Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Pro Street fans, take note: this is how you build a vintage resto-mod that stands up to the test of time. There are so many hacked-up mid-year Corvettes out there with misguided attempts at modernization that this track-ready 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Pro Street roadster stands out simply by virtue of its insane curb appeal and attention to detail. Of course, the thundering 496 cubic inch big block with it's protruding blower doesn't hurt, and it's got the performance hardware to put all that extra horsepower to use without diminishing the fantastic original C2 look.
A mid-year Corvette roadster is nothing overly unique or incredibly special, right? Sure, they have that timeless Stingray look that we all love, but they've almost become so ubiquitous at car shows and on TV that they almost go unnoticed. And I'm quite sure that unfortunate development was on the drawing boards when this beauty was being restored, because the builders did just about everything they could to ensure this Pro Street stands out from the crowd. They started with an Art Morrison 2x4 square tube custom chassis with steel floors and wheel tubs, and a full 10 point roll cage NHRA certified to 8.5 all powder coated in black. And painting it bright Torch Red certainly helps, giving it an elegantly vivid, attention-grabbing look that respects the Corvette's storied pedigree, while still highlighting all the car's exciting upgrades. The cowl hood is a custom big block 'Stinger' piece that allows that huge motor and blower to stick out and breathe easy, there's a custom decklid out back that was fabricated to cover the oversized fuel cell and dual battery set-up, and the HUGE narrowed, lengthened, and tubbed rear end allows for those GIANT Mickey Thompson rubbers and Weld Racing rims to set the pouncing rake that make this 'Vette look like it's going 100MPH while standing still. Bodywork was nicely done a few years back (there's only 5,212 miles on the build) and looks very good still today with only a few signs of use, with great shut lines and a modern urethane shine on that slick red finish. If we'd have to guess, this was likely a very high-dollar paint job when it was applied, because it still looks so darn good today. The custom egg crate grille and rear chrome bumpers give the Corvette a classic sports car look and with the factory trim around the top and windows still in place, the brightwork sparkles against the high-impact bodywork. There's absolutely nothing on the exterior that wasn't tweaked, upgraded, or polished to a high shine during the restoration, and it's all holding up very well. And yes, that's an Art Morrison wheelie bar set-up out back, so this 'Lil Red Corvette is ready to stand-up and salute the crowd right off the line.
The custom interior does a great job matching the exterior's performance flash, with choice upgrades throughout the cabin. The black-and-red leather upholstery is a great choice with the bright red bodywork, suggesting someone with excellent taste was picking the colors. All the soft parts are in excellent shape, including the Monaco buckets lined with bright red piping and equipped with Simpson 5-point harness seatbelts, plush black carpets, custom door panels, and the original dash pad, so it all looks uniform and everything matches nicely. A full array of AutoMeter gauges are straight ahead of the driver, and along with the custom center console and roll cage, it feels like the cockpit of a fighter jet inside. And quite frankly, once you rev up the motor and watch the RPM's rise on the tach, it sounds like one, too. This C2 is also equipped with a sporty LeCarra steering wheel atop a tilt column, a Cheetah shifter in the custom center console that manages the built automatic transmission below, along with a heavy-duty roll cage inside that stiffens the body and makes this Corvette racetrack ready.
If you're trying to figure out what all the ruckus is about, you'll quickly get the picture when you open the rear-lift hood and find a thundering 496 V8 big block that grunts out HUGE horsepower thanks to the giant Big Al's Toybox supercharger kit perched up top. Finished in more polished aluminum bits than you'll find at a Goodguys show, it's a street-legal piece that was built to dominate at the track. There's a pair of Holley 4-barrel carbs on top, Wisco 8.5:1 pistons inside, long-tube headers, and an HEI ignition in addition to all the stout goodies inside. All that horsepower is handled with ease thanks to an Art Carr performance built 4L80E 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission with a 3500 stall, manual valve body, and a Hurst line-lock set-up on the Cheetah shifter. The reinforced chassis and custom suspension carries a power rack-and-pinion steering setup, coilovers, and custom tubular A-arms up front, along with coilovers out back along with a back-halved tub and 4-link set-up that carries a narrowed Ford 9
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