1962 Chevy Corvette - Rare Race-Option Survivor

It's All In The Details

John Nelson Nov 1, 2003 0 Comment(s)
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We could run through a whole list of qualities that make for an extra-special Corvette, but "attention to detail" would have to be right up near the top, because when we're talking about Corvettes, it certainly takes a willingness to go the extra mile to create an example that stands out from the crowd. Pat Beezley of Huntington Beach, California, went that extra mile-and then some-to create this stunning '62.

Beezley started off by finding what he calls "a sub-basketcase" car. The interior and all removable parts were set aside, and the body was then removed from the frame at Steve and Warren's Chassis Shop in Laguna Hills, California. Steve and Warren removed the original front suspension and crossmember and welded in a Total Cost Involved Mustang II front unit, complete with a power rack-and-pinion and 11-inch disc brakes. Out back, the stock differential and leaf springs were removed, and the rear framerails narrowed by 5 inches on each side (in anticipation of some extra-fat rear rubber).

TCI also provided the four-link rear suspension kit with coilovers; the rear setup was completed with a 9-inch Currie rearend (spinning stout 4.30:1 gears) and 11-inch drum brakes. Steve and Warren also fabricated a 2 1/2-inch diameter exhaust system that exits at the stock location. The car was then trailered home, and Pat got to work on the frame in his driveway. This detail work included grinding and sanding before painting the rails with Por-15 black rust-blocking paint. While Pat was detailing away, Russ Robinson at Action Tec in Trinity, California, fabricated a 27-gallon gas tank with the necessary electric fuel pump to fit into the factory rear sump area.

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The well-worn Corvette body shell was then delivered to Blastec in Placentia, California, where the '62's panels were completely media blasted inside and out. This cleaned things up, but also exposed trouble areas. Back at home, Beezley started off with one panel at a time, filling in stress fractures with new fiberglass mat. The rear driver-side quarter-panel had to be replaced, using a reproduction piece from Corvette Image in Gresham, Oregon. A 2-foot section of the lower rear valance panel also had to be reconstructed, while the areas around the front grille opening had several large holes that needed to be filled.

With the body shell once again solid, Beezley then tackled the task of fitting the doors, hood, and trunk lid to the newly repaired body, bolting the body to the frame so everything could be properly adjusted. The original hood was a goner, so a repro piece was purchased from J&D Corvette in Bellflower, California, and was also painstakingly fitted to the body. Beezley then had a local paint shop apply a new gel coat to the 'glass. After two weeks worth of sanding the gel coat, Pat moved on to the blocking primer, going through three rounds of block sanding, applying three coats of primer each time.

At this point, it was time for paint. Pat and his wife Janette decided on a three-stage Dupont Marino Red. The crimson hues were shot by Dave Tripplet in interconnected spray booths, with the doors, hood, deck, and trunk lid in one and the rest of the body in the other, at Apex Automotive in Huntington Beach, California. After 10 hours of shooting paint, two weeks of color sanding, and then a precise final buffing, the once derelict '62 sported a flawless coat of paint.

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