Sunday, March 29, 2009
An Ugly Duckling Project
This is a 1963 Corvette split window coupe found on Craig's list and it needs TLC. I think of this car as an ugly duckling, if you don't know what you're looking at it will be easy to scratch your head and ask why. If you do know what you're looking at you can appreciate the fact that this project has great potential and should be a very fun build.
Within the last 4 weeks this car has become the spot light of chain of events that my friends and I find exciting. My wife Gerri, brother Jim, Matt P, Dennis K, Max H, Bob D, Bob R, Mark S and many others share the excitement for this build. Everyone has questions and most questions have not been answered... yet. This should be a fun build filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope to use this blog to get your thoughts throughout this build and to have you participate whenever possible. Mark S has the vin number and he hopes to find details about the original build sheet including the engine. Good luck Mark.
THE FIND: I found the car totally by accident on Craig's List (Craig's Helper) about 5 weeks ago. I though I was searching in Florida only to find out the car was in Hawaii. After a couple of days of why, why, why did it have to be in Hawaii, Gerri and I decided to investigate further. Since then we have flown to Hawaii, made great friends with Dennis and Pam S the sellers, stuffed the car and all the associated pieces in to a PODS container, and the vehicle is now somewhere in transit between Hawaii and Washington state. Delivery is expected around April 25th.
THE CAR: For my price range this car is exactly what I hoped to find. This car has option C48, "heater delete", of which only 124 were produced in 1963. The car is very solid and is basically all there including the very hard to find trim around the rear windows. The original engine is not with the car, however, because the tach red lines at 6500 rpm and not 5500 rpm, the car should have come with a high performance engine. This isn't certain and it will require additional research.
This is one of the two original pictures shown in Craig's list. The body is on a body dolly. Dennis had removed the body about 10 years ago while he restored the chassis. Since then the body and the chassis have set several years unattended. Both the body and the chassis require restoration.
This is the second picture shown in Craig's list. The Corvette has had several modifications over the years including flared wheel wells, additional tail lights, and a 1967 hood. All of these modifications will be corrected with possible exception to the tail lights. I am told the extra tail lights were a dealer installed option. If that is correct then I'll probably leave the extra lights as is.
The interior was in the deconstruct phase when work stopped. All the pieces and parts are included in the sale and make up most of the "baskets". The body will be stripped of all remaining parts and pieces and then built up from there. The seats are original to the car.
The engine, transmission and rear end are out of a 1975 L82 Corvette. The original rear end is intact and is included in the sale. My intent is to make the car period correct so the 350, T10 and installed rear end will be swapped out.
The frame was sand blasted and repairs were made along with the installation of new bushings, stainless steel brake lines and brake components. Although refurbished years ago the rolling chassis requires rework.