Frame Up Built Corvette Roadster LS1 525 HP 6 Speed
Many purists believe a classic car should preserve a specific era in history and, as a result, the word “custom” has become a point of contention. However, when a car has been customized with vision and purpose, it only serves to enhance the beauty of a timeless design and increase already impressive performance. This 1972 Corvette Roadster benefits from a host of Corvette specific visual and mechanical modifications that make it even more appealing from the curb and even more intimidating on the street.
With only 1,236 miles since an October 2009 body off nut and bolt restoration, this C3 is clean and in great shape. During the restoration, the fiberglass body was worked to relieve the car of the typical waves and ripples that came standard from its St. Louis factory. After the labor intensive body work was done, a glossy black base coat was applied and covered with a durable, UV resistant clear coat. With the exterior restoration out of the way and the car looking smooth as glass, it was time for customization. The convertible top and windows were removed and satin black roll bars were installed to complete the convertibles transformation into a true roadster. A simplistic but striking car, this '72 Corvette has just enough detail to seem fresh even as the design itself reaches its 40 year anniversary.
On the leading edge of the car, you'll find a reproduction Corvette emblem with Chevrolet cross flags proudly waving. Below those cross flags, a slender mirror-like chrome bumper displays a look that would give way to a heavier plastic clad unit for the 1973 model year. Bolted to that flawless bumper is a pair of detail oriented chrome grilles with bright silver insets and new parking lights. Behind the front tires, detailed chrome lower fender louvers combine with the swept profile of the L-88 hood to emphasize a design that appears constantly in motion. A custom tinted windshield, custom blacked out window trim and shaved door handles highlight the sinuous black body while correct chrome mirrors add familiarity and function. At the rear of the car, flawless chrome bumpers combine with a chrome tag surround to balance out the visual weight of the angular front bumper and grilles. Custom 'bubble' tail lights and another prominently displayed Corvette cross flag emblem, on the fuel door, combine with chrome trimmed side marker lights to add a splash of color to the cars monochromatic theme. Custom fabricated chrome side pipes and 17 inch Torque Thrust II wheels on aggressive tread 235/40/17 BF Goodrich G Force radials add a low, road hugging look that complements the cars exaggerated fenders. The result is a car with presence that most of the vibrant colored eye candy here in the RK Motors Charlotte showroom can't even begin to touch.
In the auto enthusiast world, there are few bigger faux pas than a car that promises performance but doesn't deliver. “It looks fast” just doesn't cut it with real car guys, so the old school, emissions strangled 350 that used to power this Corvette has been put out to pasture. In its place you'll find a balanced and blueprinted 383 cubic inch Grimes Automotive LS1 V8. Nicknamed the Twister, this aluminum beast features electronic fuel injection that sends air/fuel mixture from an ASA fuel cell to ported and polished aluminum LS6 Corvette heads with stainless steel valves. Inside the motor a forged bottom end, a Callies Compstar 4340 steel crank, JE forged pistons with Callies Compstar 4340 connecting rods and a custom ground cam add performance and durability while a reprogrammed stock computer, new O2 sensors and a new mass air flow sensor completes the package. Outside the motor, custom long tube coated headers free flow exhaust, meaning all 4 tubes flow individually, into baffled chrome side pipes for a sound that's every bit as mean as this car looks. All that custom tuning is good for 525 horsepower at the flywheel and 470 horsepower at the rear wheels. If that's not enough power for you, the car is already set up to handle a 350hp shot of nitrous. Aesthetically, its business as usual for this car as the gloss black engine cover matches the exterior of the car perfectly and the rest of the engine bay is covered in satin black with only a hint of bright silver poking through here and there from the engine block and aluminum radiator.
With that kind of power under the hood, it's no surprise that the satin black underside of this car has received a host of performance upgrades as well. A late model T56 6-speed transmission with a hydraulic clutch and factory rear end with 3.08 gears is housed in a rolling collection of modern hardware that would be right at home at an autocross event. An independent rear suspension with powder coated custom trailing arms and a square tube, double A-Arm front suspension with coilovers adds tubular powder coated control arms and VBP composite monoleaf springs front and back. A Corvette America top end suspension kit which includes: an adjustable stainless steel trailing arm, a stainless steel shim kit, a 1.125 Addco anti-sway bar kit, a .750 Addco anti-sway bar kit, an Adjustable Smart Struts Assembly, polyurethane trailing arm bushings, heavy duty upper A-Arms, a crossmember reinforcement kit, Bilstein Sport Gas Shocks, a polyurethane differential bushing kit, a complete polyurethane front end rebuild kit and MIG welded upper and lower control arms was installed to give the car curve prowess that would've never been imagined in 1972. When combined with power four wheel disc brakes and power steering this car drives like a dream. None of the noise, vibration and harshness issues that you'd normally find in a car this age are present.
Pop the shaved door with the touch of a finger to slip into the low and buttoned down interior. The black vinyl bucket seats, new at the time of restoration, have just the right amount of break in time to be super comfortable. In front of you the dash features a complete AutoMeter gauge package, with an attractive carbon fiber applique, and a factory map pocket on the passenger's side. Two green 'button style' turn signal indicators are woven into the center dash among the small gauges and a buttonless JVC premium CD player with MP3 capability is housed right above the center console. At the bottom of the dash, a hidden OBD II port is present for diagnostics issues and at the top of the dash a red 'button style' service engine soon light and blue 'button style' high beam indicator light are incorporated where the defroster vent would normally be. The door panels are completely factory and feature the cool twist lock knobs, door handles and chrome trim present in all 72 Corvettes. The restored console features the same simplistic look as the exterior of the car with a simple chrome and black shifter, chrome emergency brake handle and factory black arm rest. A black insert, where the console meets the dash, houses four buttons which operate the headlights. Those headlights utilize their own electric pump, instead of vacuum pressure from the motor, to ensure proper functioning at all times. In the cargo area you'll find an exposed 1000 watt JL Audio amp complete with neons and a 10 inch subwoofer. A smaller diameter steering wheel that mimics the pattern of an original '72 Corvette steering wheel has been installed for better drivability and serves as the one eye catching element of the interior.
This custom 1972 Chevrolet Corvette is beautifully built and incredibly functional. None of the original car's spectacular design elements have been compromised and best of all, the modern upgrades allow it to run with cars that are a third of its age. When you turn the key and the Twister LS1 rumbles to life through the huge side pipes, the serious nature of this car is both heard and felt: unmatched performance and style for about half what it would cost to build this car yourself. Call now!
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