Much like Callaway or Lingenfelter, Greenwood is one of the great historic Corvette tuners. The Greenwood cars were anything but ordinary, featuring wide body designs, radical aerodynamics and high-performance engines.
The Greenwood Corvette’s were the result of John Greenwood’s lifetime of experience in both engine building and racing. John and his brother Burt were both greatly influenced by their father, who was first a World War II fighter pilot and then worked at the GM Tech Center. Both of these backgrounds contributed to the extensive aerodynamic layouts incorporated into the Greenwood Corvettes.
While Burt did fully support John throughout his endeavors, it was mostly John that undertook the Greenwood projects. His career with Corvettes started when he bought a silver ’64 and put a 427-inch big block in it. From that point, the modifications only grew more elaborate.
After racing in the IMSA and winning an SCCA Trans Am championship in the ’70s, John began building specialty and customer Corvettes for both the track and the street. One of those in particular is the 1977 #48 BFG Car that we see racing the Classic 24 in the video.
There were three Greenwood BFG cars in total, each the result of a partnership between Greenwood and BF Goodrich Tires. The first of the three, the #49 car, was rushed out of production for publicity purposes. The #48 and #50, on the other hand, received more time and attention, and were built into serious race machines. The cars were given their famous ‘Stars & Stripes’ decals and helped form Greenwood’s reputation as having the fastest and loudest Corvettes in the racing scene.
‘Fast and loud’ is definitely an accurate way of describing this Corvette – Greenwood primarily used the aluminum, 427-inch ZL-1 for the BFG cars. However, he rebuilt the engines himself, feeling that his versions were far more powerful and reliable. From GM, the ZL-1s were rated at 435 horsepower, but some of Greenwood’s engine produced as much as 780 horsepower.
The Greenwood Corvettes are now pieces of history. Their unique designs, patriotic styling, and incredible performance made them an iconic member of the car’s performance heritage. It’s always great to see that these legendary cars are still dominating on the track today, healthy as ever.