Thanks to the aftermarket, there's never been a better time to build a custom first-generation Corvette. Assuming you have the means, there are myriad direct-fit bodies, custom chassis, crate motors, narrowed rearends, brake kits, steering columns, and wiring kits available--all ready to form the basis of your cutting-edge C1 project.
One of the first items you'll need is a good platform. That's where Jim Meyer Racing Products fits into the picture. JMRP was one of the first in the industry to offer a modern-component frame for the '53-'62 Corvette chassis, something it's been doing for more than 10 years now. The modern-component approach means you can have virtually any industry-standard option engineered into your chassis package at the time of purchase, allowing you to spec out anything from a basic driver to a full-on race car.
The basic chassis is no slouch. In fact, it's the only adjustable-stance chassis in the industry to provide nearly 4 inches of adjustability, allowing you to dial in the exact stance you desire. It comes complete with body mounts, a core-support mount, engine and trans mounts, and bumper-bracket mounts--all in their stock locations. Other notable features include an A-arm independent front suspension (IFS) with adjustable coilovers or an Air Ride Technologies ShockWave system; a quick-turn manual rack-and-pinion steering unit; 11-inch GM front disc brakes; a new, custom-width 9-inch rearend with Dutchman alloy axles; and urethane-bushed adjustable four-link rear control arms. Sway bars are optional, and all parts are also available separately.
The chassis' center tubular X-member has been redesigned at the rear, where it connects to the new through-frame front four-link crossmember for improved strength. The adjustable urethane-bushed four-link has also been redesigned and placed inboard of the chassis rails to allow a wider rear-tire option. An adjustable, urethane-bushed Panhard bar and a multihole coilover-bracket mount on top of the rearend housing allow for stance adjustment.
Meyer builds a completely new 9-inch rearend with every order. He starts with a new Currie center housing and 3-inch axle tubes, then adds outer flanges and Dutchman alloy axles to meet the desired width requirements. Optional housings include an Alston Fab9, a Winters V-8 quick-change, and a championship-style quick-change unit.
The chassis shown in the accompanying photos was heavily optioned with front and rear sway bars, Wilwood disc brakes at all corners, and a tubbed rear. This customer also specified -4 AN stainless steel brake-line plumbing with a proportioning valve, along with several other features we'll get to in a moment. At Jim Meyer Racing Products, they build it your way; all you have to do is ask.