1962 Corvette - South Georgia Silver Star

This well modified 1962 is the one Corvette Gerald Copeland wishes he could have had way-back when. Sometimes you just have to wait.

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Steering In The Clear: Gerald's '62 received a Fat Man Fabrications front end and rack-and-pinion steering system that's at the other end of this leather-trimmed, 15-inch Corvette Central C1 wheel. Stock gauge pods house Dakota Digital gauges.

Inside, there's a smaller-diameter (15-inch) steering wheel from Corvette Central that's right at home. Also finding a new home was a set of Dakota Digital gauges in the '62's original dash locations, as well as a Custom Autosound system that makes use of the OEM speaker location for a dual-cone speaker. New repro upholstery and a carpet set from Auto Custom Carpets completed the cabin's refit.

In all, the restoration-and-upgrade project took about a year. Gerald uses the '62 for fun drives, as well as taking it to shows and cruise-ins.

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Classic Looks, New Function :The Custom Autosound stereo head unit and Vintage Air HVAC control panels (and vents) complement the '62 Vette's dash. The shifter's an original, connected to a rebuilt T-10.

The '62 shares a garage with three '67 Sting Rays. The last C1s and C2s are Gerald's favorites. "It's one I wished I could have had back then," he says. "You know how it is, sometimes you just have to wait." But he isn't waiting to upgrade at least one of his midyears. "I've got the 'Street Shot' frame up under it, but I'm running a big-block, aluminum-head ZZ454 with Tri-Power in it. It looks almost factory original. To most people, this car will look original. To those that really know, they'll see the A-arms and stuff like that and know that it's an aftermarket frame." He's putting a Tremec five-speed and a Dana 44 rearend in the car, as well as big disc brakes all around.

Upgrading the brakes, as well as the steering, are the best things that anyone looking to build or restore a Corvette can do, according to Gerald, who says that the original parts-especially the steering-can cause lots of trouble. "You've got so much linkage, and you get a little play here and there, and it compounds. Before you know it, you're all over the place with it."

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