Sunday, July 21, 2013

Completing the "Ugly Duckling" Project

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.

So, one more post to go.

As always, thanks for watching. 


  1. Wow!! I cant even find the words to describe your work bringing this beauty back to life.!!

    I thank you for this blog... I will use it as a road map to restore my fathers 64. Its almost to funny but I have the exact same spots rusted out in the bird cage. I was struggling to figure out how to attempt the sir have showed me the way!

    I hope you keep us updated with pics of you driving this beauty!!


  2. Al, I really appreciate the comments and I wish you well on your restoration. The best advise I can offer is to have no fear. I honestly believe anything on a C2 Corvette can be fixed or repaired. Again, thanks for the kind words.

  3. This is kind of like watching the last episode of your favourite series. Good thing the star doesn’t get eliminated. I have truly enjoyed the ride and will forever be impressed with your talents, I am so jealous. When I retire I will do the golf cart as you suggested to give my patience a test, may have gotten better in old age. I will have a good mentor for sure. If that turns out I may paint the Harley. Who knows, after that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


  4. Max, I can not wait until you retire and start working on that golf cart. I think you should paint your Harley to match. Hurry home and thanks for the kind words.

  5. Simply amazing work John. Although the restoration is complete, I will still keep this blog bookmarked for future reference. My father's dream car is a 1963 split window Corvette, and while my dream car is an L89 1967 Sting Ray with side pipes, Torch Red exterior with a black interior, if I ever get a chance in my life to restore a '63 split-window, I know I'll have great guidance. Enjoy the car John. You DEFINITELY deserve to.

    Warm Regards,

  6. Justin, like your father, the 63 Corvette was always my dream car. I never thought I would own one but here I am. It is a dream come true. Like you, I will also use this blog for reference. I will be the first to admit I have had to go back on several occasions to see how something was done. Good luck with your L89. Do not be afraid to buy one with one foot in the grave. It is a great way to know your dream car bolt by bolt. Cheers.

  7. Thanks for the blog. I really enjoyed doing this restoration by armchair. Love the outcome. Have fun with it!


  8. Pat, you are very welcome. There were several times I would have preferred to have been the arm chair guy. That said, I really enjoyed all aspects of the build including the blood, sweat and tears. Thanks for the comment.

  9. John,

    Looking back, what were the best parts and the worst parts of your build?


    1. Pat,

      I think the best and worst apply to the A & B pillars and the fiberglass body work. The pillars were toast, rusted to the point where they had to be hand fabricated and replaced. It was the best when they turned out exceptionally strong and well built. Same for the fiberglass body work. There was fire damage, blisters, holes, cut out wheel wells, lost body lines, and the likes. The body turned out beautiful and it is the best I could have imagined. I have Ty to thank for that. I am pretty proud of the hand fabricated door drip rails too.

      Great question, thanks.

  10. Couldn't have turned out better!