1980 Chevy Corvette - Pro Shark

This '80 Vette Is Out Of The Ordinary, And Loads Of Fun

Richard Prince Jun 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)

After the body was massaged to perfection, Steve sprayed the multi-hued custom paint scheme using a base/clear urethane system. Steve's handiwork, with final touches provided by Gary The Local Brush of Merrick, New York, and Jack Colasanto of Panorama Signs in Copaigue, New York, incorporates pearlescent white, yellow, and purple, as well as sterling silver and quazar blue. Final touches to the body include the rear aluminum wing and massive rear wheeltubs, all custom manufactured by Ed Quay. The interior of the car is mostly stock and original, with the exception of certain functional alterations. Custom Summit seats keep both driver and passenger firmly in place, an important consideration given the car's impressive g-force generating potential. Strategically placed Auto Meter gauges help keep an eye on vital engine statistics.

Beneath the sparkling custom paint and bodywork lurks a chassis designed to get maximum power to the pavement. To fit the massive steamroller slicks out back, the rear of the chassis has been narrowed. Other areas of the frame were strengthened accordingly, and a full cage was installed to tie it all together and provide an extra margin of safety. Up front, a Wilwood rack-and-pinion steering system handles turning duties. The driveshaft spins 5.13:1 gears in the Ford 9-inch rearend. The rear, which includes a Strange spool and axles, is connected to the chassis via a Panhard bar/four-link suspension arrangement. Koni coilovers assist the hook-up, while a Competition Engineering wheelie bar system keeps the front end from getting too high. The whole deal rests on Monocoque wheels, 15x3.5-inch front and 15x15-inch rear, wearing Mickey Thompson tires sized at 26x7.5-15 and 33x21.5-15, respectively.

All of the fancy chassis modifications and additions would be unnecessary, however, absent some real muscle under the hood. Motive force comes from a moderately modified 427ci big-block. With forged internals, a roller valvetrain, ported and polished aluminum heads, and lots of other goodies, the long-block assembly is built to go. Ignition is via a complete MSD setup, fuel is fed by a Holley 930 cfm double-pumper atop a Holley Strip Dominator intake manifold, and spent gases exit through Hooker headers and a Flowmaster exhaust system. The engine is bolted up to a heavily modified two-speed Powerglide transmission manipulated via a Hurst quarter stick. A TCI 4,500 rpm stall speed converter, transbrake, and several other heavy-duty components and transmission tweaks add up to a bulletproof system that delivers every drop of the engine's power without complaining. So what does it all add up to? The car turned the quarter-mile in the mid nine second range before Bob rebuilt and further tweaked the engine. He hasn't had the opportunity to track test it since the rebuild, but expects it will dip down into the low nines if driven aggressively. He is not sure if he'll have the chance to race the car this year, but will certainly continue to drive it to local shows and cruise-ins, just as he has done with every Corvette he has ever owned. "I am proud of the car," explains Bob, "and my wife and I really enjoy owning and driving it." Well, of course they do. As its license plate proclaims, this car is "For Fun"!

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