How does that old saying go? "Old Vette Rods never die . . . they get rebuilt into something faster, quicker, and cooler." That may have been made up as this story was written, but it definitely applies in the case of Tommy Vinciguerra's '61 Corvette-based Vette Rod.
It's said that good things come in small packages. But when Laurie Hekking's '59 Corvette first arrived at Jim Barr's shop, Barr's Performance in Naples, Florida, more than five years ago, it came in small packages, big packages, really big packages-the very definition of a basket case.
"There was nothing there," recalls Jim. "Most of the parts had been lost over the years."
Laurie had purchased the '59 from a friend after that friend lost interest in the project. His efforts stalled when he realized how much time (and funds) would be needed to bring this '59 to NCRS standards from, basically, nothing.
But this basket case had one big advantage over other Vettes that have been similarly blown apart. Its frame had been modified to accept C4 steering and suspension, and the chassis hardware from a '91 Corvette had already replaced the long-gone OE pieces. Jim has plenty of good words for the guy in Connecticut who did the conversion work. "He did an absolutely beautiful job grafting the C4 stuff to the original '59 frame," he says. "It was rolling. All the coilovers were in place, and all the geometry was welded in place."
Customized Corvettes come in all flavors-some sweet, some salty, and others with a whole new taste sensation. We realize that not everyone agrees with changing the recipe of an old favorite, as on the rare '63 split-window shown here with all the extras. But builder Bill Verboon has the street cred to know whether to restore or do a restomod. After all, he and wife Karen have owned and restored about 30 Corvettes over the years.
I gotta say I like most of them although I could never do that to a stock vette - but you never know what the condition of these cars were before they were restored. I doubt very much they were intact or in very good condition.
One of the saddest things (for me) that I've seen at this auction was a beautiful (looked perfect) 1971 Yellow 28K original mile LT-1 that went for a mere $40K! ;squint:
It took Brent Jackson five years to plan, build, and unveil this twin-turbocharged '65 Corvette, a car purposely designed to impress any and all who beheld it. The motivation behind the project reaches beyond Jackson's desire to cruise the streets of California with a one-off midyear. Its true purpose is to show off the capabilities of his custom shop, Brent Jackson's Customs (Green Valley, California). The Corvette is a calling card of sorts, as it embodies both the vision behind such creations and the in-house talents needed to make them happen. Jackson pulled out all the stops with this build, and the result is a Corvette like no other.
As a guy who bought a used 1967 coupe in 1967 which my wife and I used it as a daily driver 12 months a year including pulling my snowmobile trailer through out the winter in 69-70. The big difference between us when it was time for a family car we kept our coupe and still own it and drive it when the weather is good. I can think of nothing finer than having a resto-mod, not one thats to nice to drive but' one that is meant to be driven and enjoyed as we have enjoyed owning ours the past 43 years. I don't feel that a resto-mod is destroying a Corvette but' saving in many case an old abused unloved corvette that has been dis-guarded by many former owners and given new life by someone who appreciates the image that the older Corvettes stood for.
How do you improve on perfection…and make one man's dream not look like another's nightmare?
If that dream of perfection involves the second-generation Corvette Sting Ray, you contact Purcell, Oklahoma's Heartland Customs.
Back in 2007, the shop built a '63 split-window coupe that combined Z06 hardware and modern styling touches with that classic design. J.W. Lovett saw that car, and—according to Heartland Customs' Jeff Page—thought it was the most beautiful car he'd ever seen.
"He wanted to know if we could come up with something to top it," says Page of the initial meeting that led to this project. "Of course, I'm a big Corvette guy, so I told him, ‘The only way to top a Z06 is with a ZR1.'" That meeting took place around the time the C6 ZR1 hit Chevy dealers' showrooms for the '09 model year.
The plan was hatched: Build a '64 Sting Ray with the ZR1's supercharged LS9 engine and other hardware. But instead of keeping the exterior period-correct, Page says they decided to go further.