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1962 Chevy Corvette - Desecration

The Ends Justify The Means

Kevin Lee Feb 1, 2002
Sucp_0202_01_z 1962_chevy_corvette Front_view 2/5

If there's one thing that will almost certainly make a stuffy Corvette collector cringe, it's a modified First-Generation Vette. Cut a hole in the hood for a blower and in the rear fenders for some huge meats, and you might as well call an ambulance.

There will always be those car builders that aren't afraid to upset a few apple carts on their way to achieving their goals. But, unfortunately, there are almost as many cases of good cars being cut up with the only result being an eyesore that nobody needs to see.

This is not one of those cases. In fact, when Donald Granata acquired this Corvette, it was already doing time as a 9-second blown/gas drag car. When Donald first laid eyes on this Vette, it was in his uncle's garage being stored for Ray Kelsey, its original builder. Donald had always wanted a nostalgia racer and knew he had to make this one his own.

After a year of trying to convince Ray to sell, Donald finally won out and had the car delivered to his house on his birthday. Even in its as-purchased condition the Vette gathered a crowd of neighbors while it was being unloaded. Donald immediately saw better things for the plastic warrior and started to transform it from a pure race car to a more elegant example of Chevy's sports car.

The 850hp big-block was freshened up by Rex Hutchinson and then detailed and dressed up with some help from Donald's friend, Joe Lamont. Between the two of them they fabricated and polished several new pieces, including the trick fan shroud. The chassis was modified and tuned to make it more comfortable for cruising, and a new set of rolling stock was added.

The stock red interior was removed and the original buckets were reworked to close up the gap between them and the body and then covered in cream Austrian leather by Bad Boys Interiors in Antioch, California. The rest of the interior was treated to the same level of upgrades including the custom console and door panels, which are accented with a Roman Red stripe to tie them together with the dash and the exterior.

Now that it's completed, the Vette's passes down the dragstrip are much more likely to be replaced with passes down Brentwood's main strip to Donald and his wife's, Laurie, favorite local ice cream parlor. But it's nice to know that it can do either equally well.

Owners Donald and Laurie Granata Brentwood, CA

Vehicle '62 Corvette

Engine '70 tall-block 454 assembled and machined by Rex Hutchinson (Sacramento). It's been bored .060 over and filled with Venolia 8.5:1 pistons and a Crower cam. A Weiand intake and blower (5 percent overdriven) and Holley carbs deliver the fuel, a Vertex magneto lights it, and custom headers and exhaust exit the burnt gas.

Transmission Powerglide with TPI 2,800-rpm converter

Wheels Billet Specialties Legacy (15x6 w/3-inch bs and 15x12 w/4.75 bs)

Exterior PPG Roman Red by O.J. Plotner (Hayward, CA)

Suspension (F) Camaro subframe with Fatman Enterprises tubular A-arms and 2-inch dropped spindles, Koni shocks, GM 11-inch disc brakes & (R) 9-inch Ford rear with Summer Bros. axles and 4.11:1 Detroit Locker, four-link with Koni coilovers



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