Mike Angeliadis has always had a passion for Corvettes. The love affair started when he was seven and he and his brother received a model road-racing set containing a miniature pair of the Chevy sports cars. "I used to play with that set for hours,"Angeliadis tells us. "That's when I became hooked on Corvettes."
As he grew up, that passion only intensified. "Every year, our local mall would have a Corvette show with over 100 Vettes on display," he says. "My father and I would spend an entire day looking over all the cars. I never missed a show until I moved from Ohio to Florida."
For Angeliadis, his Corvette moment came in 1991, when he spotted a stock '80 Vette on his way to work. "I drove past a local dealer and saw this car," he recalls. "I couldn't get it out of my mind. When I got home that evening, my wife, Olga, told me she had seen a beautiful Corvette earlier in the day. Would you believe we were talking about the same car?"
The pair bought the 80,000-mile Vette that night for $6,500 and launched a concerted effort to restore and customize it. Raising two children and buying a home is struggle enough for most young couples but, little by little, the Angeliadises managed to build their Corvette into the showstopper you see here.
Mike wanted to give the '80 Vette a custom look, so he turned to ACI for a vented high-rise hood, a complete ground-effects package, and a Collector rear wing. "Bob Wallace, who was doing the body and paint work, told me to order ACI pieces because they required very little work," he says. Wallace prepared the body, installed the ACI panels, then laid on the trick Transmission Red Pearl finish (name aside, it's more of an ultra-subtle red over pearlescent white) at Dimmit Chevrolet in Clearwater, Florida, using a Sikkens base/clearcoat combination. A set of rear-window louvers was sourced from Altimeries in St. Petersburg, while Mad Dog Lettering in Tarpon Springs brushed in the subtle pinstriping.
For stopping power, Angeliadis used Vette Brakes and Products' rebuilt factory rotors and calipers. (He's planning to install a bigger set of Baer brakes in the near future.) He also wanted the Vette to handle, and for that he ordered up one of VBP's Grand Touring Plus suspension systems. The package includes beefier front and rear stabilizer bars, powdercoated heavy-duty front coils, and a stiffer rear composite monospring. Bilstein Sport gas shocks, poly-adjustable strut rods, and a complete set of polyurethane bushings allow the Vette to stick to the corners like a painted yellow line. That cornering ability is enhanced by a set of fat P245/45ZR17 Nitto NT555 tires mounted on 17x8-inch American Racing Torq Thrust IIs.