1963 Chevrolet Corvette - Blue Fuelie

Nick Minoia's '63 Was Restored, Then Rebuilt En Route To Top Flight

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Winning NCRS' Performance Verification Award means a Corvette functions just like a new one of that vintage did. That goes for Nick's C2, especially its restored RPO L84 327 fuelie.

Also not needing much attention was the RPO L84 fuel-injected 327, and the RPO M20 four-speed manual transmission behind it. Nick says that the 327's Rochester mechanical fuel-injection system only needed a new diaphragm in the fuel meter, and the engine bay needed only a new radiator cap and a correct dipstick, plus new hoses and a clean-up.

When all was said and done, Nick had a Sting Ray that scored a Regional Top Flight at the Marlborough, Massachusetts, regional NCRS meet in 2006, and received the NCRS Performance Verification (PV) Award at the regional meet at Edison, New Jersey, the following year. Last year, Nick's midyear scored another Regional Top Flight at NCRS' regional meet at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. Nick takes pride in saying that he did all the work needed to bring his midyear up to PV standards. "That was a challenge, because everything had to be flawless," says Nick, who adds that he hasn't missed a point on either the PV or the operational judging when the car was Top Flighted.

What's this car like to drive, and how does it compare with his other Corvettes? "I love this car to death!" says Nick. "To me, this is the iconic Corvette. The other ones-I love them for different reasons, but this one exemplifies what Corvette is to me, personally, I'm not a straight-axle guy-I like looking at those cars, but you see the '63 split-window everywhere, in magazines and on t-shirts and hats. Everybody recognizes that car. You don't have to be a Corvette guy-when somebody drives down the road in a split-window coupe, someone always says, 'My neighbor used to have one,' or 'I knew a guy who had one,' or 'I always wanted one.' Everybody knows what that car is. The fact that it's the color that I love, and it's a fuelie, just adds to the excitement and ownership of the car."

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Take a close look at the engine bay in Nick's '63. All the parts ID from GM's AC, Rochester and Harrison divisions is all there, as they should be on a Top Flight C2.

And it makes for a fine counterpart to the other Corvettes in his garage. "I have a '72 LT-1 Targa Blue convertible which is the sister to the coupe you had on the cover in July," says Nick. "Mine is a Duntov Award car-I bought it from a guy in New Jersey, who bought it from Bill Nichols, who's the current powertrain engineer for GM for the Corvette. He'd done a full body-off restoration on the car and Duntov'ed it about nine or ten years ago. Then I have a '69 427/400hp with air, Monaco Orange with black leather and side pipes. That's a scary-looking car!" Nick also has an '07 Z06, which he says is for getting in and driving when the weather's good.

If you've got a yearn for a specific year, body style or variation of Corvette, Nick has this advice: "Just get a car that's running, that you can get in and have fun, and you don't have to pay a lot of money for it. Over time, you can fix it up to be a driver, or chase that Top Flight banner, if that's what appeals to your sense of owning one of these cars. There are so many great cars kicking around, that you don't have to take one of these cars to the level of NCRS judging, and micromanage the restoration process down to the correct bolt-head markings and those things, because the cars are such fun to get in and drive, throw the top down if you have a convertible or pop the T-tops."

Or, get in and go, in the case of his Daytona Blue Split-Window Fuelie!

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