How many times have you admired a photograph of a beautiful Corvette in VETTE magazine and thought, "I'd really like to own that car"?
Here's your golden opportunity, and don't worry: You won't have to pull your wallet out of your pocket. On August 31, the newly launched online community buildandsearch.com will give away a frame-off-restored 427 '68 Corvette coupe. When you register as a new member on the site, you're automatically entered into the sweepstakes for the classic Stingray.
Buildandsearch.com is the brainchild of New York City entrepreneur and avid auto collector Chris Mazzilli, who admits he's been a car nut since being brought home from the maternity ward in his father's Impala SS. Buildandsearch.com is a car site by car guys," he says. "The idea came to me after many long nights trying to find N.O.S. parts for my classic Corvettes. It drove me crazy trying to locate what I wanted on the Internet."
Mazzilli and his partner, Jim Anderson (one of the founders of About.com, knew they could build a better search engine--one that would have Corvette and other car hobbyists breathing a sigh of relief when their Web searches returned the results they were really looking for.
Buildandsearch.com uses a continuous dynamic search engine, which monitors all known classified-ad sites and, in the future, will search the entire Internet for cars and car parts using proprietary technology that has been [developed] over the last few years," Mazzilli explains in high-tech jargon. "In contrast to today's most-well-known search engines, which index the Web or look exclusively at metadata--and can produce grossly inaccurate results--buildandsearch.com scans entire web pages and weighs results based on its algorithms and human feedback. It weeds out irrelevant search results by analyzing the context in which search terms appear. When you search for a specific Corvette or Corvette part, you have a better likelihood of finding it for sale, and not…in a different context, such as a news story or encyclopedia description."
Although buildandsearch.com is currently in Alpha stage (that's computer-geek-speak for software code that is still being tested), site visitors can search for cars for sale, view Mazzilli's Find of the Day and Video of the Day, get their fill of trending industry news in Daily Fuel, discuss car-guy topics in Forums, ask the site's Car Concierge to find them that elusive Corvette they're hunting for, and read feature articles by nationally recognized writers, such as VETTE contributor Jerry Heasley.
Soon, site visitors will be able to search for car parts, too, but that's not all. The buildandsearch.com team is working on a number of other exclusive features, including the following:
BuildandSearch: Build a virtual Corvette (or other classic car) in 360-degree cyberspace using the factory color, trim, and options you desire. When you're done, use the site's search feature to locate similarly equipped for-sale cars in the real world.
My Garage: Join a digital community and activate your own online garage. Populate it with photos of your cars, or the virtual vehicles you build using the BuildandSearch feature. "My Garage will function like a Facebook built for auto enthusiasts," Mazzilli says.
The Diner: Your arrival is announced as you rumble in with your virtual car. While you're there, join in the discussion as waitresses roller skate out to meet you. When you drive away, tires squeal.
So why is this auto-centric online community giving away a Corvette?
"I thought about how much money it would take to market buildandsearch.com through advertising, and discovered that for the same money, I can drive traffic to our online community by giving away a classic Corvette, and then make one Corvette fan really, really happy," Mazzilli says.
Using the same search engine that drives buildandsearch.com, he located a '68 British Green coupe with less than 56,000 original miles. It was outfitted with an L36 427/390hp big-block; an M21 close-ratio four-speed; power steering, brakes, and windows; a telescopic steering column; and an AM/FM radio.
Mazzilli enlisted Corvette-restoration specialist Dave Weber of Vintage Auto Restoration in Oyster Bay, New York, to restore the barn-find Corvette to NCRS judging standards--a mission that took 1,200-plus hours and a year to complete.
The project entailed removing the Corvette body from its frame and restoring both, then applying fresh BG paint to the fiberglass exterior.
Next, Weber rebuilt the car's numbers-matching Rat motor, reusing the factory reciprocating assembly along with the original--but refurbished--heads, intake manifold, Rochester Quadrajet carburetor, and exhaust manifolds. He also called the C3's original distributor back to active duty, and completed the spark system with a stock-replacement coil, Mallory 7mm wires, and ACDelco R43 plugs. A Zip Products 2-1/2-inch reproduction dual exhaust system expels the exhaust gases.
But that was just the start. Weber next turned back the clock on the car's Tobacco vinyl interior by returning it to an as-new appearance with a reproduction headliner, door panels, seat covers, carpet, dash, and console from Al Knoch Interiors. The original gauges were refurbished and reinstalled.
He left the factory suspension stock, save for the addition of ACDelco gas shocks, which he painted Spiral Gray. The rearend, meanwhile, was rebuilt with a new Posi, axle shafts, and a 3.36 gearset. Though this classic 'ray rode on F70-15 nylon tires and 15x7-inch rims back in the day, the restoration included the addition of 15x8-inch Chevy Rallys (again from Zip Products) wrapped in repro 215/70R15 BFG Silvertown Radials, front and rear. The factory disc brakes were adjudged sufficiently capable and refurbished.
On April 27, 2012 (Mazzilli chose the date because, numerically, it's "427"), comedian and Top Gear USA co-host Adam Ferrara debuted buildandsearch.com's giveaway '68 Corvette at New York City's famed Gotham Comedy Club. He headlined the night, then posed for photographs with the Corvette and signed autographs.
The winner of the car has the option of having it delivered to a location of his or her choice, or auctioning it off at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Collector Car Auction on September 20-22 and pocketing the net proceeds.
To learn more about the buildandsearch.com Corvette sweepstakes, visit their website.
|Owner||To be determined|
|Heads||Stock L36 iron|
|Camshaft||Comp hydraulic flat tappet (0.485/0.485-in lift, 0.219-/219-deg duration, 110-deg LSA)|
|Rocker Arms||Stock 1.5:1 ratio|
|Pistons||Stock cast aluminum|
|Crankshaft||Stock forged steel|
|Rods||Stock forged steel|
|Intake Manifold||Stock aluminum|
|Carburetor||Stock Rochester Quadrajet|
|Ignition||Stock GM distributor, Mallory 7mm wires, ACDelco 43S plugs|
|Exhaust System||Stock replacement|
|Transmission||Muncie M21 four-speed manual|
|Front Suspension||Stock with ACDelco gas shocks|
|Rear Suspension||Stock with ACDelco gas shocks|
|RearEnd||Stock with 3.36 gears|
|Front Brakes||Stock discs|
|Rear Brakes||Stock discs|
|Wheels||Chevrolet Rally, 15x8|
|Front Tires||BFG Silvertown 215/70R15|
|Rear Tires||BFG Silvertown 215/70R15|
|Curb Weight||3,210 lbs|
|Best 60-ft. Time||Unknown|
|Miles Driven Weekly||Less than 10|