But that's not all, says Gary. "After that had set up, my son loaded up the small spray gun with black, and he put the shadows in." Once that was done, the '65s got several coats of clear that were then sanded down and polished; the final result was what you see here.
Gary can't say enough about the job that Steve did, not just laying out any old flame pattern on this car, but the right one. "He has a knack of looking at the size of the flame, and the thinness of the flame-depending on the contour of the car," Gary says. "Of course, as low and sleek as the Corvette is, it needed these low, sleek flames."
Along with Steve and Fred Green, Gary has one other person to thank for his contribution to this Pro Streeted '65. "Phil Scarfo from Carneys Point, New Jersey, did the metalwork in the engine compartment," Gary says. "If you notice, the flames go into the engine compartment's sheetmetal work. Phil really helped me out big time, setting up those stainless panels so they're easy-in and easy-out."
No doubt you've also noticed that the hood is hinged differently than on a stock Midyear-at the back, instead of at the front. "It gives you an altogether different dimension of the engine compartment versus the original Corvette," says Gary. "So, with this hood opening up the other way, you get a much better view of the motor. People walk up to it, notice it, and love it." They also notice the interior's changes, which include a rollbar and Corbeau racing seats, which replaced the stock buckets.
What's it like driving this tubbed, flamed, and blown Sting Ray? "It's a good car to drive," Gary says. "It's very street worthy." But there's a limit to how far he and his wife Patty drive it to shows. "When we take it to or from a show that may be a couple hours away, we'll put it in a trailer and take it down. But, if it's no more than about an hour to get to, in the area where we live, which is New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware-and sometimes down into Maryland-we drive it. I do have to stop at several gas stations along the way, but I get there!"
Before too long, there'll be another Midyear in the Ricketts' garage-a '64 that he's building for Patty to drive. It was far from original when he swapped a '79 Corvette for it, but he'll bring back the original body lines by getting rid of the fender flares that were on when he bought it. "It's a frame-off build, and it's going to have a Corvette small-block motor that I'm going to rebuild, and it's going to be a beautiful cruiser," he says of the Sting Ray that will also have air conditioning and a four-speed. "I just love doing that as a hobby," he adds.
His advice is simple, if you're thinking of doing a Corvette project. "I don't mind modified cars-I love modified cars," he says. "However, if it's a complete original car, keep it that way." As for his '65, while it isn't original, it's certainly distinctive. "When I pull into a show with the blower whining, it's an eye catcher, and I just love that," says Gary. And that beats a vehicular horror story any day!