1963 Chevy Corvette Exterior Features - Split Personality, Part 6

Split Personality Part 6 - Exterior Features

Rich & Barb Lagasse Dec 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
Corp_0812_09_z 1967_chevy_corvette_exterior_features Side_fender 1/25

Here's the modified rear valance and center exhaust outlet.

Cold-Air Intake :::
We laid out several approaches that would gain access to outside cooler air. The main considerations were how well it could be integrated into the body as well as the best route to take to get to the engine. Other factors were the type of ductwork that could be used and how we could make the connection to the throttle body. Space is awfully tight when you look for a route through the chassis, under the radiator, under the steering rack, and in front of the engine damper. The approach we used uses a scoop molded into the front valance (which incorporates a custom air filter and grille) and a combination of silicone and metal ductwork to connect to a custom throttle-body elbow made by Street & Performance.

The intake grille is located between the bumpers and is a custom piece machined by Marks Machine to our design, which maintains the horizontal-bar style of the grille. Behind the grille is a custom air filter we made ourselves. The scoop was made starting with an aftermarket unit which was extensively changed to make it blend into the valance. The rear of the scoop was shaped to fit an aftermarket C4 bridge, which makes a transition to a 90-degree elbow and then an upward turn under the steering rack. From that point, an ovalized tube was used to make the connection to the throttle-body elbow, which is a custom piece made by Street & Performance and incorporates the Mass Air Flow sensor and IAT hose from the dry sump tank. We'll cover the engine compartment ductwork in the next installment. (See photo 5: intake grille)

Exhaust Outlet :::
We wanted to incorporate a C6 design element for the exhaust outlets as we had in our '62 and route the exhaust through the center of the rear valance. In our last project installment (Part 5 in the June '08 issue), we covered the exhaust system, hangers, and Corsa exhaust tips. For the cutout in the rear valance, a template was made for the area to be cut which was large enough to clear the exhaust tips and still fit beneath the license plate and between the bumpers. A lip was molded into the cutout to give it some shape. The shape mirrors that used for the intake scoop profile. (See photo 6: rear exhaust/valance)

Looking Back - RearView Camera System :::
While we're covering the rear of the car, this is a good time to mention another aspect we've addressed by using technology not available 45 years ago. No doubt the most recognized styling aspect of a '63 coupe is the split rear window. While a great styling feature (and subject to controversy when the car was designed), it's also a major limitation to rearward visibility. We thought a great way to overcome that would be to utilize current technology by incorporating a rearview camera. We did that by utilizing a tiny color camera from Rostra Precision Controls.

Finding a way to hide the camera proved a bit more involved than the installation itself. But, in keeping with our theme of making subtle changes, we thought installing the camera into the billet license plate frame would do just what we wanted. We worked with Richard Kemmel of BilletFrames.com to make the license frame. If you look at the letter "O" in the word "PRO" at the top of the license-plate frame, you can see where we mounted the camera. The monitor is contained within the rearview mirror and, while small in size, shows a clear view of the area behind the car. We wonder, had this been available when Mitchell and Duntov were arguing over the rear-window design, if the split window would have continued for other years. We'll never know. (See photo 7: rear camera) We'll address how we installed the mirror/monitor in the installment covering the interior features.

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