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Mission: DIY Midyear Metamorphosis

Christopher R. Phillip Mar 11, 2013
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Book How to Restore Your Corvette 1963-1967
Author Chris Petris
Publisher Cartech
Price $29.95
Review •••••

More than 45 years after the last Sting Ray rolled off a factory assembly line in St. Louis, Missouri, ’63-’67 Corvettes remain icons against which all other generations of the marque are compared.

Experts who specialize in recreating these midyears’ original aesthetics for points-judged competitions have already transformed thousands of them into trailered temples of concours perfection.

Regardless, there’s a sizeable segment of the hobby consisting of owners/hobbyists who want to take pride in restoring second-generation Corvettes on their own, and then drive them for pleasure. It’s for them that publisher CarTech has brought to market its latest Restoration Series manual, How to Restore Your Corvette 1963-1967, by author Chris Petris.

Petris is aptly qualified to pen this primer. He built performance transmissions and differentials for famed Corvette racer John Greenwood, managed the Corvette service center for Eckler’s, and was a technical instructor at Bloomington Gold School. Currently, he heads Petris Enterprises, a Corvette restoration and specialty business.

Vemp 1303 01 Z Mission Diy Midyear Metamorphosis How To Restore Your 2/2

“Spending many days at major Corvette events, sharing my knowledge and presenting seminars, I realized that it made perfect sense to put together a hands-on 1963-1967 Corvette restoration book,” Petris tells VETTE. “Many books have been written very well concerning the numbers-matching perfect Corvette. I wanted to cover the technical aspect in the best detail possible for a true nuts-and-bolts perspective.”

He organizes the tome’s chapters into a logical, easy-to-follow workflow, beginning with the steps of choosing a midyear Corvette, how to look for codes, and getting started on the restoration. He then delves into the knuckle-busting meat of the mission: bodywork, paint, engines, transmissions, driveline, brakes, suspension, electrical and wiring, and other components.

He also addresses the miracle of modern mods, and how they can help bring the Sting Ray’s driveability out of the Dark Ages. He explains: “I demonstrate how a new Holley carburetor; an aftermarket, purpose-built aluminum radiator; a Pertronix Ignitor ignition system; a Borgeson power-steering box; a fiberglass rear spring; and the widest tire you can fit in the inner fenders can work together to transform the Sting Ray’s performance, ride, and reliability from archaic to alluring—without compromising its classic personality.”

The book does a superb job of guiding its DIY audience through the arduous tasks involved in a road-worthy Corvette restoration. That doesn’t mean, however, that Corvette owners and owner-hopefuls who prefer to entrust their cars’ restorations to seasoned professionals should pass on adding this asset to their libraries. Au contraire, they, too, are likely to find the book a valuable source of technical information.

How to Restore Your Corvette 1963-1967 is 192 pages long and includes 540 color photos taken by the author. It’s published in softcover, retails for $29.95, and is available online from CarTech ( or by calling (800) 551-4754.



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