Kurt Borton is getting ready to break the internet, as he dropped photos of his C3 Corvette build recently on Instagram, and it’s pretty wild. From its one-off suspension setup to the gold-colored chassis and the twin-turbocharged small-block Ford powerplant, it breaks all sorts of rules and conventions of door cars, and Borton is hoping it break the competition at the track, as well.
Borton has been spending his evenings over the past year and a half building the 1981 ‘Vette into a no-prep contender, which is something different for the former Limited Drag Radial racer who currently helps former Pro 275 racer Jason Hoard with his no-prep racing program.
“I bought the car specifically to do this,” Borton says of the no-prep racing plan. “I was looking for something that had the engine set way back and that would be legal and [the engine was] still where I want it. I was looking for something that had the shortest engine setback, and all of the other options were a lot more expensive.” The Pacific, Missouri-based fabricator is planning on racing front-side no-prep events, though he may try his hand at back-side events, as well.
Borton told us he found the Corvette in the middle of nowhere among weeds in front of a mobile home, and that it probably hadn’t run for a long time. He took it home and blew it apart so he could begin building the 25.1 chassis around a front suspension design that he spent the previous six months designing.
“I designed the cantilever double A-arm front suspension,” says the 20-year fabricator and proprietor of Mid Coast Performance. “I wanted the most travel available, but the C3 has a low hood line so I couldn’t run a strut or they would be sticking through the hood. A double A-arm with a shock couldn’t really fit that either. I’ve messed with the cantilever suspension in road race cars before. I designed all of the geometry, too, as the car needed to drive well even if the car is at full extension.”
At the back, the independent rear suspension was scrapped in favor of an unequal length, parallel 4-link solid axle setup that suspends a 9-inch rearend housing that Borton fabricated.
To fit most small-tire rules, the Corvette retains the stock wheelbase and factory roof and quarters. Borton is also still using the original body tub and windshield frame, though he did turn the T-tops into a one-piece roof panel to save weight.
Yes, Borton has chosen to equip his C3 Corvette with a Ford-based powerplant, which was held over from his previous Limited Drag Radial program.
“It went 4.16 with twin 67mm’s, and I went to Forced Inductions 76s,” Borton tells us. “I never had a chance to run the car much, but it went 192 mph to the eighth — this car is substantially lighter than that one.”
The small-block Ford is based on a solid Shelby 9.5-inch deck height block and it’s been topped with Race Flow Development SC2 cylinder heads and a custom billet intake that Borton built. He manages the Methanol-gulping beast with a Holley Dominator ECU, and backed the engine with a 1.58 gear, Reid-cased Powerglide that he’s used in many of his previous race cars.
“I wanted it to look like a Hot Wheels car, which is why it has the gold chassis,” Borton says of the wild-looking metal work. As you can see from some of the images, he’s chosen to cove the fiberglass in Chevy’s Mulsanne Blue, which complements the gold nicely.
“I plan on racing the crap out of it. I’ve run radial for a long time, but this no-prep stuff is hard. It’s going to take a lot of data to figure it out,” he says. With just the wiring and the bodywork left to do, Borton is hoping to have the Corvette completed by Christmas.