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Took the '54 for a shake down ride today (video)

 
Old 08-06-2016, 08:45 PM
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Randy G.
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Default Took the '54 for a shake down ride today (video)

In 2006 we bought a Pennant Blue 1954 Corvette. After spending 4 years in a scavenger hunt looking for correct original parts already restored or ready to be restored I started a frame on restoration. When we got it it was cosmetically nice on the outside but was a hacked and butchered mechanical wreck. Once I finished it a few years ago it was driveable but not right. There were still several "issues". One of them was the cast iron powerglide that leaked and slipped no matter what I tried. I finally threw in the towel a few months ago and took it to Julian from 4 C's Transmission in Santa Fe Springs. He's an old school guy who knows all the tricks to make these things the transmission GM should have made in the first place. I got it all back together this morning (again) today and wow....what a great driving little car.

Short list of what I did after buying it 10 years ago:

Completely stripped it down to a just a body sitting on the frame.

I installed all new wiring from LL and converted it back to 6 volts. After pulling some all nighters everything works including the Wonderbar radio and original clock.

The interior was a mess. I stripped it to raw fiberglass, had it repainted, and started from zero. Even the soft top frame was junk. Lil' John in Huntington Beach did a full top restoration and it turned out like brand new.

The Blue Flame Six had a truck head, passenger car distributor, 911 block but spun #2 rod bearing because the pick-up fell out off the oil pump somewhere in it's history. I looked and looked and finally found an original correctly dated 241 head in great shape, found a Corvette tach drive distributor, and took my time finding original parts to complete the engine compartment. I finally found an original wire style dip stick after looking years for one.

I rebuilt the rear end, brakes, had Whitepost Restorations do the master cylinder. All new stainless brake lines, stainless fuel lines, all routed as original. Removed and cleaned out the gas tank, installed a new float assembly for the gas gauge, had all the gauges restored (prior owner hooked 12 volts up and fried the amp meter, gas gauge, and the radio power supply).

I had the original radiator serviced, paid big bucks for an original water pump, carbs had holes drilled in them so I found a set of newly restored originals. Since it's a late VIN I sold the fake Boettger bullet style air cleaners that came with it and found an original dual pot set up, and I found all the clips, cables, etc., to hook up the throttle and chokes.

Bottom line nothing was left untouched.

So, today I took it for a ride and posted the short little video I took on YouTube. I thought I would share my first ride in about six months in it here.



Last edited by Randy G.; 08-06-2016 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:08 PM
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Here's the fire up video. The car is FILTHY from sitting for six months.

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Old 08-06-2016, 09:31 PM
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she's a real beauty man. very nice indeed.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:18 PM
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Sweet!!!!!
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:37 AM
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.....very nice....
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:13 AM
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Frankie the Fink
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A fine bit of business all round !
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:42 AM
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Nice. Brings back old memories of my 54.

I love the sound of those old 6 bangers.
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:58 AM
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Very nice
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:25 AM
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Very nice! She is a beauty; really love the interior!

Congratulations on resolving the trans problem.

Mike
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the ride. Absolutely beautiful color combination
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:12 AM
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Lots of hard work has paid off in super dividends. Beautiful car. Now go out and enjoy her!
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:25 AM
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GOD bless each and every one of the people that undertake the projects like you have and that successfully complete them.

I'm not a "numbers"or "correct" guy but I appreciate and recognize the effort made to do what you have done with this car.

Congratulations on your perseverance. Great result.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:38 AM
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Great looking car! Congratulations on following it through.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:47 AM
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Congrats on a very nice corvette. Enjoy em while you can
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:21 PM
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Looks beautiful, and sounds great, enjoy the summer.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:25 PM
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Thank you.

One thing about these very first C1's (53-55's) that most don't realize is how difficult it can be to find parts. Not much gets reproduced because the production numbers were so low it's not profitable for the Big Box Corvette parts suppliers to bother with them. It's easy to find 1962 parts in comparison, and it seems like they are 70% cheaper, part for part IF you can find them.

Thanks to the guys who took the time and expense to supply parts for the 53-55's that in most cases are long gone and can't be found.



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Old 08-07-2016, 04:21 PM
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She's a beauty! Nice job!
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Old 08-07-2016, 05:15 PM
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a real gem.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:43 PM
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Terrific! Another one saved!
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:24 PM
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Excellent
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