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Custom Vettes

KANE

Moderator
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
3,244
Location
KY
Corvette
Dark Blue 1982 Trans Am(s): Polo Green 1995 MN6
I always see the other owner-specific Vettes on this site. So here is just a few tid bits about my Vette-

-TPI (iron block/heads) running as a '91 F-body speed density system
- 700R4 with a 2800 stall converter
- Billet wheels shod with 255/50ZR16s
- 3.08 rear with heavy duty tie-rods and 360lbs/in carbon fiber spring
- Currently, I run about 3k RPM @ 100mph
- Nearly 26 mpg on the highway
- 3390 is my weigh out (including 1/2 tank of gas!).
-My estimates for my horsepower are around 280-300. I run with LT4 injectors, an Accel Super Coil, a street chip, and a few other goodies. It started life as a Goodwrench motor (LM1)... so your guess is as good as mine!
- I run the factory fan and it still only runs about 165 degrees!
- Lighter than stock L-88 hood
- Converted the lights to an H4 system. Glass lenses and replaceable bulbs.
- Replaced the factory fiberglass tops with Acrylic ones
- Replaced the factory seats with 1979 frames and leathers
- Alpine CD player with custom 6X9 enclosures in factory locations
- She gets driven regularly, to the tune of 60K miles in 9 years

I am still looking for realistic ways to drop weight and improve my power to weight ratio (without loosing my AC or power antenna!) and not spend a fortune. I sometimes wonder if the next Vette I buy will stay original. I started upgrading and updating mine when I realized the parts and technology were just old and tired. But its one of those things- be happy because its your vision to create. Corvettes are just the most incredible canvas on which to paint!

69myway (and others) - its people like us on the "fringe" of the hobby that set the standard. I always see "factory" or "original" Vettes for sale...... but never ones like ours!!! I think that says A LOT.
 
R

Ryan

Guest
custom vettes

I have a '78 vette with a L48 350ci engine. everything is original, but I will be pumping the engine with some extra 150 horses.

But right now I am restoring my car and just had the frame off the chassis. So I will be changing everything with polyurethane and new parts.

The car will be lighter because I will be replacing the bodyframe with an aluminum one this will be a great challenge to copy the orignal one.

I will be ready with my car next year somewhere near summer time and I will send some nice pictures.

See ya.

ryan
 

Black Thunder

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
143
Location
Port St Lucie,FL
Corvette
1968 Black Custom Vert 454 BB
Customs

Rock!!!

And some roll:bu
 
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KANE

Moderator
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
3,244
Location
KY
Corvette
Dark Blue 1982 Trans Am(s): Polo Green 1995 MN6

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
To me, custom is the only way to go. Building the car in such a way to take advantage of current cutting edge technology is a blast. However, customs have a down side. That is as technology progresses, unless they are updated they become outcasts.

So, we have to keep on our toes. What is next in the world of automotive technology? Who knows, but you can bet we will be there busting our knuckles to keep up.

Your car is very smooth looking. You have a nice blend of old and new, and nothing is over done. The problem I have with customs in general is when the owner goes over the edge with paint that is more freaky than a bad drug trip, rims that just don't match the car, interior that would be better suited for the jungle room in the Elvis mansion, and engines that make more power than can EVER be used on the street. Don't even get me started with the old pro-street drag race look.

On the flip side, that is the beauty of our hobby. Just because I don't like a particular stock style, or custom, it does not take away from the personal pride that owner has, and the effort involved to get there. There are plenty of people that want to puke when they see my car because of the fender flares. That is fine with me. However, it does feel really good when you think you hit on the "perfect" combo of stock and custom to make a car that people can't stop looking at. Then again, you never know if they can't stop looking because they are so disgusted by what they see, or excited about it.

Your background and experience in the TPI swap will be of great benefit to others here that wish to follow in your footsteps.
 
V

vmrod

Guest
I checked out a local vette show this past weekend. (In Kenner, La.) 95% were stock. Nice to see, but a little boring. Also, too many new models (2000-2001). Why are these new vettes in car shows? You simply buy one, then enter it. (yawn)

Custom baby! That's the way for me. As long as it's not too crazy. (I'll be trying to figure a way to install a 1978 glove box in the place where my map pocket is located.)
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
151
Location
Sussex, WI, USA
Corvette
1980 330HP / 1963 L75 Roadster
DarkShark78,

Checked out your webpage and wanted to thank you for taking the time to put up the pictures and the explanations of what you've done and why. It was inspirational giving me a new direction on where I want to take my C3.

If only "vmrod" would give a little background on how his car was modified into a convertable. I've been to Carshows which had T-Top cars that were changed into converts but everytime I talked to the owner they said they bought it that way.

Eugene
 
V

vmrod

Guest
Impala,

I hate to tell you this, but I bought mine this way too! It looked so nice, that I could not tell it was a custom job. (no one told me, but I found out that no 1977's were convertible).

It appears that the rear decklid was cut and modified to accomodate the rear hatch door. The upper windshield pillar was replaced (from t-top to vert. style) and an appropriate rear view mirror was added as well. I have all of the mechanisms for the softop and it folds neatly under the deck when not in use.

The only things that I noticed, is that I don't have the vinyl trim that goes on the interior of the car, right behind the doors. I also do not have the shoulder seat belts, because they were mounted up high, and that part of the car is not there anymore. I only have lap belts, but would like to somehow install shoulder belts again.

Sorry I couldn't help more, but I can always look at parts of my car and/or take digi-pics for you.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
VMRod,

All you have to do is get a heavy gauge bar/tube fabricated to go between the lock pillars at the same upper mount where the soft top bolts through. REplace the soft top frame mount bolts with hardened heavy duty bolts, washers and nuts. Have your shoulder harness belts attached to the upper bar. This will give more rigidity to the car, as well as providing a mounting point for an upper belt.
 
V

vmrod

Guest
Can you take a digi-pic? I'm not sure exactly what the 'lock pillars' are. Are you talking about bolting onto the place where the softop frame is? That should be pretty easy I suspect.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
151
Location
Sussex, WI, USA
Corvette
1980 330HP / 1963 L75 Roadster
vmrod,

Thanks for replying and offering your help. I've been fixated on a late C3 convertible conversion since the first one I saw. This is truely the model GM should have built. My 1980 should be ready for paint in a couple of weeks so it'll probably stay a T-Top, for now. Will keep in touch while I keep my eyes open for a donor car.

My brother-in-law is good at fiberglass work and paints cars so my cost is material plus beer. I'm trying to get him to go on-line, doesn't own a computer, so he can join this very helpful web group. He raced Corvettes in the 60's and 70's and currently owns four Corvetes; 82 Collector, 80 L82, 67 Roadster and a 55 with a ZZ4 Fastburn Hot Cam.

Best Regards,

Eugene
 
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vmrod

Guest
Eugene,
I agree about the body style. I love the look of a 1982 with a LT1 front spoiler, louvered hood, sidepipes, and turbo wing spoiler. Unfortunately, if I want a 1982 front bumper, I gotta go cutting fiberglass and I don't want to get into that, at least not right now. I'm looking into a compromise of a 1982 style front bumper that will bolt onto my car. I can also install a 1977 LT1 spoiler onto the new bumper. It will not be exactly what I am looking for, but a nice compromise, I think.

It's too bad your brother in law is not online. As you can see, information is appreciated here by everyone. I was planning on joining a local vette club, once I started restoring my car. Well, I found the C.A.C., and it is far better than any club. I have learned so much from everyone here.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
vmrod said:
Can you take a digi-pic? I'm not sure exactly what the 'lock pillars' are. Are you talking about bolting onto the place where the softop frame is? That should be pretty easy I suspect.

Check out this pic here. Notice where the bars terminate into the most outside portion of the bar structure (basically behind where the doors latch to the car on the inner quarter panel-where you are missing that interior trim). This is called the lock pillar. It corresponds with what is called the hinge pillar where the doors actually hinge to the car.

Body shops, insurance companies etc call them A (hinge) B (front door lock pillar) and C (four four door cars, this is where the rear doors lock in).

You can sandwich the bar between the convertible top mount frame location and the B pillar. I have done it in a X pattern from the lower most corner to upper most corner. Look at the other new thread here on the Forum from TZracer. He has a much more extreme version in terms of rigidity (permanent welded bars) in his couple.

roll%20bar%20driver%20side.JPG
 
V

vmrod

Guest
Thank you for the pic. At least this will give me some food for thought. I saved the pic in my restoration library!
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
151
Location
Sussex, WI, USA
Corvette
1980 330HP / 1963 L75 Roadster
Vmrod,

I'm going to keep working on my brother-in-law to get him on-line. If worse comes to worse I'll have to get ugly and use the BIG STICK and have my wife talk to her sister. If I spin their getting on-line somehow with shopping or vacationing it'll be a snap.

I feel very fortunate in having him in the family. When I told him my 80 was coming out of storage to be finally worked on again he came over and dropped off a engine cherry picker hoist, an air compresser, a chop saw and a wire welder. My first marriage was to the family from hell so I guess I was due for a winner.

We were talking about going to Sharkfest but I'm needed at work that week. Now we're talking about putting the 55 on a trailer and pulling it to Carlisle with my Tahoe. It would sure be nice to meet some of the people who post on this forum.

Eugene
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
impala said:
DarkShark78,

If only "vmrod" would give a little background on how his car was modified into a convertable. I've been to Carshows which had T-Top cars that were changed into converts but everytime I talked to the owner they said they bought it that way.

Eugene

Piece of cake! Just cut the back end of your 1982 off. Then, get a section like this off a convertible.....and you got a rag top!

QRTCLIP.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
151
Location
Sussex, WI, USA
Corvette
1980 330HP / 1963 L75 Roadster
Hello Chris,

Wow! I was hoping it would be something relatively easy like cutting off the rear deck top, grafting in a donor deck and bolting in the top hardware. Guess I'll just keep it a T-Top and consider buying a second car. I've already done the massive restoration route on previous cars and being only a few years away from my AARP Card I don't feel much like doing it again.

Good luck on your clutch. I've been reading your up-dates and find it amazing you have the time to do all that wrenching and still have time to post to educate the rest of us. You' re one of the regulars who are the reason I actually post here. After years of "lurking" from the 8088 processer, 300 baud modem, pre-web days of Veronica, Gohper, Bulliton Board days until this July when I stumbled onto CAC I never posted. CAC is by far the best site, populated by knowledgable people who take time to share their experiences. Thanks.

Eugene
 

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