1957 Chevrolet Corvette - Long-Rod '57

A big-engine C1 takes an old-school approach to Vetterodding

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Laustrup kept the original '57 Corvette suspension design, but added rear lowering blocks and lowered front uprights to subtract 2.5 inches of ride height all around, turning this C1 into a road-grabbing canyon carver. (A set of custom-built Rally wheels by Jim Lyon at True Design Wheel in Wheatridge, shod with Goodyear radials, also help with the handling.)

Vemp 1109 06 1957 Chevrolet Corvette 2/8

The body is all original and wears its Porsche Arctic Silver paint proudly. That paint color was chosen by Laustrup's youngest daughter, Anna, and the "micro sequins" in it are thanks to his third granddaughter, Aubrey. The bodywork and paint were done by Jeff Showalter at ColorWorks in Denver. Before paint, Kelley Fitzgerald made sure that the body was mounted correctly, and that the gaps in the doors, hood, and trunk matched, (He also handmade the radiator shroud and custom-built the wire loom after Laustrup burned up the first one.) For comfort, there's a Vintage Air HVAC system, installed by Lee Bumgardner at Zoomers in Denver.

When the '57 was finished, Don and Chip took it to Goodguys' Del Mar (California) Nationals. "We trailered it out there, and took it out of the trailer when we were about 100 miles outside of San Diego," says the elder Laustrup. "We drove it in to Del Mar just to make sure that we'd be able to drive it, and it ran just fine."

Unlike a lot of resto-rodded C1s, whose first-generation fiberglass covers fourth- or fifth-gen powertrains and chassis, Laustrup used vintage Chevrolet hardware to build what you see here. Also unlike those others, which spent many years in stock configuration before they were modified, Laustrup's '57 was—and still is—the very definition of a Vetterod.

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