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1963 Corvette Combines Performance of Old and New

The Raytona: Named for the owner’s love of sting rays and the racing history of Daytona

Ron Ceridono Apr 29, 2016
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Steve and Cathy Percival of Richmond, Texas, are the proud owners and Randy Borcherding, of the PAINTHOUSE in Cypress, Texas, is the builder of the 1963 Corvette roadster seen here. No stranger to performance cars, the Percival’s garage houses a newer Corvette and even a couple of Ferraris, but what they wanted was a Vette with a vintage vibe of Daytona and contemporary capabilities and that’s what Randy created.

Starting from the ground up, the original 1963 frame now has polished C4 suspension components on both ends with Hyperco coilovers (500-lb springs in front, 400-lb in the rear)—a combination that lowered the roadster’s ride height by 2 inches compared to stock. Steering is now via rack-and-pinion and the brakes have been updated with Wilwood components; six-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors in front with four-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors in the rear. The unique wheels at each corner are Modsports from Schott Wheels, 17x8 up front and 18x8.5 in the rear, wrapped with Yokohama S.drive tires, 215/45R17 and 245/40R18 respectively.

1963 Chevy Corvette Front View 2/55
1963 Chevy Corvette Engine Bay 3/55
1963 Chevy Corvette Engine View 4/55

Powering the roadster is a 1986 Chevrolet small-block displacing 355 cubic inches that is equipped with a forged crankshaft and pistons hooked together with Eagle connecting rods. A custom grind ’shaft from Comp Cams opens the valves in the Trick Flow heads, which are topped by an Inglese cross-ram manifold mounting four Weber 44 DCOE carburetors. The mixture from the exotic intake system is fired by an MSD distributor and spent gasses are carried off by Stainless Works headers and side pipes chosen for their classic look and sound. Up front, the engine wears a March serpentine drive system and on the back of the V-8 is a Hays flywheel mounting a Centerforce clutch hooked to a TREMEC TKO five-speed transmission. Power from that assemblage of parts is delivered through an aluminum driveshaft to a Super Dana 44 centersection with 3.55 gears and a Trac-Loc differential.

1963 Chevy Corvette Side View 5/55
1963 Chevy Corvette Side View 6/55
1963 Chevy Corvette Hood 7/55

When it was time to turn his attention to the body, Randy described it as being in “fairly good condition with one large crack in the fender.” The intent was to keep the body absolutely stock, the exceptions being the widened inner front fenders for tire clearance, recontoured bumpers that fit more closely to the body and the 1967 hood because “that’s the sexiest Corvette hood ever made.”

With the bodywork finished to perfection, which involved hours and hours of block-sanding, PAINTHOUSE began applying the custom-mixed PPG Raytona Blue Pearl that consisted of four coats of DBC basecoat followed by six coats of D-8152 clear, wet-sanded between the third and fourth coat. This car certainly proves the basis for an outstanding paintjob is a super-straight surface to apply it over.

1963 Chevy Corvette Rear View Convertible 8/55
1963 Chevy Corvette Front Seats 9/55
1963 Chevy Corvette Gauges 1 10/55

With the doors to the roadster opened those lucky enough to go for a spin are welcomed by custom sill plates from Greening Auto Company with car’s name, Raytona, illuminated with LEDs. Once inside, passengers get to sample Paul Atkins Hot Rod Interiors stunning handiwork in blue and black leather. Eric Brockmeyer gets credit for designing the interior as well as the Ferrari-inspired instruments (with a shift light in the tachometer) that were built by Classic Instruments. To keep temperatures under control a Vintage Air unit supplies hot or cold air as required. One thing not found in the interior is a radio, music provided by a hidden system that uses an iPod or iPhone, and of course there is the aforementioned exhaust system for true stereo listening pleasure.

Raytona has been a big hit on the show circuit and was displayed at the HIRA banquet at the 2015 SEMA Show, an honor bestowed on few cars. Of course we were also curious to know what it’s like to drive and that was summed up in one clear, concise statement—it’s a blast. Handling is tight and precise; the brakes are very good and very predictable. Randy summed it up by saying is feels like a modern vehicle with the style, sound and visual impact of a classic Corvette—and it’s got side pipes, too!

1963 Chevy Corvette Rear Side View 11/55
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