1977 Chevrolet Corvette - Learning Curve

A Retired Shop Instructor Teaches An Old Vette Some New Tricks

Rocco Lionetti Aug 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0808_01_z 1977_chevrolet_corvette Passenger_side_view 2/10

I was a shop teacher in Sayreville, New Jersey, for 30 years. It was a great run. When I retired, I decided to do a project car. I looked around and found a real junker Corvette-a '77 "rat" of a car. I should have looked some more. Instead, I spent five grand and soon realized I made a huge error in judgment. It was pure junk. All I could really use were the body and the dashboard. I persevered, though, and the result is outstanding.

The project took a solid two years and hundreds of hours of hard labor to complete. The 0.030-over 350 engine was a gift from a shop-teacher buddy. It has Dart heads, a steel crank, I-beam rods, forged-aluminum pistons, Crane roller rockers, a 750 Holley, and a Comp cam. As a result, it has about 450 horsepower and is tons of fun to drive.

Last year, my Corvette took top honors in six of the ten shows I entered. Was it worth all the work? Well, let me put it this way: There's no way I'd do another!

Do you have a real-life Corvette story for The Vette File? If so, we'd love to hear from you. Just send a detailed Word document and a selection of high-resolution digital photography to us at the address below. All submissions become property of VETTE.

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