1962 Corvette - Black Cherry Bomb

Making The Most Of A Total Basket-Case '62 Roadster

Kevin Shaw Dec 17, 2007 0 Comment(s)
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This razor-edge tail carried over almost exactly into the next-generation Corvette, the Sting Ray.

One year while Mark McLin and his pals were strolling the swap meet rows at the annual Corvettes at Carlisle show, they happened upon a pile of '62 corvette parts with a price tag so astronomically high they stopped to laugh. But they soon realized the price really wasn't that absurd because beneath the scattered interior pieces, fenders, and door panels was a SRIII Motorsports tubular chassis, suspension, and running gear from a LT-1-powered '95 Super Sport Impala.

When the check cleared, Mark had some explaining to do to his wife, who had become accustomed to new arrivals appearing in the driveway. But when a trailer full of banana crates containing mix-matched pieces of several cars and a duct taped-together '62 Corvette was delivered, it was plausible that thoughts of either divorce or murder crossed her mind. Before Mark and his compatriots had left the Carlisle fairgrounds, they had heaved the body onto the chassis, taping the Frankensteinian Corvette together with four rolls of the silver tape.

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Mark loves classic Detroit iron, but admits he's no automotive savant. Rather, he opted to hire his good friend, Mike Coletta, to do all the dirty work. Apparently, Mike had nothing else to do or has a work ethic worthy of TLC's Overhaulin' because the transformation from a pile of strewn and scattered parts to this gorgeous roadster took a mere four months! Mike quickly discovered several different identification numbers-the car would end up being a compilation of eight Corvettes. The original car at one point had been cut in half. (We're not sure why anyone would want to cut a Corvette in half.)

The SRIII chassis contained all the suspension gear of a C4 Corvette with factory discs at all four corners. Since the stock coilovers were used, Mark opted for a set of chromed Z06 C5 rims.

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The General never offered the factory '62 Vettes with as much rubber as Mark McLin has.

In addition to the total mechanical rebuild, Mike also handled the installation of the interior. Shoreline beige vinyl was used for the Al Knoch seats, and an oxblood color carpet was laid to match the exterior paint of Patriot Red Pearl that Mike applied. The interior sports modern-day amenities such as Alpine speakers and a futuristic flip-out DVD center-console system.

A previous owner had pulled the engine and 700R4 automatic overdrive transmission from a '95 Impala SS years ago. The only modifications Mark felt were necessary for the engine was a wild dress-up of polished chrome, aluminum, and painted-to-match covers and accents. The transmission received a Lo-Car shifter to gently knock the gears under any driving condition. He says the exhaust is stock, but with a quick glance at those coated headers and big tailpipes, we beg to differ.

Much like a chef and his secret recipes, Mark is not quite ready to divulge all his Corvette's secrets. A wicked combination of classic lines and curves with the modern technology and science of performance and handling, this '62 is a masterful example of how to blend the two genres into one amazing piece of machinery.

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