As a kid, I always wanted a car bed. Obviously I couldn’t have a car and pretending to drive a cardboard box got old quickly. Luckily, kids now don’t even need an imagination with Step 2′s Z06 Corvette Bed. It’s a pretty accurate re-creation of the Z06 in bed-form, except that it’s slammed (which is […]
Story richard Truesdell / Images Richard Truesdell and Edward Peghin
Corvettes and television go together like tea and honey, going all the way back to the Corvette’s inception in 1953, when both were in their infancy.
To many, the connection reached its height with Route 66, which ran from 1960 to 1964 on the CBS network. Tod (Martin Milner) and Buz (George Maharis, whose character was later replaced by Linc, played by Glenn Corbett) took to the highway and the Corvette was forever linked to the Mother Road.
In the years since, Corvettes have starred in prominent roles in dozens of other TV programs, movies, and popular culture.
At the same time that Tod and Linc drove off into the sunset, there was a Corvette that was to become an icon of the marque, the Grand Sport. Developed by Zora Arkus-Dontov, it was a lightweight racing version of the Corvette whose styling mirrored the then-new C2 Sting Ray. Over the years, countless Grand Sport replicas and tributes have been built, some based on C2 Corvettes, others on custom frames.
But what if you could combine the styling cues of the original Grand Sport, but underpin it with the state-of-the-art chassis of a C6 Corvette? That question wasn’t lost on Dan Woods, host of the popular wrenching show Chop Cut Rebuild (CCR) that airs on the SPEED Channel along with Laurent and Mike Bensaid of Corvette Specialty of California (CSOC), located in Riverside, California.
Chop Cut Rebuild works on concurrent builds over the course of 13 episodes. In its seventh season in 2010, the CCR team worked on two start-to-finish build-ups. One was a 1969 Dodge Hemi Charger; the other was a Corvette Grand Sport tribute built on a contemporary C6 chassis.
The build was planned in late 2009 and early 2010 with the design and renderings – by CSOC’s in-house artist Gaston Gardeazabal – completed in mid-February, 2010. This would give the CSOC and CCR teams less than nine months to complete the car in time for its planned debut at the 2010 SEMA Show. Dan Woods is a very hands-on host, so he had the opportunity to do something that most of us can only dream of, cutting up and modifying the bodywork on a current-generation Corvette.
While the car would be fitted with an E-Force Edelbrock supercharger, many of the segments would be centered on the extensive modifications to the body. This presented a dilemma to Woods and series director Ed Peghin, who noted, “We quickly realized that documenting the Grand Sport, or GS as we called it, would be a challenge. How much entertainment could we extract from the build of a fiberglass vehicle? Designing a vehicle out of fiberglass is a laborious and painstaking process that does not make for exciting television once the viewer understands the process. How much filler, sanding, gluing, and more sanding, sanding, sanding can we show beyond one episode?”
Starting on the morning of March 18, 2010, Laurent attacked the C6 ’Vette like a man on a mission. Front bumper, rear bumper, rear fenders — all removed. The rear window, gone. The interior was stripped down to its barest essentials.
With the first segments in the can, it would be a month before the CCR team would return. When they did, the CSOC team had applied the fiberglass and filler to the rear and the seductive shape, with the split-window treatment, was taking shape. Dan Woods got an education in the art in applying fiberglass, which was chronicled in front of the CCR cameras.
As the bodywork progressed, maintaining a rigid schedule, attention turned to the mechanicals. In addition to the planned modifications under the hood, the GS was treated to a comprehensive suspension upgrade with components supplied by Pfadt Race Engineering in Salt Lake City, Utah. But there was a complication in the build process.
With winter moving into spring, the economy impacted the build. Mike and Laurent had to deal with several small family-owned suppliers going out of business, threatening to derail the build process. The solution was to purchase a second Corvette to install the mechanical upgrades while the body fabrication would proceed on the initial car.
Next, the CCR team visited the Edelbrock facility in Torrance, California, to detail the fabrication of the E-Force supercharger that would add 200 horsepower to GS. For the next episode, they returned the following week to CSOC with the hardware to document the installation of the E-Force supercharger on the second C6. This was followed by the installation of Baer brakes and Rated X wheels, designed by Jason Rushforth of Rushforth Wheels in Huntington Beach, California.
While the mechanical upgrades on car two kept the project on schedule, Laurent and Mike redesigned the Corvette’s stock interior. The interior received a complete facelift, with the stock trim replaced with leather and suede everywhere, in shades of black and gray accented with contrasting blue stitching. When the installation was complete, there was no low-rent vinyl to be seen anywhere in the cockpit.
Over the last two months, molds were produced so the rear-quarter, split-window treatment could be applied to the second C6. This was followed by painting, cutting, and buffing of the now-completed bodywork. Like many similar efforts, the design is polarizing with some loving it, while others have their reservations. One thing is certain: the craftsmanship is flawless, in a way that reflects well on everyone connected with the project.
Combining two generations of Corvettes into a single car is something that many have attempted. Getting the two generations to mesh perfectly is elusive, but not in this case as everyone connected with this ambitious build has something to be proud of.
The fact that every important step of the way was documented by the cameras of CCR (and is available for purchase as a DVD of the seventh season), make this a special treat for ’Vette fans.
The auction company is generously donating valuable auction time for the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation (CMCF) to auction a completely refurbished 1969 Riverside Gold Corvette Stingray coupe as lot #57 (charity lot 3001).
For the third year in a row, the CMCF has been privileged to run a Corvette through the Barrett-Jackson auction. Over the past two years, the auction has raised almost $80,000 for the charity. The Foundation is hoping another bidder will generously step up and become a part of automotive history in purchasing the 1969 Stingray. All net proceeds from the auction of this Corvette will go toward amyloidosis research.
Chip Miller was co-founder of Corvettes at Carlisle and Carlisle Events in Pennsylvania. Chip was very well-known and loved in the Corvette community worldwide but in March 2004, he passed away from a little-known disease called amyloidosis. The Chip Miller Charitable Foundation (CMCF) was formed to help spread awareness of this disease and raise money for educational and research purposes.
The Foundation’s goal is for earlier diagnosis to affect better treatment outcomes. If Chip and his doctors were aware of the symptoms of amyloidosis when they first presented, he might still be with us today. The mission of the CMCF is to empower people with the knowledge and understanding of amyloidosis for earlier detection, ensuring a better quality of life for those afflicted with the disease and to help science find the cures.
The 1969 Corvette Stingray is generously being donated for the third year in a row by San Diego Classic and Muscle Cars of Escondido CA. It is being offered at no reserve and is a rare, one-year color in Riverside Gold with a saddle interior. It features a matching numbers original 350ci V8 with an automatic transmission, fresh repaint, new interior, and brand new Firestone wide oval redline tires that are authentic to the car.
The Corvette also includes:
• Factory air-conditioning, power windows, steering and brakes, tilt and telescoping wheel
• New bumpers, new emblems, new door handles and new rally wheel derby caps, big block hood
• Owner’s books
• VIN: 194379S715336
In addition to the new tires that were donated by Coker Tires, Reliable Carriers Inc. will ship the car at no cost to the buyer anywhere in the contiguous United States. So, that’s no auction fees courtesy of Barrett-Jackson and no shipping costs AND all the net proceeds go to an important cause – everyone should be bidding on this beautiful Corvette!
This refurbished like-new Corvette was made possible by our generous sponsors Mid America Motorworks and Trim Parts. The winning bidder will also receive a huge basket of car care items from Adam’s Polishes and the ultimate Corvette experience with four free passes each to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant and to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY. Finally, the winner will be able to join us at Corvettes at Carlisle with their free fun field pass in August 2012 courtesy of Carlisle Events.
During the 2010 Auction, the “auction experience” featured the first-ever wedding at Barrett-Jackson (click here to read more). The newly married couple, Donna and Joe Miller (no relation to Chip Miller) drove the Corvette onto the block at auction time. “I’m not sure we can top that,” said Lance Miller, Chip’s son, “but we’re hoping three times is a charm to help us fight the terrible disease that took my father too soon.”
Tune in to Speed TV to watch the action – the car is lot number 57 (charity lot 3001) and is scheduled to roll across the block at approximately 7:00 pm Arizona time on January 17, 2012.
by John Coyle Corvette Forum Apparently, this driver had laid down some great times during earlier runs. But then the track and his tires cooled down… And then this happened. On first glace it doesn’t even look like he’s moving that quickly when when he nails the curb, but since the car goes up on […]
by John CoyleCorvette Forum This is a great story. Apparently, a 21-year-old kid in British Columbia tried to steal a Corvette right from under the nose of its owner?who’d just jumped the car?but was foiled by the autolock system. Details come from the Canadian Press: “The owner watched in disbelief as the thief rolled up […]