Canadian Corvette Crusade

“Determination” may be the best word to sum up the efforts of a Manitoba-based drag racer that remains focused on making a name for himself within Canada’s Top Sportsman class racing scene… 

Chris Mondor's TS Corvette from Manitoba is the end result of a lot of dedication

Chris Mondor's TS Corvette from Manitoba is the end result of a lot of dedication

Chris Mondor, from the northern Winnipeg suburb of St. Andrews, has over time built himself a pretty neat emerging class effort.   And Chris’s supercharged 1953 Corvette has certainly been a labor of love, something he envisioned a long time ago and then took a number of years to plan and assemble. 

The final product, which he built from scratch, is an impressive one to be sure.  The fiberglass body from Creative Glass covers a full chrome moly chassis that contains many man hours of work and passion. 

“At the beginning I would purchase parts when I could afford to and then assemble them — I remember assembling a differential and porting my first set of heads in my Mom and Dad’s basement,” Chris recalled.  

Chris Mondor

Chris Mondor

“It took almost 10 years to finish my car because of the cost.  After I ordered all the chrome moly, a local guy did the bending and the welding.  The electrical, brakes, plumbing, differential and all of the parts were researched and assembled by myself.”

Mondor has raced his Corvette for the last couple of years with a milder engine program while he learns about the car and also the ropes of drag racing.  He ran a 497 CID BB engine built by Ken Murray mostly during that phase. 

“I am building the new motor myself with help again from Ken Murray,” Chris revealed.  “It will be a 520 CID Hemi with a CN billet block and BAE 8X heads.  We are running a Kobelco K11 14-71 Blower that was highly modified by Les Davenport and a Carbon fiber injector and Rage fuel system. It also has a Bruno converter and 3-speed Lenco transmission.”

“I have raced the car the last couple of years – and that has been somewhat of a learning and trying experience from the start,” Chris continued.  “From the beginning it was just to try and get it going fast enough to compete. Then I worked on consistency, my reaction times and driving.  All the while we tried to coax more out of it while still being safe so I did not hurt anything.”

Mondor has run some limited events within the popular Midwest Wildbunch group (a supercharged Quick 8 circuit) but his biggest moment so far came last year when he entered the Lucas Oil NHRA Divisional Race at Brainerd MN – his first ever NHRA level event experience.

The '53 Corvette is a prime example of a well thought out and homebuilt drag car

The '53 Corvette is a prime example of a well thought out and homebuilt drag car

 “I qualified the first ever time at Brainerd in Top Sportsman at a Divisional event and that was very gratifying for me.” he added. “I also found out quickly that a 7.50 car was not going to cut it there and thus is the reason for the new motor program and many updates I am making to the car.  In the future I would like to be a force to be reckoned within Top Sportsman.  Ultimately the car should be fully capable of 6- second runs at 230 mph.”

 Chris was quick to cite valuable assistance and guidance he has received over the years from Ken Murray of Kens Kustom and also Jon Salemi (G-Force) and Jeremy Evrist (BAE) for help with parts and advice.   

 “I have to thank too my Mom and Dad for always putting up with my passion,” he added.  “And also my friend Dan Jefkins – who is not only my pit crew but also my psychologist (according to him).

 This aspiring and worth watching up-and-coming class racer is by profession a Federal Corrections Officer.  He earned diplomas in Environmental Science from Lethbridge Community College and in Automotive Service Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of  Technology in Calgary, Alberta.

 Posted by:  Bruce Biegler  —  Photos by:  “Jumpin’ Jimmy” Kampmann