Purchased in Hawaii in 2009, our split window coupe has a 327 fuel injected engine and the very rare Heater Delete option. Our Corvette was restored over a 4 year period using original 1963 components. Modifications were limited to those popular in the late 1960's. Our vision... Period Correct/Era Modified.
I completely disassembled both doors to make sure the felt runners were installed properly, the window mechanisms operated smoothly, all the nuts and bolts were properly tightened, and to make sure the weather stripping and window moldings were weather tight. I also installed a few pieces of Dynamat to muffle door noises.
I even installed the factory vapor barriers to protect the door panels.
This is the door that received the salvaged hockey stick and other trim pieces. Both doors turned out very nice and they are very solid. Everything works as it should.
Just inside and behind each door jamb I installed vinyl covered cardboard inserts that cover the B pillars. They clip to the fiberglass roof trim panel (halo) then...
they fasten to the door jamb with pinch welts.
The pinch welt caps on a 63 are unique because they have 2 screws. All other C2 Corvettes have 1 screw.
The panels really give a nice finished look to the interior.
Al Knoch Interiors finally came through with the sun visors. They look great.
Another unique item on a 63 Corvette is the Parking Brake assembly. The major difference is where the mechanism goes through the firewall. A 63 uses clips to fasten to the firewall, other years use a bracket with nuts and bolts. These are very hard to find.
Looking up and under the car, the emergency brake cable was attached to the e-brake mechanism.
Here's the Parking Brake in its final location,
I had the seats recovered locally and all I can say is, "wow".
"Final Touch" upholstery did the work. They thought the Al Knoch leather seat covers were exceptional.
I also had new seat chrome and mounting hardware installed.
The seats complete the interior and...
they complete the entire restoration. Yes, after 4 years and 3 months, this is it.
I am closing the door on this restoration and calling it done.
So, this posting signals the completion of the "Ugly Duckling" restoration project. There are still a few parts and pieces that need to be installed but nothing major. I've had a ton of fun and I know many of you have enjoyed it from the beginning. If you look at some of the early posts I am sure you'll agree this was an ambitious build. Ah, the memories.
Our next car show is Hot August Nights in Reno, NV. Dennis and Annette K. are bringing their Nomad and Gerri and will bring our Corvette. This will be the first car show where the Corvette will be seen completed. I will post pictures from Reno and include some interesting information about the build so be sure to watch for that.
The issue with #7 cylinder has been resolved. Matt P and John S helped diagnose the issue and we thought it must be either a missing or damaged intake valve stem seal or a bad fuel/injector. Both were probable, both were wrong. When the valve cover was removed I found a dislodged rocker at the #7 intake.
The possibility that normal break-in caused this is highly unlikely. I found out I could turn the rocker nut with just my fingers and that's wrong. Rocker nuts have crushed ends and require wrenches for installation and removal. This one had little to no resistance. I bought all new rocker nuts and replaced all the existing ones. I paid special attention to the resistance when removing the old ones and I was surprised that several had little resistance. The new ones are very tight and almost require two hands to tighten.
Lesson Learned: Always pay attention to rocker nut resistance during installation.
Our cam card specifies .030/.030 lash on the intake/exhaust valves when hot. Forum discussions on the National Corvette Restorers web page recommends .027/.027 for optimal performance. Since a cast iron block with cast iron heads is expected to tighten .003 from cold to hot, I set lash at .030 cold. I started the engine (it ran great), warmed it up, checked lash and sure enough, .027/.027. I then checked compression and all cylinders were between 190 and 200 PSI. We're good!
I purchased a used passenger door panel on EBay recently. I needed this panel because I didn't have several trim pieces, specifically, the hockey stick and the stamped steel upper piece (not shown).
These are the pieces I salvaged. The stamped steel piece on the far left was sand blasted and painted. The hock stick was fine as is. The fuzzy window eyebrow piece, far right, was stapled to the stamped steel at the factory. I have new eyebrows but I don't have a heavy duty stapler. Humm...
The new eyebrows came with staples so I decided to use them. I aligned, clamped and drilled the eyebrow then inserted, bent and secured each staple with pliers.
It turned out great. One down, many to go. (Note my fancy 4th of July cast)
Here is the completed passenger door. The new brow is at the top.
I finished both door panels and they turned out very nice.
Al Knoch Interiors finally sent all the seat components. This Thursday I will drop everything off at a local upholstery shop recommended by several car enthusiasts. I am told I can pick them up the following Tuesday. It will be nice to finally get the seats done.
Don't forget, Hot August Nights in Reno, NV is our next car show and we hope to have the Corvette done for that event. Dennis and Annette K will also be going and they intend to bring their 57 Chevy Nomad. Should be a fun event.