This is a post for gearheads. And Corvette enthusiasts.
I had a 1965 Corvette Coupe follow me home in March, 2010. A shiny red disaster. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do or was looking for a project car. But this victim of 45 years of abuse adopted me. No, really. Once home, I had lengthy debate with myself about whether or not it had to be taken apart. I lost.
Example. There was the front. No headlights. No headlight inner structure. The top front brace was cut up. The inner fenders were messed up. And to top it off, there was 1/2-inch of fiberglass resin in the fillets where form used to be. So I don’t know if the front had be wrecked or what, but it was really butchered. After I finally got it off, there was evidence that it has been off the car before. Maybe more than once. And the firewall was damaged from previous repairs.
So far there is nothing I’ve taken off that hasn’t been removed before.
On the plus side of the ledger, the frame looks straight and rust free. And it has a 4-bolt main 350 date coded November, 1971. I did find the VIN number on the frame, and it does match the number on the VIN tag. Good things. But it’s not a “numbers matching” car. The fact that the car is so messed up is an advantage. I can’t feel guilty about not keeping it original—it’s not going to end up being a “hose clamp car.” That said, I want the body to look stock. Mid-years were my favorite Corvettes, probably because I was a teenager when they came out, and probably because I used to see them in combat with Cobras at the Riverside International Raceway.
from Sports Cars Graphic, August, 1965
This is an interesting comment I ran across recently about number matching Corvettes: GM did not imagine in their wildest dreams that matching numbers would be so important 40 or 50 years down the road. Say, for instance, engine parts. These parts came in from other manufactures and different GM locations by the thousands. The installers would start using them from the top of the pile and before they got to the bottom of that pile of parts another load came in and got mixed in with the first load and so on. Also, let’s imagine a engine was being assembled, or taped, and a drill and a tap or bolt broke off in the block. The engine was sent to the repair shop that had one employee per shift working in it to repair these problems. The person that told me this was a GM employee that repaired these mistakes and said they were backed up 90 days. When GM got to the end of the year, and they had a thousand carbs left over from 1964, do you think they threw them away or even changed their date codes? No, they put them on the next year’s cars or they went to the parts department and sold or installed as needed. All GM parts have a GM part number on it. That is the important thing. NCRS made the date codes important. Keep in mind most of the Corvettes fresh off the assembly line would not get 70 points if be judged today. There were a lot of variables when these cars were built and many of them outside NCRS’ square.
About the Assembly Manual
A friend loaned me his 1967 Corvette Assembly Manual. It contains drawings from the ’60s of every part that was on a 1967 Corvette. The drawings are not like produced today from 3D CAD models. The drawings in the manual are done by hand, a painstaking process if you’ve ever done exploded views. Contained in the manual are drawings of the optional 36 gallon fuel tank showing the tank location in front of the rear axle, the interior cover, filler neck, and unique jack location. I’ve only seen one such equipped car. There is also a drawing of a cancelled inner hood cold air plenum for the triangular tri-power air cleaner installed on the 400 and 435 HP 427s. The Assembly Manual is a big file, but great to look through. I scanned it and created a PDF instead of merely creating a photocopy. I’m going to need it to put the car back together. You can enjoy just looking through it.
The galleries contain a few shots with captions of the first stage of the project. I’ll post new photos as the project progresses.
September, 2009 Photos
March and April, 2010 Photos
June, 2010 Photos