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Concours-Quality 1957 Corvette was the Exception to the Kustom 1970’s Rule

From the Archives: Corvette d’Elegance

Drew Hardin Jan 26, 2017 0 Comment(s)
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In the 1970s Hot Rod magazine regularly ran special Corvette-themed issues, usually with some variation of the words “Wild Street Vettes!” on the cover. The car that would accompany those cover lines was typically a Corvette that had been modified with widebody fenders that barely (if at all) covered huge tires, front and rear spoilers, massive side pipes, a psychedelic (or panel, or lace) paintjob—or all of the above.

Hey, it was the 1970s. If you were there, you understand.

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Engine 2/4

So imagine our surprise when we found this tastefully modified 1957 roadster while leafing through the July 1974 Vette special. It belonged to “a TV producer from North Hollywood” named Stan Wrightsman, who “wanted to build a Concours d’Elegance winner but didn’t have the ready cash for a 300 SL Gullwing,” said HRM.

Instead, he “did the next best thing: He switched to the ’glassic ’57 Corvette and has been knocking ’em dead—three firsts, three seconds and one third in competition—ever since.”

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Interior 3/4

The U.S. Mags five-spokes mounting Delta G70-15s are the most obvious alteration to what otherwise looks like a very stock car. And, in fact, Stan had a set of standard wheels with whitewalls and hubcaps to mount for shows. But he also upgraded the chassis with “Gabriel and specially made Hellwigs [sway bars] for additional cornering, H-D Vette springs, Traction Masters and Vette ceramic linings.” The Venetian Red paint was sprayed on by “Pete the Painter,” Tony Nancy stitched the fresh Naugahyde “and good friend Dave O’Neil helped with assembling the engine,” said the magazine.

“It’s the Wrightsman way to go.”

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Trunk 4/4

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