Exhaust systems have improved immensely from the early years when we would replace rear exhaust, mufflers and tail-pipes almost yearly on dual exhaust vehicles. Corvettes were no exception. If they were driven infrequently with rich running engines, it destroyed the carbon steel exhaust tubing quickly. The rear of the exhaust system was most prone to damage as the moisture was blown backward and, in many cases, rarely dried up. Most of us complained loudly when engine temperatures exceeded 180 degrees, saying that our engines would not last under the intense temperature pressure. That rise in temperature along with aluminized tubing just about put specialty exhaust shops out of business. Now we come to expect that an exhaust system will last the life of the vehicle, and in many cases, it will. (more…)
The Brock Yates’ One Lap of America endurance race, formerly known as “The Cannonball,” consists of a variety of challenges on the dry skid pad, drag strip, and racetrack. It is the equivalent of the Hot Rod Power Tour with track challenges at each stop. However, it is grueling because each night it is necessary to drive to the next event anywhere from 400-600 miles away, have your driving skills tested thoroughly the next day, pack up everything as soon as possible, and get on the road again. This happens continuously until the last day of the race. In addition, the entire circuit can take a team over 3,000 miles across the country, a true test of vehicles that are driven hard on the track and then subjected to a few hundred miles on the highway for a week straight. (more…)
The third-generation Corvette is perhaps the most-overlooked model of all ‘Vette styles. Despite being saddled with carrying the Corvette nameplate through the smog years, some of the earlier models were factory-equipped with decent small- and big-block engine options. The focus of our article today is a 1969 Corvette stuffed with a Tri-Power 427 cubic-inch big-block engine that produced 435 horsepower upon delivery, and we’re going to release the sound and fury in the chambers by installing a set of Doug’s Headers sidemount headers and exhaust pipes – which offer good looks and easy installation to go along with the legendary Doug’s Headers performance and sound. (more…)
All-American Look For Your Mid-Year Vette
Story by Jerry Heasley, Vette Magazine
Factory side pipes go on a Vette like a set of pinstripes on Mickey Mantle’s Yankee uniform. The combination just looks right and all-American.
Mike remembered side pipes on his ’67 big block coupe. Although that car is long gone, today he owns a ’66 coupe with no side pipes, officially RPO code N14, catalogued as “Side Mount Exhaust System” for 1965-66-67 Corvettes.
After the installation, Mike admitted the side pipes seemed a little louder than he recalled from the 1960s. Back then he was a foot loose teenager without a wife in the passenger seat.
Of course, a more robust exhaust is one reason for installing side pipes. His base 327 four barrel also felt a little stronger after the installation.
Of course, he got the look. Side pipes, with their aluminum covers, chambered pipes and stainless steel tips add flash and dash to any Mid-Year.
Mike ran into two surprises during the installation. Surprise #1 was he had to cut off an ear of each lower front fender. Surprise #2 was he had to bend back the steel brackets visible beneath the original side molding on each side of the car.
He also discovered the passenger side bend in the factory pipe near the header would not fit. Apparently, the pipes had suffered some damage sometime in the past. Luckily, skillful heating and bending restored them to their original shape. Possible wear and tear on OEM side pipes is why ordering a reproduction set, which saves money, might be the better alternative except for restorers after points in concours judging.
Buying a new set of side pipes from the aftermarket will assure a good fit of the pipes and the option of longer lasting stainless steel.
The installation is fairly straightforward with some important key points included in our picture set.