cool.

About the author

Lauren Camille

Lauren is a graduate of California State University Fullerton, and has experience working for several enthusiast publications. She enjoys drag racing, classic Fords, and vintage Lincolns. She currently races a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, and has a soft spot for 1960’s Lincolns. Currently, her collection includes: ’04 Cobra Convertible, ’65 Mustang Fastback, ’04 F350 6.0 diesel, ’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a ’87 Jeep Wrangler. She provides insightful content as a freelance writer for Power Automedia.
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