Bob Bertelsen has always been into cars, even before he could drive. As he told us, “In 1966, my dad bought a ’67 Camaro and gave it to my mom for Christmas. It was her first new car, and in 1990 she gave it to me for Christmas.” It was a mess, but eventually Bob scrounged up parts and got it into decent shape. With his feet wet in the hobby he picked up a ’67 in 2001 that was featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Super Chevy and a few other books. It was yellow-on-yellow with a touch of yellow and it won a ton of awards and praise. And so it went, Bob would get another car and build it up with each build being cooler and more complex than the one previous.
“I’m just hooked on racing. I’m an addict. I’ll occasionally drag race but I really love autocross—that’s my thing. With autocross, you’re competing against yourself in some ways because you’re trying to beat your old time. But you’re also trying to beat everyone else’s time. It’s very competitive and when I get to the line I just block everything out. I get a real rush out of it. I’m very competitive so with every vehicle I build I try to get faster. When I first started doing this I would build show cars you could race, but now I build race cars you can show,” recalled Bob.
His latest project is a ’68 T-top Vette called Green Mamba. Bob has done all the fabrication work himself in his garage at home, and the project has taken just over a year. As Bob relayed, “I designed the Corvette to look stylish and modern by reshaping the nose and adding 14-LED headlights that are in a 1.5-inch-tall opening. For the hood, I took a ZL1 Camaro hoodscoop, grafted it to the old, original hood and then took out some of the original lines to smooth things out. I think it makes it flow better and gives it a cleaner look. Obviously the car is flared and a lot was done to the back. I sloped the rear window so that it blends back into the rear panels. Then I cut in a trunk and built all the seals around it so that I could store stuff. Other changes include a carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber bumpers, carbon-fiber rear wing, and mirrors. I eliminated badges, side marker lights, and trim from the car, and I moved the license plate higher up.” For suspension, the C3 will be utilizing Detroit Speed parts with JRi socks and the huge Baer brakes will reside inside Forgeline CVC3 Concave three-piece wheels wrapped in BFG rubber. AutoMeter gauges will track the vitals from the Holley-controlled Keith Urban 427 LS engine backed by a TREMEC Magnum six-speed transmission with a Centerforce DYAD clutch. By the time you read this the retina-ripping green Corvette should be on the road and already shot for a full feature in Super Chevy.