C3 Corvette Gas Cap - Cap It Off

Add Racing Flair With A Le Mans Gas Cap

Steve Dulcich Jun 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Corp_0906_01_z 1976_chevrolet_corvette Gas_cap_install 1/15

A classic design of its own, the LeMans gas cap was standard equipment on exotic and racing sports cars of the performance era. We acquired this polished aluminum beauty, PN 423411C, from Aeroform for installation on our '76 Stingray project.

There is no arguing the fact that when it comes to Corvettes, even a utilitarian device such as a gas cap takes on a stylistic identity. Sure, we can even look at the OEM offerings on the C3, and here we'll find a prominently placed door, in most years adorned with an attractive emblem. The most basic setup carried a racy presence, especially when compared to most other vehicles of the era.

While the OEM door-on-deck arrangement is nice, there is definitely room to step up the performance statement. One component that accomplishes just that is the aluminum LeMans cap. Virtually ubiquitous on road racing and special-purpose sports cars back through the '60s, the LeMans fuel cap was found capping the fuel tank on all manner of machines. Corvette C3 examples could be found on the outlandish Baldwin Motion specialty cars of the period. With its chiseled aluminum shape and purposeful design, this piece is timelessly classic even today.

Our project '76 Stingray has undergone some extensive body modifications, and the overall theme is going to be anything but modest. We were inspired by the look of yesterday, and set on the idea of adding the LeMans cap to our substantial list of custom modifications. There are two approaches to mounting one of these units: either fixing the cap directly to the fuel tank to replace the existing cap system, or deck-mounting the cap in a faux installation, retaining the OEM cap underneath. While a true tank-mounted installation is the more "pure" approach, the existing tank must be removed and modified to accept the flange mount. While this makes the installation functional in the sense that the new cap assembly actually seals the tank, the much more common installation is to mount the new cap assembly to replace the OEM hinged door, while retaining the stock filler neck and cap.

We ordered our cap assembly from Aeroform and were rewarded with a brilliantly polished work of art. With a neck length of one inch, the unit is the perfect height for a deck installation. The actual install requires some fiberglass work and filling, but it was worth the effort since the finished installation provided just the look we were after.

Sources

Aeroform
Kansas City, Missouri
800/345-2376
www.aeroform.com

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