1963 Chevrolet Corvette - Pro Classic Unveiled

Judges & Show-Goers Alike Wowed By America's Best Vette Rod

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Great Lake, Great Show: Cleveland's annual Autorama saw the Lagasse's "ProClassic" split-window score a class win plus Outstanding Display and Best Custom.

Those modifications also lead to inspiration, as Rich says that more than a few show-goers look to see how they can add some "Split Personality" features and details to their rides. "'How did you do this?' is one of the key questions that we get," he says. "Some of our changes are very subtle in nature, and that works because they've been incorporated so well that you'd think it was an extension of the original design concept. Other frequent questions are, "What color is that?" and 'Do we drive the car?'" Every car they have built is meant to be driven, and this one is no exception. Having had it out a few times thus far, Rich says the car is awesome to drive.

The highest praise they've received has come, ironically, from fellow split-window coupe owners. "Without exception, every one of them has said, 'We like what you've done,'" says Rich. "That's coming from someone who has an unmodified, restored or original coupe at home--particularly because the '63s are 'sacred cows' of Corvettes in terms of modifying them. That means a lot, coming from somebody who actually has one, and who can appreciate what you've done with it. These are the people that can spot some of the more subtle changes, as these folks know what they are looking at."

One experience that Rich relates is one of a most observant father and son. "The father is maybe 30 years old, and he and his little son are looking at the car," Rich recalls. "The father is kneeling down, and his son--I'm guessing he's around four or five years old--is laying on the floor, looking underneath the car, pointing out things to his father in an animated manner--'LOOKIT THIS! LOOKIT THIS!' It's great to see the next generation of car lovers develop."

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Chip's Choice: "Split Personality" found its place in the "Chip's Choice" display at Corvettes at Carlisle.

Upcoming events where you'll be able to see "Split Personality" include Corvettes at Carlisle, and Super Chevy Shows at Charlotte, North Carolina and Maple Grove, Pennsylvania. "Then there's the Rod & Custom Nationals, which was a new show last year and is held in Marlboro, Massachusetts," Rich says. "Its promoter really goes all out to make the show enjoyable for both the participants and the spectators. It's nice to have an event like this closer to our home for a change."

Among its other '09 shows is one that "Split Personality" qualified for--the 2009 season-finale of the International Show Car Association (ISCA), in Houston later this year. That's quite a long trip from Connecticut, according to Rich. "That's almost 1800 miles from here one way so we're giving that one some hard thought, because that's a lot of time and expense. The trip would take up the better part of two weeks for us and it opens on Thanksgiving Day afternoon, so it's actually a four-day show. But, we're doing all we can to arrange to be there as it should be a great event."

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