Gerald Copeland's '62 Corvette

It Had a Total Makeover, and Has Never Been Younger

Ronnie Hartman Jun 1, 2002 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

It’s hard to believe that this gorgeous ’62 was described as “rough but driveable” when Gerald Copeland decided to take it home two years ago, but he’d been down that road before. He knew he could resurrect its lost luster. We were wowed by his silver ’62 a couple of years ago (“Starlit ’62,” July 2000) after he’d worked his magic on it.

Gerald doesn’t restore his Corvettes to attain Duntov or Benchmark awards—he does these projects to please himself alone. In the case of this ’62, it was to please his wife, Diane. She’ll be the one collecting compliments as she drives this superb Corvette.

When Gerald started this project, everything went according to schedule because he knew what to expect. He, his son Daniel, and a few friends made short work of it. The only outside help was with the painting and seat re-covering. It took just about a year to effect the changes. The high-tech rolling chassis came from Corvette Central. Gerald chose it because it didn’t require running negative offset wheels, as with a C4 suspension.

Ram Jet fuel injection has replaced carburetion. Gerald installed a ’77 Corvette shifter. Rear suspension is a four-bar setup with adjustable coilovers. Scott Whidby did the PPG Scarlet Red paintwork. Gerald added rack-and-pinion steering, air conditioning, digital gauges, and a tilt wheel. Wheels are Billet Specialties (18x7 front and 10x10 rear) wrapped with Michelin tires.

Diane will probably do most of the driving when they take their newest Corvette to shows. Like their others, this one will undoubtedly bring home some awards. And, like their others, it will remain in their custody indefinitely. Of course, there will be other projects. Gerald says, “I try to get better with each car I do. Considerable time was spent sanding the firewall and inner fenders to make them look as good as the body. The frame has been powdercoated, and the suspension, exhaust, and driveshaft have been ceramic-coated. The cowl hood was necessary to clear the engine, and the tilt wheel is out of an early Buick. This really helps entering and exiting the car.” His final pronouncement is that “performance is great with this setup, as is driveability and braking. Its looks, performance, and handling are about as good as it gets!”

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