When the C2 was introduced in 1963, independent front suspension had already been the norm in Detroit for quite some time. Independent rear suspension, however, was quite innovative, and a substantial improvement over the solid-axle setup found under the first-generation Corvette. Though innovative then, it's just plain old-fashioned now. The C2 (and subsequently, the C3) IRS featured independent trailing arms linked by an enormous (and heavy) transverse leaf spring. Having the left and right suspension linked with this spring partially nullified much of the advantage of IRS, as each rear wheel was susceptible to the other's movements. (Both the first- and second- generation Corvettes have standard "Banjo"-style spring-and-shock setups in the front.)
Luckily, there's a company out there that has anticipated Corvette owners' desire for more-precise handling: SpeedDirect. The company's Shark Bite independent front and rear coilover suspension systems, when combined with its Steeroids rack-and-pinion power-steering kit, update any C2 or C3 chassis to modern performance standards. The parts are available as three separate packages, so you can upgrade your car in stages to fit your budget. Naturally, we opted to install all three kits on our '69 "stunt car" at once. Let's take a look at the major portions of the installation.