Chevrolet Corvette The Pizza Man

Few racing Corvettes have had as big an impact on their branch of motorsports as this 1954 roadster famously known as “The Pizza Man.” Serial number 99 in the 1954 production run of 3,640, it tore up the drag strips across the Midwest and at national events from 1962 to 1971 at the hands of owner/driver Earl Britt, proprietor of Earl’s Pizza Palace in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Along the way it earned the title of “World's Fastest Six Cylinder Corvette", setting a phenomenal nine World Records in NHRA Modified Production and, it is believed, winning more NHRA World Championship Points in three consecutive years (1967-1969) than any other car in Street Eliminator history or any other Division, including E/MP at the 1967 Indy Nationals and a huge upset win over Dick Landy and the Dodge factory team at the 1968 Winternationals at Pomona.

The key to The Pizza Man’s success is under the fiberglass hood in the form of a modified 292 CI GMC inline-6 engine fed by triple sidedraft Weber 2-barrel carburetors and driving a Positraction third member through a custom-built B&M Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed transmission. The combination consistently launched The Pizza Man to low 13- and then mid 12-second elapsed times, eventually taking it to an official best of 12.17 at 118 mph and an unofficial 11.97 in 1970.

Today The Pizza Man is in excellent as-raced condition, even wearing the rare Firestone Drag 500 front tires on which it last raced and the rubber marbles kicked up onto its quarter panels by its 7-inch Goodyear racing slicks. Still finished in its original Polo White paint, it is fitted with a trademark Black fiberglass hard top and the original Red interior, and wears skillfully weathered recreations of the decals, signage and Gold leaf “Pizza Man” graphics it wore throughout its record-setting career as a 9-time NHRA record holder and 3-time NHRA World Champion.

Source: Mecum Auctions

Gallery: Chevrolet Corvette The Pizza Man