We've featured Vette-Rods across a span of degrees. We've shown highly modified C1s until you've written us letters. We've covered the development of the C5 from the beginning. But never before has the union of a C5 and a C1 been so seamlessly executed than in Jeff Price's unrivaled Canary Yellow '62 Vette-Rod. Jeff, with the backing of a squadron of highly talented craftsmen and fabricators, has crafted something so purpose-built, so unique, and so wild that we would be remiss not to drool all over it.
The Marietta, Georgia, resident has enjoyed everything the late-model marketplace offers with a stable of vehicles, including an '02 Cadillac Escalade EXT, an '04 Cadillac XLR, an '03 Infinity FX45, and an '02 modified convertible Corvette with powertrain and braking upgrades. But it's his experience with classic Stingrays-a restored 327/300hp, four-speed '68 convertible and a restored '74 drop-top-that came into play when it came time to plan for a project machine. Knowing full well that the stylistic lines of the classic Vettes would likely never be rivaled again by anything under $100,000, Jeff decided upon the earliest Corvette he could find.
Jeff says, "The '62 has always been one of my favorite Corvettes. Had I not experienced the outstanding performance of the '02 C5, I might have put up with the old technology for the looks of a stock '62, but it's hard to go back. As a long-time subscriber to Corvette Fever, the Vette-Rod features got me interested in one of my own. After a lot of research and searching, I came across a builder in Lancaster, South Carolina. He had started with a more common C4 suspension conversion in mind, but ended with a vision that included C5 performance. The end result was sacrificing a perfectly good '99 C5 to yield a supercharged LS6 rolling on Z06 rubber and a '62 stretched, lowered, and widened body."
Three more inches were given to the door and wheelwells, while the grille, hood, convertible top, trunk lid, and windshield all remained the same. The front and rear bumpers received 4 extra inches (2 on each side) to accept the new widened body. A custom rear splash panel was fabricated to accommodate the additional width as well, and an air dam was custom built in the same manner. The rolling stock includes Z06 calipers, dimpled and slotted rotors, and the use of the factory C5 Z51 suspension package. Large chromed Z06 wheels were wrapped in Goodyear 265/40ZR17s up front and 295/ZR18s out back. A torque tube stiffener plate from Elite Engineering was installed by MTI Racing, as well as a Fidanza lightweight flywheel and a MTI Racing Stage II Kevlar clutch assembly.
The project car was disassembled and shipped off in pieces to a variety of shops and technicians. The sacrificed C5 gave up its 173-inch chassis and most everything else to complete the build. The C1 body was severed in several sections and widened a total of 4 inches and lengthened by 3 inches to fit the factory platform. Two inches were added to the front fenders, filling the space between the headlights and the grille; two inches were added to the doors and to their respective sills. This, of course, required cutting the front of the inner door to allow for enough clearance. Another two inches were squeezed into the fenders. Reshaping the quarters, the slope, and downward crease for the extra length actually gave it a more aggressive look.
The C5 fuel tank required that the C1 trunk be raised to accommodate the factory location. This modification took raising the trunk pan 3 inches across the tail. to house the proposed LS6, the engine bay was blocked, smoothed, and painted the same as the body color. "Special attention," Jeff says, "was taken to maintain the placement and layout of the components consistent with the C5 arrangement. The interior is a great blend of new and old. The C5 dash was shortened approximately 2 1/2 inches. This provided the C5 comfort and convenience with tilt steering, computer functions, A/C, heat, and a modern stereo. The custom '62 seats and panels-made from black and yellow leather-were provided by Leon Gandy of Sumter, South Carolina. The seats and panels include body color accents."
The '62's gasoline-fueled motivation comes from an LS6 crate motor with enough work and fine tuning to match the man-hours poured into the body. Supercharged, the worked-over plant sports polished cylinder heads, valve covers, alternator, water pump, pulleys, and the whole engine block, along with a king's portion of steel braided lines. The Magnuson puts the screws to the Z06 plant via 7 pounds of boost and chilled by an intercooler. A MTI Racing composite mass-air-flow sensor and K&N filter ensure the small block gets plenty of O2. While the powertrain was at MTI's Marietta, Georgia, facility, it got custom-built, ceramic-coated, long-tube headers that flow into a completely stainless exhaust system featuring a crossover pipe. It doesn't have catalytic converters because the car is registered as a '62.
Before leaving MTI, dyno testing resulted in 480 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels, equating to roughly 560 at the flywheel. Of course, since Jeff swears the Corvette is used primarily for showing off and "pleasure," we think by that he means boiling off the tires whenever his right leg needs to stretch.
Brilliant in '67 Canary Yellow, the body is the most striking feature on this ride with much thanks to Mickey Stackes of Lancaster, South Carolina, for his artistic eye and Roger Moseley of Kershaw, South Carolina, for his flawless paint job. With a totaled tally of 4,000 documented man hours in the body alone, this Corvette proudly shows every minute of it.