Tuxedo Black
Red
LS3 6.2L V8
5 Speed Manual
  • The beneficiary of a detailed, ground-up restoration
  • 6.2 liter GM LS3 V8 / 480 horsepower
  • Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual transmission
  • Art Morrison chassis / Custom suspension
  • Ford 9-inch rear axle / 3.50 gears
  • Leather interior / Upgraded audio
  • Power rack-and-pinion steering
  • 4-wheel power disc brakes
  • 17-inch Boyd Coddington wheels
  • Correct Tuxedo Black paint

SUMMARY

* The beneficiary of a detailed, ground-up restoration
* 6.2 liter GM LS3 V8 / 480 horsepower
* Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual transmission
* Art Morrison chassis / Custom suspension
* Ford 9-inch rear axle / 3.50 gears
* Leather interior / Upgraded audio
* Power rack-and-pinion steering
* 4-wheel power disc brakes
* 17-inch Boyd Coddington wheels
* Correct Tuxedo Black paint

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This first-class C1 packs an awful lot of 'WOW!' in to sinuous aesthetics. Professionally built as the ultimate pro-tourer, it combines modern performance with classic style. And, unlike so many resto-mod projects, this Chevy treats the Corvette brand with respect, sticking with Corvette power, a Corvette suspension, and a set of vintage-looking rims that would be right at home on any car from 1961!

BODYWORK/TRIM

Tuxedo Black with silver coves is a classic Corvette paint scheme, and in 1961 it was actually a $16 option. That said, this roadster's intricate build, conducted by well-known Corvette restorer Charlie Bacon of Running Springs, California, had a lot more zeros attached to its price tag. Outstanding detailing and incredible finishing are hallmarks of Charlie's work, and on this car, he and his team were certainly shooting for perfection. At the front of this Chevy's correct pigment, an ornate grille floats a chrome tag bracket between bright headlights, chrome-trimmed parking lamps and polished bumpers that wrap peaked fenders. Between those fenders, bold “CORVETTE” lettering leads the eye past a classy header emblem to a sculpted hood and like-new glass. At the top of that glass, pliable cloth abates summertime rain. Opposite that top, traditional door handles and a correct driver's mirror perfectly complement chrome fender vents and stainless-trimmed coves that are branded with cool Corvette emblems. And at the back of the car, more polished bumpers and a second chrome tag bracket reflect simple taillights, a translucent trunk roundel and a factory antenna.

ENGINE

In 1961, the top Corvette powerplant was a 315 horsepower, fuel injected 283. Today, this C1 is powered by a robust LS3 crate motor that, thanks to an upgraded cam, makes an easy 480 horsepower. Naturally, that aluminum mill is a perfect fit in the car's crisp bay. And Charlie and his team chose to keep all the engine's management systems intact, from its modern fuel injection to its distributorless ignition. That means the modern piece fires instantly and idles perfectly, the first time, every time. It means random cruises can pull down mid-20s fuel economy, while also hammering low 13-second quarter mile passes. And it means parts available at any auto parts store can be installed by any GM dealer.

DRIVETRAIN/SUSPENSION

Under this Vette, a Tremec TKO600 5-speed spins a 9-inch Ford axle that's finished with 3.50 gears. The entire chassis is a custom fabrication from Art Morrison, specifically designed to allow late-model running gear under vintage Corvette fiberglass. The car's front suspension uses coil-overs, fifth-generation Corvette control arms and power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. The aforementioned 9-inch is suspended on an adjustable 4-link that triangulates a second set of coil-overs. Stops are provided by two C5 calipers, two Wilwood calipers and four vented rotors. A large-diameter exhaust system threads coated pipes through coated Flowmaster mufflers. And the finishing touch is vintage-looking Boyd Coddington blades, which spin 235/45R17 Hankook Ventus in front of 255/45R17 Hankook Ventus.

INTERIOR

Like the rest of this Corvette, the red leather interior is a beautiful tribute to original design that's been updated with thoughtful convenience. Original seats were repacked and recovered during the detailed restoration. A color-keyed dash has been supplemented with an Auto Meter tachometer and upgraded Wonder Bar audio. There's a short Hurst shifter that reflects factory power windows. And the driver carves curves through a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

This impressive Corvette is beautifully built and incredibly functional. None of the car's original design elements have been compromised, and with a quick wheel change, it could probably do a pretty good impersonation of a stock C1. That is, until you turn the key and the LS3 rumbles to life… If you're looking for a classic that's as wonderful as drive as it is to look at, call your friends at RK Motors Charlotte!

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