With regret, it’s time for us to let this go. Purchased around the turn of the century as a family project, it’s served us well, but our family has grown, and it’s time for someone to enjoy this as it was intended.
When our “hot rod” arrived to us a decade and a half ago it had great bones (an original steel body and chassis! as well as some vintage parts – rebuilt 350/350, rare and sought after Double Hump Vette heads, original 32’ grille, vintage polished Offy intake with triple Rochester deuces, Corvette IRS, etc.) but it needed some love breathed back into it. The chop was done back in the day but never quite finished and it was in need of a floor and some strengthening.
First order of business for this body-off restoration was boxing the original frame, properly fitting the IRS cross member, and adding an X-member. We then installed a brand new and complete Super Bell front suspension system with disk brakes (w/finned drum style shields) from Pete and Jake’s, and a new braking system (under floor double master cylinder, booster, and all new lines). We then turned our attention to the body and meticulously reconstructed the floor from scratch using tube steel for rigidity. As you can see, the body is channeled over the frame, and there’s a nicely bolstered bench in it. If you’re over 5-10, expect to do a little Milner hunch forward, or a gangster lean, but that can easily be remedied if you want to swap the bench (new flip up style with new upholstery for some bomber seats or the like).
I could go on forever about the modifications and parts – Flaming River steering column, Lokar long neck shifter, vintage swan neck headlight brackets, custom shock mounts, custom molded aluminum wheel well inserts, recessed engine-turned firewall, Edelbrock finned valve covers, Auburn style dash insert with SW Wings gauges, McClean wire rims (with brand new tread), etc. etc. etc., but let’s let the pictures do the rest of the talking for all of that. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any specific questions!!
We have receipts (just please don't ask us to add them up, it hurts too much!) and pics of the entire build process.
The body was sanded, extraneous filler removed, a new rear panel and stock style wheel wells welded in, and the doors replaced with original ones. Any surface rust was treated, all was undercoated, the body primed, and then painted flat black. It's not perfect, but it speaks to a time and perfectly completes the look we were going for. If you'd like to take it to the next level, you could do so knowing that everything underneath is solid.
As far as what’s missing – we have the back and rear side glass/molding, but there are no provisions for door glass. The interior is almost all the way there, but is not finished behind the seat and there is no headliner. There is a horn, but it’s not hooked up. If you run the headers uncorked you won’t need it anyway!
We wanted to preserve as much of the original mojo as possible, but not leave any of the systems to chance. The electrical system, exhaust (true dual exhaust with mufflers), fuel system, etc. are all new. The car was taken to a shop to rebuild and dial in the carbs, replace the rear main seal, and any other gaskets that needed replacing since the car sat for the last few years untouched. There’s still an ever so slight drip from – you guessed it – the front pan / timing chain cover area, but of course that’s how ALL 350s from this era mark their territory!
Oh, in case you’re wondering….. IT’S FAST!!! And an absolute BLAST to drive!!! The trans has a race style reverse valve body in it, so you manually run it through the gears!
The RESERVE is LOW!