Roll back the tape to the '80s, when Pro Street was king and supercharged, "tubbed" high-performance cars ruled the land. For Rod Saboury it was a great time. He was the king. His white '63 split-window Corvette was in every performance magazine, a real daily driver he and his wife, Tina, from Millers, Maryland, enjoyed driving to shows, cruise nights, or just for fun.
But that was then and this is now. Rod's first '63 is no more, replaced by another '63 Pro Street Corvette. His current '63 began as a total basket case from a small garage in Reading, Pennsylvania. Rod restored the exterior of the car and applied Nassau Blue paint and a '67 big-block Corvette hood with the help of John Millar.
Under the hood he installed an '01 Z06 LS6 engine. To keep it cool, Ron Davis created the all-aluminum radiator and added Vintage Air A/C to keep the occupants cool regardless of the weather. Currently the car gets 20 mpg on most long drives.
The interior was restored by Dave Bennett using Al Knoch white leather and includes a stock teak wheel and a customized AM/FM radio. Modifications to the exhaust were significant and include Flowmaster mufflers. The rear suspension was completely reworked around the severely narrowed Ford 9-inch rearend which uses 4.10:1 gears, Wilwood disc brakes, and Strange axles and mounts to the chassis with a four-link and coilover shocks. The front suspension is Mustang II and uses Bilstein front shocks, '68 Chevelle disc brakes, and a Chris Alston custom rack-and-pinion steering system.
The big tires out back are Mickey Thompsons mounted on 15x14-inch Budnik wheels using stock-style knock-offs. The front tires are also Mickeys mounted on 15x4-inch wheels of a similar look.
But the current '63 will soon be moving out in favor of yet another '63. This time, Rod has a higher goal in sight. While the last two '63s were certainly impressive, the new car will be equally usable for local runs, but is pointing skyward in terms of performance. With twin-turbos, a 400ci small-block, a four-speed Lenco transmission along with other performance parts, Rod is shooting for a 200-mph top end while retaining the street-legal orientation. Knowing his engineering abilities, we expect he'll reach his target. His previous car, a Pro Street '57 Corvette, was the first car of its type to click off 7-second quarter-mile times. Hitting 200 mph and 6 seconds in the quarter-mile with the new car shouldn't be much of a challenge. When Rod hits his goal, we'll let you know.