One of the biggest problems with going the resto-rod route on a C1 or C2 Corvette is the lack of space in the rear wheelwells. What good is it to install a fire-breathing engine under the hood if the only tires you can install in the rear are too skinny to grab the pavement when you mash the throttle? Thanks to Greg Thurmond, owner of GTS Customs in Simi Valley, California, there's now a sanitary way to modify your vintage Corvette so you can stuff 9.5-inch wheels wearing P275-style rubber under the rear quarter-panels without having the car look like a '70s-era Trans-Am Racer.
The new GTS widened rear quarter-panels for all '56-'60 C1 and '63-'67 C2 Corvettes are the perfect fix. They fit into the stock rear quarter-panel placement just like the stock skinny fenders. Widened rear quarters for '61-'62 Corvettes will be available eventually. The C1 panels provide about 1.5-inch additional clearance in the rear, and the C2 units add about 1 inch of room per side. Best of all, the panels not only allow the use of more reasonable wheel and tire sizes, but the widening is subtle and generally goes unnoticed by anyone save the most seasoned NCRS judge.
If you're comfortable ripping pieces off your vintage car and doing fiberglass work, this could be a DIY project. However, you may want to consider having a professional do the work, since any mistakes made at this stage will greatly affect the quality of the paint applied later. In addition, owners often opt to build wider bumpers to follow the new, wider contours of the body.
Follow along with Thurmond and John Holloway as they apply the full fender upgrade to a '64 Corvette.