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1967 Resto-Mod Corvette - Strange Brew

Take A Little C2, Add Some C4, A Full-Tube Chassis, And This Is What You Get

Kevin Shaw Dec 27, 2006

Thoroughly enjoying what you own should be the purpose of any possession. If not, people would never buy expensive cars, yachts, private planes, race cars, or any other toy imaginable. While thinking about any high-end item, most of us put a lot of forethought into the process and final result prior to the actual purchase.

That is the whole philosophy behind Bob Caruso's super-exotic '67 resto-mod Corvette. Bob wanted a mid-'60s Corvette, but without the rough ride, harsh steering, and the creaks and groans usually attached to a mid-year Corvette. Is that too much to wish for? Bob used his talents at Corvette Country and his friends at Billy Bob's Fast Expensive Cars, Inc. to assist him in building a modernized '67 coupe with all the creature comforts and contemporary power technology expected of a late-model Corvette.

Like any good build, a foundation needs to be laid. Bob opted to fabricate a full-tube chassis, used boxed tubing for the brunt of the body and race-grade round tubing for the suspension and engine cradle, while incorporating advanced C4 parts and geometry. The chassis was powdercoated LeMans blue to match the projected paint scheme before the stock brakes and control arms were mounted. The brakes were upgraded with ball-milled rotors, and new bushings ensured a smooth, comfortable ride. A Flaming River steering kit was used, saving valuable space in the engine compartment and a 2.73 Posi GM differential was bolted out back. With the rolling chassis in working order, he needed to find himself a powerplant to propel his new toy.

A Chevrolet LS6 was picked as the engine of choice and was promptly torn apart. The blocked was punched out to a final 468 ci as a Lunati crank and cam with TRW 10.25:1 pistons filled the sleeves. A Holley 780 double pumper resides atop the big-block, while a Richmond five-speed manual gearbox is bolted behind it. Each part of the engine and transmission was meticulously cleaned, painted, or polished for the look he wanted for the '67 coupe. With such a stout combination ready to run free, he rushed to bring the body back down onto the frame. The deadly combination of Bob Caruso's talents and Billy Bob's team had combined before to build another custom '67 a couple years earlier-Full Tilt-a suspended fully-operational Corvette that was displayed at the Barrett-Jackson Auction. With such rave results, Bob had no other choice but to call upon Billy Bob's to help out once again.

The stock body needed to be thoroughly massaged to properly fit the wide-set wheels and tires of the C4, making the rubber tuck deep in the wheelwells. Bob had Steve Mees at Billy Bob's handle the thick layers of urethane paint as the body was taped and prepped to receive a full coat of Ermine white and vintage race striping of LeMans blue across the center of the coupe. Running with the race theme, he chose to carry the C2 trend further by incorporating cues from the original Z06s, including the dual triple taillights out the back along with the air foils, scoops, and relief cuts all over the body. A clean homologation of street and racing, the coupe-named the Sick 7-finally came into it's own.

Billy Bob's was also responsible for the custom interior work. The Lakewood, New Jersey, shop restored the look of the original interior with bright blue and white trimmed vinyl with blue carpet. A custom dash was then made to integrate the new Auto meter gauges and Blue Moon lighting and console. A Vintage Air A/C kit was installed along with other opulent options. A Flaming River steering wheel was made with a matching blue wrapping.

The crew at Billy Bob's fabricated a new custom exhaust from the header flanges down to the Dynomax Bullet mufflers, sporting hefty 3-inch pipes the whole way down the body and spouting out the back.

The final result of all this labor and work was this one-off, super-exotic, '67 race-bred street machine that Bob relishes taking out on to the surface streets for a little fun. Of course, not too many people are daft enough to think this Corvette is all show and no go as the massive LS6 rumbles and snorts besides them at the light.



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