Wheels and Tires :::
In keeping with our theme of combining the '63 Z06 with the current Z06 components, we chose to use chrome C6 Z06 style wheels from Mid America Motorworks, which are 17 x 9.5 inches in front and 18 x 9.5 in the rear. The tires are Michelin Pilot Sport II from the Tire Rack, and the front tire size is 265/40 ZR17 and the rear 275/40 ZR18. The wheel center cap is actually a '62 Corvette horn button from Trim Parts. The wheel lugs are stock C5 lugs with custom billet covers made by a friend of ours, Bill Breski (860/877-1370). (See photo 21: wheel, tire, center cap and lugs)
A Personal Note
The key aspect of these projects that continues to hold our interest is that they allow us the freedom to design and build a car expressing our own ideas and seeing it come to life. Each project is unique and has its highs and lows, especially in a long-term enterprise, and we've had many project- and personal-related issues over the four years it entailed. But the most memorable experience is how friends and family helped out, especially during the last four months, to make it come together in time for the first showing at the Detroit Autorama. The number of 18-hour days-and literally around the clock in the last three days-really pressed everyone to their limit, and we couldn't have finished in time without lots of help from every family member and our good friends. (See photo 22: family at work and photo 23: group photo in Detroit)
We've had the hope of participating in the Ridler competition at least once in our lives, and that has been our main goal in completing this project. One of their requirements is that the car can't have been seen at a show, in a magazine, or on the Web in its finished form prior to the Autorama, which is the main reason there has been a gap in our project series. We fully knew what we were up against, having been to Detroit in 2003 with our '62 and seeing in person the level of cars there; however, we wanted to have the once-in-a-lifetime experience. To our knowledge, a Corvette hadn't participated in the Ridler competition in over 30 years and, even though it's primarily a "hot rod" show, we hoped to represent the Corvette hobby as best we could. The Split Personality '63 received four awards at the show, but what we'll remember most are the friends and family who came to help us, the experience of participating at an event like this, and all the nice folks we met at the show.
More pictures of the project can be found on www.richsclassiccorvettes.com, and we're always glad to try to help anyone who may have a question.
In the next installment, we'll cover the engine compartment, engine details, and cooling system, followed by an installment covering the interior fea-tures, including the A/C and audio systems, gauges, seatbelt system and custom panels.