Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven Winner – Gary Martin’s 1968 Corvette
Homebuilt rods, customs, and classics are the backbone of our hobby. Goodguys and Speedway Motors have a longstanding tradition of celebrating rides built in the garages and shops of their owners by hosting special Homebuilt Heaven parking areas at every event. From these areas, we select two awards at each event – Homebuilt Heaven and Traditional Homebuilt.
At the end of the year, photos of all the Homebuilt Heaven and Traditional Homebuilt event winners are posted online so the public can vote on the yearend winners. For 2019, Gary Martin won the Homebuilt Heaven award with his 1968 Corvette which came with a $500 Speedway Motors gift certificate and custom Speedway Motors jacket.
Gary Martin’s beautiful blue, big-block-powered ’68 Corvette cruised down the California coast to Del Mar in April, where he picked up his Homebuilt Heaven event award to qualify for our yearend voting.
Gary tells us he’s owned the Corvette since 1996, but it spent the better part of two decades sitting in the garage. After having the ’Vette painted years ago, a light fixture fell and damaged the car, leaving Gary discouraged. The car sat after that.
Fortunately, Gary’s son Jeff decided the Corvette was too cool to remain dormant and dove into a four-year process to get it back on the road. This included rebuilding the 427c.i. big block engine, freshening up the Muncie four-speed, and lowering the stock suspension 2.5-inches before bolting up 18- inch Budnik wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires.
Jeff also stripped the car back down to primer, repaired the body damage, and applied a fresh coat of PPG Intense Blue over its fiberglass flanks – right there in the garage! The only major portion of the build that was farmed out was the upholstery, and they chose one of the best for that: Ron Mangus. He stitched up the stock seats in custom red leather to complement the bright blue exterior. A Budnik steering wheel, Auto Meter gauges, and custom stereo completed the upgrades.
The Martins got the ’Vette back out of the garage again in late 2018 and it’s easy to see it looks better than ever. We can only imagine how fun it is to cruise in the California sun with the top down and the music of that big block ringing in your ears!
Additional photos supplied by Gary Martin