Does sheriff need 198-mph cruiser to enforce 65-mph law?

Don't try to outrun the Wake County, N.C., sheriff.
Don't try to outrun the Wake County, N.C., sheriff. Wieck

RALEIGH, N.C. — If you plan to outrun the law in Wake County, you'd better have a very, very fast car.

Or maybe a rocket.

Wake deputies have been spotted using a black Chevy Corvette Z06 to pull over speeders on Interstate 40. Among the fastest production cars in the world, the Z06 has base sticker price of $74,875 and a V8 racing engine that turns out 505 horsepower.

The car has a top track speed of 198 miles per hour, according to Chevrolet.

Though the car has set tongues wagging among Triangle sports-car enthusiasts, Sheriff Donnie Harrison declined to talk about the Corvette Monday or Tuesday. He did show the car to crews from local television stations.

"You're not going to force me to talk about anything, you understand?" the sheriff said by telephone late Tuesday, his voice raised. "I've got a schedule to run. I don't sell papers."

Harrison said he was upset by an N&O reporter calling county commissioners for comment about the Corvette before he was ready to hold a media conference about it.

County Manager David Cooke said it is his understanding that the Corvette was seized from a drug dealer, but that he could provide no further information, such as how much county money had been spent to upgrade the car.

Gary Buchanan, a Raleigh resident who owns a 2007 Corvette, saw Wake deputies last week utilizing the stealthy, unmarked Z06 to enforce the 65-miles-per-hour speed limit on I-40 in Cary.

"It had blue lights in the back and blue lights in the front," Buchanan said. "It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Something like that is so extreme. I mean, if my wife was out driving and this thing came up behind her and the light’s started going off, man, she'd be scared to death."