1958 Corvette Deloy Naeb Pooch
1958 Corvette Deloy Naeb Pooch
Deloy Naeb built this 1958 Corvette for drag racing from a barn find in the mid sixties. Well, the barn was actually a shed and this Corvette already needed some serious attention despite the fact that it was only 7-8 years old. During the building phase, it was decided to place the emphasis on the powertrain and to use a small budget for the body work. Once the neglected body was painted with a base coat of primer, Deloy Naeb chose to leave it like that and focus the main funds for the engine and power train. When Deloy’s friends took a look at the car, it looked like a dog of a car, so it was affectionately named the Pooch.
Deloy Naeb originally entered the Pooch into the C/MP Class with a 283 small block Chevrolet engine that was bored .010 over to achieve 286 cubic inches. The 283 was running factory dual quads that were bolted onto modified heads with valves that were lifted by a roller cam, and it was bolted up to a T-10 4-speed transmission. The rear end was comprised of a Pontiac axle with 6.17:1 gears. But shortly thereafter, Deloy decided to race in the D/MSP class in the NHRA. This switch necessitated a smaller displacement engine with a heavier car to meet the engine size to weight requirements. So Deloy assembled a 265 small block Chevrolet engine with a .010 overbore to achieve 268 cubic inches. This smaller engine received a Hillborn Fuel Injection system to deliver the gasoline to the engine. The extra weight was installed by welding two steel boxes to the rear axle. The boxed were filled with melted lead, and to fine tune the weight and the traction, round barbell weights were added or removed to achieve the perfect grip at the drag strip. The front suspension utilized the addition of I-beam sections that were placed between the suspension and the crossmember.
The high performance work paid off as the Pooch raced to not only a Class Winner and Street Eliminator title at the 1965 NHRA Tulsa Invitational meet but also the NHRA World Finals Street Eliminator victory in 1966! The Pooch raced on and in 1968 it won another class win at the 1968 NHRA Winternationals with a 12.69 elapsed time at 109.94 MPH. Shortly after this win at Pomona, Pooch was placed into storage when Deloy began his time operating Rocky Mountain Dragway in Denver Colorado. During the next ten years, most of the high performance parts were removed by Deloy and the Pooch was sold in 1979 after he had moved from Colorado to New Mexico. Pooch sat in a shed for the next 30 years.
Joel Miller, an avid Corvette enthusiast, heard about the Pooch and struck a deal to purchase it in 2009 after its authenticity was confirmed by Deloy Naeb himself. It was easy for Deloy to identify all the unique modifications he had done to the Corvette, especially when he saw that Pooch was still rolling on the same B&F rear drag slicks as when he sold it in 1979.
After a few years of locating period correct parts for the Pooch, the restoration was completed. It was decided to respray Pooch in a flat grey color to replicate the original primer look. Deloy had kept the original 10,000 RPM Sun Tach and Hurst Line Lock that he used on Pooch, and offered them to the restoration project. The Torque Thrust wheels and tires are new, but most parts are period correct.
I photographed the Pooch at the 2014 NCRS National Convention where it received the NCRS National American Heritage award for the historical significance of its racing accomplishments and its high level of restoration finish.