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ProFile: Rick Moroso
It's Still His Father's Race Car

by Jeff Burk


This story is about a racing family and the race car that has formed a bond between a father and son that has lasted for 30 years. We are speaking of the Moroso family; its founder, Dick Moroso, and his son Rick, who currently runs the family business and a 1961 Corvette that both men have driven and raced.

Rick covers all of the bases with a Moroso hat and a collector’s item DRO shirt

Rick’s late father Dick Moroso used the Corvette as a test bed to develop the foundation of the Moroso company and one of the most important technological advances in drag racing: the four-link suspension. Some 30 years later his son Rick is racing that same Corvette and using it to test and develop new products for the Moroso company.

The Corvette itself is something special. Let’s face it, almost every hot rodder who came of age in the Sixties has lusted after a ’Vette. Dick Moroso was no different. He bought the ’61 in 1961 after it was involved in a fire. He repaired it and returned it to the street for a while but, like any hot rodder, it wasn’t too long until he decided to hop it up and take it to the drags. In 1963, after driving the ’Vette on the street for a couple of years, Dick Moroso took the ’Vette to the strip. He built a potent small block motor, backed it with a Borg-Warner four speed trans and installed an early four-link suspension with leaf springs.

In short order the ’Vette and the driver became a potent combination up and down the East Coast in the C Modified Production and the D Modified sports class.

Rick warms up the Mickey’s prior to another low nine-second pass.

At the 1966 U.S. Nationals the ’Vette won class and was runner-up to Joe Lunati for the Street Eliminator title, but by 1968 Dick retired the car and concentrated on running the business.

Twenty years later Dick’s son Rick decided to take the ’61 ’Vette out of storage and put it back on the track where it really belonged. After replacing the carbureted small block with a supercharged version, replacing the manual four speed with a two speed powerglide, and replacing the four link his father had in the car with an updated Chassis Engineering four link/coil over suspension the Vette was ready to return to the track.

Rick ran the Corvette at bracket races for six or seven years, eventually running as quick as 9.42/142 in the blown streeter. When NMCA created its Hot Street heads up class in 1998, Rick decided to return the family ’Vette to its roots—class racing.

Except for the wheelie bars and fat tires, the classic ’Vette lines are reatained. Notice that Rick went to the trouble to keep the stock wheel covers.


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