Pinnacle Auto Appraisers' Blog
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1954 Hot Rod Corvette Gets a New Lease on Life
To paraphrase country singer George Jones, this is one old Corvette that's not ready for a rockin' chair.
John Muller of Arizona always liked the way first generation Corvettes looked, but motoring down the highway in the 1955 he once owned wasn't the ultimate driving experience.
Then he found a 1954 Corvette on eBay that he called "nearly a basket case."
By the time he got through with a two-year project at Hot Rod Express in Blue Springs, however, it was a different story. Hidden under that classic body now are a 5.7-liter, Corvette LS1 engine and a six-speed transmission, along with new brakes and suspension.
Unfortunately, one of his friends drove the car into an old oak tree a few years later, and it was time for another restoration, this time at Carriage and Motor Works in Kansas City, Kan.
Workers there completely took the car apart and repaired or replaced just about every body panel. In all, the work took about 1,700 hours and included a period-correct metallic blue paint on top of a fawn colored leather interior.
From the outside, clues are few that this is a super resto-mod, other than magnesium wheels and a lowered body. Under the hood, the original six-cylinder has given way to a late-model V-8.
GM Design Director Kip Wasenko calls it “the Corvette Duntov would have built to win LeMans.”
Now some lucky and very wealthy – person will have the opportunity to buy this hand-crafted custom 1963 Corvette unlike any other in the world, complete with a jaw-dropping modernistic design and a twin-turbo, mid-engine setup that boasts 0-60 times below 3 seconds.
The Corvette V7 Twin Turbo will be on the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction to be held in Palm Beach, Fla., from April 5-7.
Barrett-Jackson’s website defines the car as “a stunning reinvention or vision of the future,” and with the automotive industry's coveted GM Design Award resting snugly in its rear pocket, who can argue with that statement about this stunning vehicle?
The split window coupe has been “passionately resculpted and shaped with swooping lines and breathtaking style,” Barrett-Jackson boasts, and “the new cab forward design allows the motor to be viewed through the original rear window's openings.” In fact, the entire split-window area rises on pistons to let that magnificent motor be seen in all its glory.
And what a motor it is. The LS V8 engine has dynoed at a remarkable 1,067-hp and 915 lb.-feet of torque. Compare that to a ZR1's 638-hp and 604 lb.-feet of torque, and you have an idea of just what kind of monster is lurking underneath the Twin Turbo's sleek black exterior that features an industry first “suislide” articulating door system. We don't know exactly what that means, but if it's on this car, it has to be way cool.
Technically speaking, the Corvette features a custom tube dual ladder frame, Penske Racing fully adjustable suspension, huge six-piston Baer brakes with cross-drilled rotors, and custom HRE wheels resting inside Michelin's widest tires. It also has race-style seating from Cobra with full Crow harness system, along with conveniences like power windows and HVAC but no audio system. The only sound you'll want to hear when driving this car is the motor!