1969 Corvette - It's Only Money and Time

A small-block Vette that took a lot of both for its resurrection.

Wayne Ellwood Sep 18, 2007 0 Comment(s)
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Tim Walters grew up in a body shop, so the idea of restoring a '69 Corvette coupe didn't really frighten him. He'd done other cars in the past and this didn't really seem any different. Tim had done any number of cars both for his own use and for sale. But it wasn't until five years ago that he could see his way clear to buying a car that he had always wanted . . . a Corvette. So the hunt for the perfect '69 coupe began in earnest, and, in 2001, he found a car that would satisfy his needs.

It happened one day when a customer came through his brother's body shop and said he had seen a car that might be along the lines that Tim wanted. It was located in Portage, on the other side of Altoona, near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. So, together with his brother, they went to look at the car.

The Vette didn't look that bad right off, but closer examination revealed the car had been hit and the front fenders were replaced with '73-style parts. There was some other damage too. But the frame and windshield pillars were straight and solid. There was no rust. On balance, Tim thought they could fix it.

Over the next few years, work proceeded as time and money allowed. The first thing to do was strip the car. During this process, the "matching-numbers" aspect was confirmed. Next the front fenders were replaced with original GM parts, as were all the other pieces requiring replacement. The only real problem encountered in this process was the fact that the '69 model year seemed to suffer from a lot of running changes. There can be wide variances in how the cars are dressed-out. Expansion tanks, hood insulators, vacuum canisters, fan shrouds, and the like, will vary between cars. So, whatever came on the car was taken to be correct.




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