1982 Chevrolet Corvette - Executive Shark

Ed Orzetti's '82 Vette Blends Big-Block Power With Modern Driveability

Barry Kluczyk Feb 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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ACCEL DFI's capacitive-discharge ignition is adaptable to the engine's crank-trigger system.

Chassis Changes
Since the C3's chassis was never designed to absorb the brunt of almost 700 lb-ft of twist, Corvette Conspiracy literally pulled the body off and started from scratch. First, the frame was gusseted and reinforced in key areas to resist the bending power of the 572's torque. The chassis' original suspension components were either upgraded or replaced with more-modern components, including QA1 coilover shocks and springs at all four corners, Van Steel adjustable rear strut rods and trailing arms, Jim Meyer tubular front A-arms, and Energy Suspension urethane bushings throughout.

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The front suspension was redesigned with Jim Meyer tubular A-arms and a QA1 adjustable coilover-shock system, resulting in a more modern driving experience. Note also the upgraded SSBC binders.

When it was completed, the refurbished frame was powdercoated in black. The fiberglass body also required some work to accommodate the new suspension parts, including the fabrication of new pockets in the front fenderwells for the coilover setup.

The Corvette sits on polished stock wheels, but the rears were sneakily widened by 1.5 inches, giving them a 9.5-inch overall width. The aluminum rims are wrapped in BFG rubber all around, including 325/50R15 Drag Radials in the rear and 275/60R15 g-Force T/As in the front.

Orzetti didn't skimp in the braking department, either. The stock four-wheel-disc system was replaced with Stainless Steel Brakes rotors and aluminum calipers that are actuated by a Hydratech Braking Systems hydra-boost power-assist system. We experienced this combination firsthand and can report that it gives the Vette eye-popping stopping capability.

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An all-stainless Corsa exhaust system makes beautiful music.

Final Thoughts
Because of its sedate appearance, it's difficult to convey the extraordinary level of workmanship and attention to detail that's gone into this bad, black Corvette. Apart from the custom shifter and a set of Dakota Digital gauges, the interior is as stock as the exterior-and that's all part of the charm of this sneaky shark.

The exhaust note certainly gives away there's something more than stock under the hood, but few would guess it's a 600-plus-hp big-block with port fuel injection and coil-on-plug ignition. With its updated suspension, brakes, and, of course, powertrain, this subtle C3 is more than capable of hanging with its C6 cousins.

Just like the great white in Jaws, which gave little warning before a terrifying strike, Ed Orzetti's '82 Corvette lulls the unaware into assuming there's nothing to worry about lurking beneath the surface. You may not need a bigger boat to catch this shark, but you're definitely going to need a bigger engine.


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