The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
5/24/18 10:19 a.m.

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story by liz miles • photos by scott r. lear unless otherwise credited

Most of us live according to a balance of fun and responsibility. One side accounts for excitement and pleasure while the other picks up the slack. Without a healthy balance of the two, you end up with a case of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”—or, equally unsavory, a childlike adult with a slew of toys and the unmanageable debt that can come with them.

The question is, what ratio will make us both happy and successful? Steve Kolrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, struggled with this question for most of his adult life.

The temptations started in high school. Peer pressure wasn’t the problem; Steve got hooked on speed through his auto shop class. His instructor, Rod Harris, campaigned a 1969 Camaro with the SCCA. Steve would tag along and handle some pit crew duties. The hook was set.

Upon graduation, Steve helped his mentor open a performance shop that specialized in dirt track racing. Instead of sticking with the shop, however, Steve took the responsible route and set out to get a mechanical engineering degree. The bout with practicality was temporary, however: Fun eventually rang the doorbell, sending him back to the race shop.

Steve spent several decades bouncing between the speed shop and various careers that most people would label as upstanding. In 1996, he finally settled down and opened his own construction and remodeling business.

Even though the firm became successful, Steve couldn’t get the racing monkey off his back. He returned to motorsports in 2004 with a Factory Five Roadster—an early mid-life crisis present, he calls it. Six weeks after the kit car arrived in boxes, Steve was driving the car to the paint shop.

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Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
5/24/18 10:21 a.m.

I remember when this was first in the magazine.  What is the wheelbase on this with the full Corvette Transaxle?

kb58 SuperDork
5/24/18 3:18 p.m.

Figuring those tires are probably around 25" diameter, quite a bit.

Every time I see a mid-engine car I wonder immediately, "What's it using for a transmission?" As it shows, it's perfectly doable and reasonably priced, but creates a very long drivetrain assembly.

GTXVette SuperDork
5/24/18 3:33 p.m.

OK   i'm not the First,  and mine is a C4 and a big block and the engine is sitting BACKWARDS and a Super T10 tranny.  but it looks kinda like a Corvette, sorta. I parked the project for a couple month's to ready the Fiero for the Challenge, but soon. 

TiggerWelder Reader
5/29/18 2:26 p.m.

I would think that you could remove the torque tube out, joining the engine to the transmission as the transmission already bolts to the diff.

Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
5/29/18 3:01 p.m.
TiggerWelder said:

I would think that you could remove the torque tube out, joining the engine to the transmission as the transmission already bolts to the diff.

They do.  The issue is that unlike most transaxle where the gearset is behind the diff, such that the diff is closest to the engine.  The Corvette tranaxle the diff is behind the gearset making it a very long package for a mid engined car.

Regular transaxle

Image result for porsche transaxle

Corvette transaxle

Image result for corvette transaxle

te72 Reader
5/29/18 8:48 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

Whoa! Well that explains why you don't see too many T56's used in tranaxle applications, and why the Porsche G50 is a lot more popular...


I had considered finding a wrecked C5 or C6, ditching the torque tube, and stuffing it all in the rear seat area of my 46 Chevy Fleetmaster coupe. Seems like a fun idea, but I doubt it will ever make it past the idea point unless I win the lottery and can devote the time to it.

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