This unique Corvette is what an aero expert builds for fun | #LowBuck Wednesday

By Colin Wood
May 3, 2023 | $2000 Challenge, Chevrolet, Corvette, Chevrolet Corvette, #LowBuckWednesday

Photography Credit: Dave Green

What does an aerodynamicist do in the off hours for fun? Look no further than Steve Stafford and his 1985 Chevrolet Corvette.

Steve has an apparent passion for playing around with car design and honoring history, so his Corvette came to the 2021 Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge Presented by Tire Rack dressed up as a 1923 Bugatti. The shape was created by using industrial shrink wrap fitted around an aluminum skeleton.

For 2022, the Chevy took on the form of an ’80s IMSA GTP racer, but this time sculpted out of foam and fiberglass. According to Steve, “The shrink wrap was a little too flexible at speed.”

What wild old-school race machine will the Corvette resemble this year? There’s only one way to find out–and that’s by coming to the $2000 Challenge.

What is the $2000 Challenge? It’s our annual low-buck automotive festival that celebrates autocross, drag racing and ingenuity, which returns to Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, on a new weekend for 2023, May 27-28.

The real challenge is in the event's name, however, as entries are required to prepare their vehicles for less than $2000. Each of these sub-$2000 cars will compete in autocross and drag racing sessions followed by concours judging the next day.

Rather see if more money equals more speed? Over-budget builds are also allowed to enter. Need more time to get your build ready? Spectators are welcome, and there will also be a Hagerty Cars & Caffeine, swap meet, model car concours and even a post-event track day at the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park.

Think your low-buck racer or over-budget car is up to the challenge? Enter your build here, and learn more about the $2000 Challenge at

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stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/3/23 1:14 p.m.

The saga will continue at the 2023 $2000 Challenge...

nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/3/23 2:55 p.m.

In reply to stafford1500 :

Excited to see what ERA of car it looks like this time..  1st time 1930s.. 2nd 1980s..  What will this year bring?

stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/4/23 9:19 a.m.

In reply to nocones :

Less drastic ERA change this time. Time dilation/redshift issues, that and work has been crazy.

I do have a special gift for Gumby though...

Maybe I should update the build thread at some point too.

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
5/10/23 9:49 a.m.

Suggestion: I'm hoping one year we can have a tribute to the future. I have no clue what that might look like, but it opens the doors for creativity, right?

OK, I watched too much sci-fi as a kid. Carry on. :-D

stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/10/23 10:30 a.m.

In reply to J.A. Ackley :

Mach 5, land speeder, pod racer, Jetsons? Which direction do you want to go?

Typical of working within fixed rule sets, I sometimes have difficulty stretching too far outside the box I am working in.

Since it would be a future-ish car, I think I would have to get special dispensation from THE MANAGEMENT since it would not be a "production" car... Also lets me get a little crazy if I can get that clearance

gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/10/23 12:14 p.m.
stafford1500 said:

I do have a special gift for Gumby though...

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