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Bill Lofgren’s ’65 Corvette

This Timeless Corvette is Classic in Design, Improved with Modern Technology. Its Tag Reads, Appropriately, “65ZR1.”

Dale M. Moreau Jun 1, 2002

Step By Step

Bill Lofgren of Portland, Oregon, has memories of a dear friend built into the modifications of this ’65. Bill’s childhood pal, Bruce Stevenson, bought the car when it was about a year old. It was a race car then with a built 396. Bruce ran the car long and hard, eventually replacing the 396 with a 427. Bruce had many other cars, and developed a long relationship with Steve Frisbee of Steve’s Auto Restorations in Gesham, Oregon. Bruce and Steve became close friends, and many cars passed through the shop’s doors. Longtime employee and master car builder Dave Eckert was there when Bruce brought in the ’65 for a total makeover. When you build a project for a customer from the ground up, you get to know him very well, and Bruce and Dave became very close. Dave and his crew were devastated when Bruce suddenly passed away.

The ’65 was only half done then, and the family sold the car to Bruce’s old buddy, Bill. Bill planned to finish the project himself, but when he realized the complexity of it, he decided to have Steve’s Auto Restorations (S.A.R.) help him. After talking with Steve’s crew, Bill decided to see the project through as his departed friend Bruce would have liked it.

That isn’t the factory silver paint—it’s Silver Mist, a Toyota shade! Air conditioning is by Vintage Air and S.A.R. The redesign of the front spoiler, hood ducts, and wheel flares offer telltale clues about what lies underneath. That front spoiler has a built-in engine oil cooler, and ducts to cool the front brakes. A good share of a ’93 ZR-1 is plugged into the revamped frame of the old car, and it boasts steering, brakes, and suspension components from ’96 Corvette technology. Dave Eckert modified the frame in such a way that the car has a 50/50 balance, 1,700 pounds front and 1,700 pounds rear, and he says with its LT5 engine turning 450 hp, it will outrun any Corvette on the road.

Bill Lofgren can be proud that he has carried out his friend’s dream, making it his own. This timeless Corvette is classic in design, improved with modern technology. Its tag reads, appropriately, “65ZR1.”



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