1962 Chevy Corvette - Quick Silver Rides Again

Nearly 35 years later, a vet and his Vette return to the pages of VETTE

Scotty Lachenauer Jan 1, 2013 0 Comment(s)
Vemp 1301 07 1962 Chevy Corvette Side View 2/9

Outside, the car wears the same lacquer finish that Gilles Automotive laid on its flanks back in 1974. The Lincoln Firemist Silver still shines as brightly as the day it left the paint booth.

Show Time
As part of the transformation, Brecher decided to build his own show-quality engine for the car. Starting with some of the basic ingredients of the last 327, he took an 0.30-over block and stuffed it with 12.5:1 pistons. The Smokey Yunick ram intake, the Holley 850, and the magneto were also salvaged and added to the mix. Everything that could be chromed, was. The wiper motor, valve covers, generator, fan, linkages, hinges, carb bowls, and steering box all got a beautiful layer of the bright stuff.

Vemp 1301 04 1962 Chevy Corvette 383 Stroker 3/9

Outside, the paint was entrusted to the newly opened Gilles Paint and Body in Bergenfield. Four coats of '74 Lincoln Mark IV Firemist Silver lacquer and four coats of clear were laid on the car in expert fashion. A grille and headlight rings from a '58 Vette were installed as accents, along with a new set of Kustom headers and 4-inch side pipes. A custom teardrop hood—which Brecher redesigned with smaller air inlets—sat on top of the dazzling motor. Brecher even installed a fuel-pressure gauge in one of the backward-facing inlets, so he could monitor this critical parameter while driving.

Inside, custom pleating was applied to the dash and seats. An array of original green-faced Sun gauges gave the cabin the high-tech look of a fighter-plane cockpit. On the floor and in the trunk, a wild set of modified bathroom rugs furnished the requisite "crazy '70s" look. The finished product—identified as "Quick Silver" with a pair of fender badges—was truly something to behold.

Brecher showed the car for two seasons, 1974-1975 and 1975-1976, racking up a host of awards for his hard work. Best Use of Chrome and Best Paint were among many of his achievements, and the car also won the ISCA International Grand Finale Champion in class in its second season.

Born Again
After his second year on the circuit, Brecher settled down, got married, and helped his wife, Kathy, raise the children. The Corvette's high-compression motor was just too much for the new low-octane gas that was on the market, and retarding the timing to reduce pinging made the car run hot. So the '62 went on the backburner, settling into Brecher's garage for more than 20 years. During that time, Brecher got involved in buying and selling high-end turnkey muscle cars, something he really enjoyed. After making a good profit, he decided to put some of that money to good use and build a new motor for his Vette that was both streetable and a great performer.

Vemp 1301 08 1962 Chevy Corvette 4/9

Starting with a 350 block, he constructed a reliable 383 stroker with 9.6:1 compression. A set of World Product heads were first on the build list, followed by a roller cam and lifters. The Smokey Ram intake, Holley 850, and magneto were once again used on the top end, chiefly because Brecher had always loved this combination.

The Kustom headers and side pipes were removed, due to the fact that they constantly cracked and needed repair. In their place went a set of Hooker Headers and stainless pipes—cut with baloney slices—giving the car a look similar to the one it had when Brecher bought it home for the first time. Much of the pleating was removed from the interior, and the groovy rugs were ditched in favor of a stock set. Al Knoch interiors made the fresh coverings for the seats. Amazingly, the door panels are still the originals. The Ansen Sprint wheels were also left in place, but the gears were changed to a more streetable 3.55 set.

It was a few years after his last show tour that then-VETTE editor Martyn Schorr ran into Brecher at a gas station in North Jersey. He was immediately smitten with Brecher's C1 and arranged for a feature article on the car to run in the magazine. It did, as the cover story in the April '78 issue.

I ran into Brecher at the Dead Man's Curve party put on yearly by Richie Conklin of Radir Wheels. The '62 stood out like a beacon of silver light amongst the other muscle cars and hot rods in the soggy field. It was clear from all the personal touches evident that the car had long been in the careful stewardship of a single, meticulous owner.

It's good to know that Jake Brecher is once again driving the hell out of his '62 Corvette. And he definitely hasn't lost a step, pumping the four-speed like he used to do out on Route 4, where he was always looking for a street rumble. Today Quick Silver can still be seen on the roads of North Jersey—eating up pavement, laying down rubber, and disappearing over the distant horizon.


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