A Work in Progress
I have wanted a corvette since I was a small boy. My grandfather was a flag man and crew chief at a local dirt-track (East Bay Raceway in Tampa, FL). Every weekend as a boy I would go down to the track and get to talk with all of the drivers. One in particular, Harry “Cheater” Parmenter, had a 1969 Corvette that he had converted for dirt track racing. I loved that car. He was always “my” driver and I was crushed whenever he lost.
After graduating from college I decided it was time to start looking for my Corvette. I knew I wanted a chrome bumper Shark but wasn’t sure about the exact year. After several years of responding to ads that read “1969 Corvette, runs great $4000” and finding out that they actually meant “1969 Corvette engine only, runs great”, I came across an ad for a 1971 Corvette Coupe. I called the owner and he mentioned that it used to be a big block car but it currently had a small block 1971 Corvette engine in it. I took along one of my co-workers (who is also a Corvette fanatic) and as soon as I pulled up into the driveway I was aghast. The thing was purple! Who had every heard of a purple Corvette (OK, sure there was the C5 Pace Car) but a purple Shark!? The shock soon faded to glee as I took it for a spin. This guy had obviously intended on making this a race car as the engine was incredible. It spun the wheels in three gears and threw me back into my seat. What a rush! As I then found out the engine has a highly radical cam, RPM performer intake, roller rockers and lifters and a M22 “rock crusher” tranny. This was one mean car. After negotiating what I thought was a terrific price I was now the proud owner of a 1971 Corvette Coupe. One half of the dream had been fulfilled.
Now for the second (and the more difficult) half of the dream. Restoring the car! Overall it ran well and looked pretty good. In fact I drove it 70 miles home the day I bought it with no problems (other than sucking down a full tank of gas). Unfortunately it had been neglected for the past few years and needed some “babying”.
So I am now in the process of restoring my baby. It’ll be a long hard road but in the end it will be worth it. I’ll be documenting my restoration here. I’ve already completed some tasks and I’ll put up some photos of these items as time permits.
|Original Equipment||Current Configuration||Final Configuration|