The Purple Power CorvetteThis car appeared at the Cannonball event in 1988 driven by Gary Page while Tom Hoover drove his old car, the ‘Silver Showtime’ which was by then owned by Bob Jarrett. The purple car was also one of Toms old cars. Here Bob Jarrett tells the history of the car;

The Corvette was built in 1978 in Southern California by a guy named Sarte. It was originally painted yellow and was the car that Tom won the ’79 winternationals with at Pomona. The car was then bought by Roy Phelps, who owned Santa Pod at that time in ’81. Tom came to the UK and drove that car at the Cannonball and World finals races from 82-87. The car was repainted in ’84 and was painted from pictures sent by Tom to Roy from the sister car that was running in the US (The idea was to make it look like Tom had sent another car). The last time the car ran well was at the ’85 finals. He had run 6.22 and was No 1 qualifier, but in the first round he had to shut off before the run when the throttle linkage fell off. He was really mad especially when I went on to win the race in what he termed as a “go cart.” Anyway, later he talked me into buying a car from him so all is well.

In ’86 & ’87 the motors were starting to make power. Tom was bringing a different engine combination every year until finally the old ‘Vette couldn’t handle it. The car became a handful and never made a full pass again

In ’87 I purchased the silver Trans Am from Tom. This was built also here by Steve Pluegar. This car was state of the art at that time and Tom drove it at the Cannonball in ’88. The ‘Vette was repainted to “Purple Power,” which Gary drove at the Cannonball for one pass. Then it rained so that was end of that. Then one of Roy’s mechanics, John Nedowitz (we call him “Rooster”) who had driven the Cannonball car after Bill Sherratt, had a few goes in the car during 88-89.

At the end of ’89 the car was sold complete to Jim Wheelan. He painted it in yellow and orange and it looked OK. But the same thing happened, car could not handle the power. In ’90 he traded the rolling chassis to Knut who sold him one of the ex Budweiser cars, which he then ran to a best of 5.99 during ’91. Anyway. the body off the ‘Vette was then sold to an ex biker and in ‘ 93 he mounted it on an altered chassis and his wife drove the car for a short time. That was the last I heard of the body.

The Chassis. Knut mounted a Daytona body on the car and was shipped to Malta, they play there too. I believe it now has a Chevy motor in it.

Bob Jarrett
Photo courtesy of Jon Spoard at www.ukdrn.co.uk