Videos & Galleries

Video Feature: Going Land Speed Racing in a 1978 ‘Vette


When you take a vehicle out to do a little land speed racing, is all about the forces–as in drag and down force.

Bill Lilley, along with Gary and Josh Meyers, had a few tricks up their sleeves to capture the down force they needed to get the most out of a 1978 Chevrolet Corvette while at the East Coast Timing Association Ohio Mile event in Wilmington, OH.

The Eastern U.S. version of Bonneville, the Ohio Mile provides speed freaks a shot at land speed racing without the journey to Utah. Four times a year, the Airborne Airpark in Wilmington is inundated with production cars, bikes, exotics, and purpose-built racers–all looking to set speed records at the Ohio Mile.

To take his shot at a land speed mark, Lilley topped off the engine in his ’78 Corvette with aluminum Edelbrock cylinder heads and intake manifold. To transfer the 500 horsepower to the ground, Smokey’s Dyno installed a Tigershark suspension set up. However, Gary Meyers put it best:

“It’s got to be a combination of the car and the driver. As we get more comfortable with the car the car is going to run faster.”

Bill, Gary, and Josh added a Daytona style front spoiler to the front of the Corvette to add to the down force. When they noticed they were not getting enough down force, a trusty roll of racer’s tape helped fill in a few of the holes that allowed air to get under the car.

Listen in as Bill , Gary, and Josh describe land speed racing in their own words.

Tags: ,


  1. Without intent to denigrate the achievements of racers who set speed records at various venues around the country, it is nonetheless important to point out that none of these records are land speed records. National records, track records and the like are all too often labeled land speed records when in fact they are not. The land speed is held by the jet powered supersonic Thrust SST driven by Andy Green. The absolute wheel-driven land speed record is held by Don Vesco in the turbine powered Turbinator. All other records fall into either an FIA category or a national, local or track record status. To call them land speed records disrespects and diminishes the extraordinary effort and commitment of those who in fact do hold the land speed record. The rest are simply speed records relative to their specific venue. And while no doubt deserving appropriate recognition of their achievement, they are not in the strictest sense land speed records.

    • John, we appreciate your input and agree. Land speed record should have been stated simply as land speed racing, and we have made the updates as such. Thanks again for reading!

Leave a Reply