What makes a midyear desirable? Is it the styling, the available power, or the smorgasbord of factory options? Or, do the memories of one inspire a would-be owner?
Memory is what motivated Rip Parent--in particular, recollections of a Marlboro Maroon C2. "I had a friend who had an L88 in that color, and that car headed for the racetrack immediately," he says of the midyear that most inspired him. It wasn't until 2003 that Parent found this one--or, more precisely, his wife did. "She's a physical therapist, and she had a patient who was a former GM engineer," he says. "They got to talking, and he said, 'Why don't you go ahead and get one?'"
Parent says that GM alum pointed out that second-generation Corvettes could be had for well below six figures, if you looked for the right car. Parent continues: "She started looking in the paper that day, found one two days later, then went down and put a deposit on it--without telling me!" The '67 coupe she found was originally a "plain" L75 327/four-speed. Of its three previous owners, the third had restored and updated it in the early '90s, after buying it from the widow of owner number two (who'd stored it for many years).
That standard 327 had been updated with Keith Black pistons, a Crane Energizer camshaft, and a Weiand Stealth intake topped by a Holley 750-cfm double pumper. Thus equipped, it put out more than the factory-rated 300 horsepower--and more than the optional L79's 350.
"The reason I say it's around 370," says Parent, "is, I'm president of a Corvette club [Sting Rays Corvette Club, www.stingrayscorvetteclub.com]. There's an awful lot of guys in it running around with 350-horse engines, and I haven't lost to any of them!"
One update that Parent added after he got his '67: a Tremec five-speed, which replaced the original Muncie M-20 thanks to some help from a friend who's a Chevy mechanic. "He came over, and we did it in four hours in one night--threw the whole thing in," says Parent of the gearbox swap.
That transmission change added to the '67's driveability in a big way. "This car's very reliable," Parent says. "We take it everywhere. In fact, since the photo shoot, we took it over to the west coast of Florida, up to the Venice car show. We also headed up to Savannah a few months ago, for another car show at Tybee Island. At both shows, it got First Place--Best of Show."
He adds that they also made a run up to NASCAR bigwig Rick Hendrick's place in Charlotte, North Carolina, with fellow club members. "One of the guys sold his car to Hendrick, and the club was invited to his shop, so we took it through there. We take it everywhere!"
Plus, Parent adds, it gets around 21 miles a gallon while doing around 70 on the highway--something else that gives him bragging rights in his club. "We'll take a trip, and the guys with the stock four-speed transmissions and normal gearing get around 13-15 miles a gallon," he says, while noting that there's at least one other Tremec-equipped Sting Ray in the club's exclusively midyear membership.
Does the thought of a second-generation Corvette inspire you to look for one? "If you're handy, you've got the means and so forth, and you want to find a project car, that's great," advises Parent. "If you're not handy, find something that's already done. Pay a few extra bucks, so you don't have to deal with things."
And you (or your spouse) may just find one in that color you've always dreamed about.
|Owner||Rip Parent; Parkland, FL|
|Block||L75 cast-iron, bored 0.030-inch|
|Heads||Stock cast-iron with Edelbrock Performer valves/springs|
|Camshaft||Crane hydraulic roller with Energizer roller lifters|
|Pistons||Keith Black forged aluminum|
|Rods||Keith Black forged aluminum|
|Intake Manifold||Weiand Stealth cast-aluminum|
|Carburetor||Holley 750-cfm four barrel with mechanical secondaries|
|Fuel Pump||Reproduction GM Delco mechanical|
|Ignition||GM HEI electronic|
|Exhaust System||Headers with RPO N14 side-mount exhausts|
|Transmission||Tremec TK0500 five-speed manual with Centerforce clutch|
|Suspension||460-in/lb Grand Touring springs and AC Delco tubular shocks (front); composite transverse leaf spring with adjustable struts and 5/8-in sway bar (rear)|
|Brakes||Restored stock four-wheel discs with power assist|
|Wheels||Corvette America reproduction RPO N89 bolt-on cast aluminum, 15x6 in|
|Tires||BFGoodrich Radial T/A “redlines,” 215/70R15|
|Current Mileage||Approximately 75,000|