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Restored 78 Corvette

Finished product after a complete frame off restoration.

I bought this 78 Corvette with the intention of fixing some fiberglass, put a fresh coat of paint on it, new interior and sell it. I didn’t go thru the car’s frame in detail. Since I live in Tennessee rust didn’t cross my mind, besides fiberglass can’t rust! Well when I got it home and jack it up to work in the brakes I was shocked to see that the frame at the dog leg was almost rusted in two.

So after thinking it thru I decided to buy a good frame and rebuilt it. I didn’t want to patch it up and pass it on to someone else like that. You know the saying “do onto others as you would have them do onto you”. I wouldn’t want to buy a patched up vette! So the decision was made.

Reading everything I could on the internet about restoration of a gen 3 vette I jumped in. Mind ya, I only have a 2 car garage and I had to kick Momma’s car out in the elements for about 10 months while I worked on it. I change out everything, if I didn’t replace it new, I rebuilt it, or cleaned it up and painted it.

These pictures are proof that if you set your mind to it, have the time, patients, money and some good friends anyone can rebuild a vette! And ya, I’ll probably I put it up for sale, but I never get my money out of it being a Gen 3 vette. But you can’t put a price tag on the experience. Enjoy the pictures. If you have any question I’ll try to answer them.

This is what I found after pulling the body off!

Cherry picker comes in handy

Put the body on a wooden frame while I worked on the frame.

Bought a good frame check it to make sure it was straight, cleaned and painted it. Time to put it back together.

A lot of new parts $$$$$$$

Detailed as much as I could

Time to marry the body and frame.

Not your high tech paint booth, but with some color sanding and a lot of clear coat block sanding and a bunch of polishing it turned out pretty good.

A lot of time to get to this

A lot of new interior parts

Top it off with a rebuilt motor


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azmusclecar on Mar 2, 2015 said:

There's a photo worth a thousand words......and a lot of time and patience and money and dedication. Now that you've posed this we will need follow up pics to see how this comes back together. I've never done a body off but I'd sure like to try it. I just helped my friend with his and it was so easy working on frame parts and all the engine and transmission details. Keep up the good work.

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azmusclecar on Mar 3, 2015 said:

WAIT A COTTON PICKIN' MINUTE!!! That car was just apart 2 days ago. I think either someone was photo'chopping or are you that good??? I thought a body off took at least a week. I only see one side of the car so maybe the other side is undone........uh-huh....I was born at night...but NOT LAST NIGHT.

Looking 77 Vette never looked that good.

So as I see it, you still owes us some photos! :-)

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Anonymous on Mar 4, 2015 said:

WOW...........great detailed write up and the best was the pic of the $20. That says alot to restoration. I wish I could restore my bank account as well as you restored your car. Excellent work on a challenging undertaking. I believe you are in the minority, having discovered the chassis situation, I believe many would have thrown in the towel and marked it off to an experience. I enjoy working on rides because the deeper you go, the more you learn and then when you start to put it back together, you kind of build a relationship to the car. Everytime I fix something, the warm fuzzies of the DIY come about and of course if something goes bad, you at least know how it was put together. Thanks for posting all the pics and details. There's a 78 that will win awards at car shows.. red on red........classic. And finally, you have an excellent attitude towards restoration and life, treat others as you would have them treat you. You didn't patch and pass it did THE RIGHT THING!! Well done and in 10 MONTHS!!!!!!

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azmusclecar on Mar 4, 2015 said:

Sorry I forgot to log in before I posted the above comment...............

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Anonymous on Mar 5, 2015 said:

That is one good looking Vette. It's nice to see that a anniversary Corvette has been brought back to life and not just thrown away like a piece of trash. Old classics need to be revived for the younger generation to see how the real cars looked and performed. You did a great job and I am one to say thank you for doing so.

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ghpcnm on Apr 21, 2015 said:

I love that 'Vette and it looks like you did a marvelous job on your restoration. I've never owned a 'Vette, but if I did, I would want that generation. I can still remember a Blue '74 I drooled over as a young man that sat on our local Chevy dealer's lot. I remember it like it was yesterday. Congrats to you on a nice build.

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