1957 Chevrolet Corvette - Bare-Bones Fun

This '57 Is Dressed Up Now, But It Was Built For...

John Nelson Mar 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)

The desire to upgrade things just a bit led to the most unique feature on this '57. One convenience that the Paglianos just couldn't do without was music, and they wanted a modern stereo system-but they didn't want to cut the car. The answer is as unique as it is elegant. Dennis found an old metal Coca-Cola ice chest at an antique store, and his detail man, Jeff Hunt, got to work. After the old box was straightened out and its surface smoothed, Hunt built a support structure inside it, where he mounted top-quality Alpine stereo components-a receiver, amplifier, and CD changer. The chest was then sprayed with Venetian Red (as opposed to Coca-Cola red) before the white lettering was refreshed. The speakers are mounted under the dash, and a sensor mounted in the original speaker location allows the system to take orders from a remote control. A Wonderbar radio replaced the radio-delete plate, but the vintage unit is there strictly for looks. The end result is that the Paglianos didn't permanently alter the car but can take all their favorite tunes out on the road-and it's a setup that just plain looks cool, to boot.

Though this '57 has been detailed to a high level, it still gets driven. Dennis and Connie take the car out on most weekends, heading to local cruise-ins, shows, and even down to the beach. The car does well at shows, and among its awards is a People's Choice pick at last year's Hot August Nights event in Reno, Nevada, and it most recently was chosen Best Stock at last November's NHRA World Finals. As part of their award, Dennis and Connie got to take the '57 down Pomona's quarter-mile, something they definitely enjoyed, and something we're certain the fans got a kick out of, too.

Which is something that's important to the Paglianos. They do like winning awards at shows, and getting out on the road and enjoying their cool stereo system. They also like driving the '57; Dennis reports that it "handles phenomenally," and is great on the freeway. But what Dennis and Connie really seem to enjoy is the response they get from the public. This Vette draws attention like crazy, and the duo spend much of their time behind the wheel returning the honks and waves of appreciative onlookers. According to Dennis, "We enjoy other people enjoying it." And we enjoy that kind of attitude.


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