Other neat touches include the systems that open, close, and hold closed the hood, decklid, and tonneau cover without latches. "We put the electric actuators on the hood so we didn't have to put any kind of a latch assembly on it," says King. "We also did the same thing on the trunk and the tonneau cover; there are no latches on them. They're all held down with the pressure from the electric actuators."
Street Rod Concepts added one item that was unplanned, but turned out beautifully: a custom grille made of 10-gauge, flat-rolled steel, per King. He says, "I sent the original grille to a chrome plater in Houston. They broke it in half and wouldn't admit they broke it. When it came back, the way they welded it and chromed it looked terrible. So I threw it away, and the owner said, 'Make me a nice custom grille.' One of the young guys who works for me made it and had it chromed. "
That owner sold the car not long after the two-year build finished, and Anthony Loria acquired it. "To drive this car is amazing. It drives better than it looks, and you know how it looks," he says with pride.
How amazing is it? On his way into the big YearOne Experience show at Road Atlanta, he found out, as did another show participant. Loria recalls, "I was at the bottom of that big hill when a '55 Chevy with a blown Merlin 540 comes up next to me and nails it. So I said, 'OK, buddy.' I nailed that thing, and my car just walked away from that guy. I was doing a buck-thirty coming up that hill!"
We saw it at Road Atlanta, and Loria says he plans on showing his '62 at some upcoming major events. However, an appearance at the '07 SEMA show was not scheduled, as of press time. "a lot of [project] cars being built for SEMA don't make it," Loria says, "and they look for somebody to fill their spot. I know of a couple right now whose projects are going bad and won't make it out there," which means a trip to Las Vegas might be in this car's future.
Details, Details Subtle mods such as side-exit exhausts and a six-taillight rear valance belie full-tilt, Hilborn-injected, Merlin 427, small-block, Art Morrison chassis and Heidt's suspension underneath. Wheels are American racing Torq-Thrust Ds, 18-inchers in front, 20s in back.
Hardware Under Glass New rear quarters replaced beat-on stock ones, with Street Rod Concepts adding exhaust outlets. Rearend is narrowed Heidt's IRS, combined with 20-inch American Racing Torq-Thrusts for a 21st century version of the '60s street look.
Tale Of The Tail Street Rod Concepts smoothed out the trunk by eliminating the spare tire well and fabricating 'glass wheeltubs. Subwoofer is behind the Corvette logo. Note relocated fuel filler inside the trunk and the absence of a trunk latch.
Retro Look, Modern Tech Thought it was a 327, didn't you? Hilborn injection setup atop this Merlin 427 small-block is an EFI made to look like a '60s-style mechanical system. Radiator is an AFCO custom-build. Note lack of hood latches, thanks to a hydraulic/electric actuator system.
Room With A View Long shifter for the Richmond Gear six-speed sprouts from custom-fabbed console, whose cove-style ducts are actually A/C outlets. Rivera Services cabin handiwork includes custom-upholstered stock '62 buckets and killer custom matching fiberglass door panels.
By The Numbers One-off gauge set by Classic Industries is right at home in the stock dash openings.
Center Of Attention Do consoles get any cooler? Street Rod Concepts' handiwork blends a Vintage Air HVAC controller, an Alpine stereo head unit, and cove-shaped A/C outlets.