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Triple Trouble: Check Out the Leisinger Family’s Autocross-Winning 1964 Corvettes & 1970 Camaro

Karen and Dave Leisinger’s 1970 Chevy Camaro, “Crusher.” (Image/Summit Racing)

The Leisingers are back.

You may remember Karen and Dave Leisinger from an earlier feature story on their 1970 Chevy Camaro autocross car, the “Crusher.”

Well, their sons Josh and Jared Leisinger have their own cars too: a pair of 1964 Corvettes, no less.

Josh Leininger’s 1964 Corvette coupe, dubbed “Crusher II.” (Image/Summit Racing)

Never heard of autocross?

It’s a form of motorsports where the driver navigates a closed course marked off with traffic cones as quickly as possible, with penalties assessed for hitting cones. It’s a test of both driver skill and vehicle performance.

Jared Leisinger’s 1964 Corvette roadster, “Confused.” (Image/Summit Racing)

Back in 2007 Dave and Karen witnessed their first autocross competition at a local Goodguys show. “I was hooked,” explains Dave. “I’m not the type of guy that likes to sit around, so autocross racing is a perfect fit for me and my family.”

The Leisingers soon recruited their sons Jared and Josh to join them at the track on weekends. Together, they’ve traveled thousands of miles to compete, including a 22-hour trek from their home in South Dakota to Scottsdale, Arizona.

(Image/Summit Racing)

Over the years, the Leisinger stable has included a number of vehicles, including 1967 and 1970 Chevy C-10 pickups, a couple of 1967 Camaros, and a 1971 Camaro.

But it was “Crusher,” the 1970 Camaro they purpose-built exclusively for autocross, that really set the standard for the team.

(Image/Summit Racing)

The three vehicles driven by Karen, Jared, and Josh may look quite different, but beneath the fiberglass bodies, they are almost identical. Each has a chromoly tube frame chassis, custom-built shocks, and Wilwood rotors and calipers.

(Image/Summit Racing)

The three cars also have common powerplants: 450 cubic inch LSX engines built by “The Professor” Warren and Kurt Johnson. These engines are loaded with cutting-edge technology, like FAST intakes, Holley Dominator ECUs, Magnafuel fuel systems, and custom stainless steel headers.

(Image/Summit Racing)

The cockpit of each car is made specifically for its driver, with custom-built aluminum panels loaded with Dakota Digital gauges and controls, and Kirkey race seats. Karen says, “One of our favorite things is the excitement children have when we let them sit in the cars and get their pictures taken.”

(Image/Summit Racing)

When asked about his most memorable autocross experience so far, Josh says, “For me it was our first time at LS Fest in 2014. It just felt like we had worked so hard that weekend, thrashing on the car, drenched in sweat, covered in rubber and brake dust, really pouring everything we had into that race. To come out on top with some really tough competition, in that moment in time it was the best race I have ever competed in.”

(Image/Summit Racing)

Josh thinks his best accomplishments are still ahead of him. “I‘ve had some great wins, some really memorable moments, also some really trying, really hard moments racing over the years. I’ve learned from all of it, and I think it’s building to something really great that maybe I will be able to pass on to my daughter. That would be a great accomplishment I think, to be able to pass on all my knowledge in the seat to my child and watch her succeed even more than I have.”

(Image/Summit Racing)

All three cars received upgraded powerplants in 2021. At the same time, Karen moved from the Goodguys Pro-X class to the Pro class. “I love competing against my sons,” she says, “but I’d rather bring home two first-place trophies!”

FAST SPECS

Chassis 

  • Custom chromoly tube chassis
  • Magnesium Corvette C6 cradles
  • Custom tubular A-arms
  • Custom-built shocks
  • Wilwood 14″ rotors and calipers

Wheels & Tires

Engine & Induction 

Transmission

  • Gearstar Level 5 2-speed transmissions
  • Gear Vendor supplemental gearboxes

Interior

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2 Comments

  1. Articles like this just underscore that the most important source of horsepower and performance is a fat wallet. A spacious garage space populated with multiple lifts, first rate parts, engines built by Warren Johnson, extensive time money to travel, etc. obviously results in racing success. No new news here.

  2. Pingback: Blacktop News Bulletin 3/6/22 - Autocross News

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