1987 Chevy Corvette - Heavenly Devotion

A Shinoda C4 Roadster Is Unique, But Rev. Buddy Merrick's Rose-Ter Is Divine!

Rob Wallace III Oct 1, 2003 0 Comment(s)
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Talk about details! The Rose-Ter's door panels were shaped in wood, then upholstered in stitched-leather and trimmed with more rosewood. Buddy's son, Jason, laser-cut the door inserts to frame the stitched-leather roses.

The original L98, four-speed automatic, and 3.07:1-geared third member have each been freshened up internally, and polished smooth outside. Jeff Campbell of Kustom Machine in Denison, Texas, machined, deburred, and rebuilt the motor (now bored over to 360c.i.d.) using Manley dome-top forged aluminum pistons with Teflon skirts, TRW bearings, a Crane racing cam, tapered rings, and copper gaskets, as well as a polished stock crank, polished aluminum heads with custom valve covers made by Buddy, and a chromed oil pan. The block, transmission case, aluminum driveshaft, and rearend housing were each ground smooth and either polished or painted Viper Red with clear-coat. Chrome headers have been jet-hot coated on the inside using a sponge and coat hanger, and connect to a custom "cat-less," dual 2-1/2-inch stainless exhaust system capped by polished stainless Walker mufflers and hand-made stainless tips. Buddy's entire Rose-Ter theme, however, centers around the intricately laid woodwork throughout. "I drove to Baltimore and emptied my wallet for a beautiful rosewood plank, fresh off the boat from Madagascar." Friend and expert Mennonite woodsmith Don Bartholomew of the Marion Wood Shoppe in Pennsylvania literally carved the interior, then created the miles-deep finish with hand-poured urethane varnish. The mahogany steering wheel is one of the few items that is "store-bought," but it matches the rosewood perfectly.

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Despite the myriad of trophies and awards the Rose-Ter has earned-including the ISCA class championship for the past three years (first in the east, then twice in the west), it is the only sports car to ever win the International Highest Achievement Sports award for three consecutive years, and has 13 straight Outstanding Paint awards-Rev. Buddy still appreciates the small praise. "A spectator asked me, 'Is this your car?' at this May's Dallas Super Chevy Show. When I said yes, he responded, 'Holy ****!' We laughed, but it was maybe the neatest compliment I ever got!" Amen, brother!

The polished billet aluminum wheels were sculpted by Boyd Coddington to resemble a budding rose, then Buddy attached rosewood inserts matching the interior with 3M double-sided tape. Baer brakes with chromed calipers and stainless lines stand proudly behind the rims.

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The beefed-up L98 looks impeccable under all its chrome and polished billet aluminum. The plugs are covered with polished billet, and the wires are kept symmetrical with chrome keepers.


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