This is my first C2, the one I still cry about selling. The car had a lot of character, which meant it needed work. But oh how I enjoyed the hours upon hours working on this ugly redheaded stepchild hidden in my garage. Yes, the car has no paint on it. It sat half in and half out of a garage buried in muck. It was a "half" barn find I guess.
If you look at the middle of the front fender you will see the fiberglass is cracked, thanks to someone putting 8 inch wide ralley wheels and even wider tires. Suspension traveled and cuhhhrack.
I know I have cracks in certain places so it wasn't a deal breaker. But I knew I had to change out the wheel and tire comob even though it looked awesome. Sorry to all the purists who read that.
An inviting place to row gears and enjoy the cockpit experience of a high revving gear slamming adventure. Power steering was for sissys. The car came with Armstrong steering. No A/C. No power brakes. 4 drums on all corners and I carried a small boat anchor I could toss out the window for emergency stops. Yes, crank windows. You lost weight driving these cars. Your arms legs and butt got a workout.
A safe place for pets, children and friends who had no thoughts of living a long life. How many cute girls can you hide back there? Sorry I swore to secrecy. There used to be a saying in the Corvette community it's required to ride naked in a Corvette so you don't scratch anything. I was told that saying did not apply to me as an owner by the policeman. He left me off with a warning.
Now you are seeing some of the issues which needed addressed. The car was hit in the front end and someone didn't put the front nose on correctly. Trying to tweak and make adjustments to fit the ill-fitted nose was challenging at best. I couldn't afford professional body work nor was I talented enough to tackle that by myself. Know thy limits.
The headlights would not rotate. After many You Tube views of how to repair electric motors, I cleared off the surgery table, and started laying parts out dismantling the motors. I'm sweating like I was under bright lights in the police station asking me silly questions about me leaving tire burn marks IN THE POLICE PARKING LOT. WHO ME?
Where's OJ's Dream Team of lawyers when I need them?
Oh yes, now this is a "JOY STICK" for us gear-heads...an automatic Corvette was sacrilegious. Oh the joy of rowing that stick through the M20 wide ratio transmission, this C2 had an odd feature. Ready for this? It had a 3.08 HIGHWAY GEAR. Stock was 3.36. I could take this ride out on Interstate 10 and cruise with the rest at 75-80 and the tach may be at 3000 rpms which was fine to me. The shifters click click is a resounding echo in my head as I go for a memory ride.
Here's the heart of this little hot rod. 327 cubic inches with 300 thorobred horses breathing through a 4 barrel carb with stock headers. With the timing set at factory standards, it was good. But my friend who used to be an engineer and mechanic took my little 327 and woke it up and forget that 5000 yellow line on the tach. When he took me for a ride after performing surgery, I thought he installed a big block. I was afraid to look at the tach as this little small journaled air pump screamed like a freed eagle soaring. He gave me a brand new C2. Thanks always and forever Phil.
See that colored area on the tach? Well I made sure I stayed under that reading. UNTIL, Phil "TUNED" up the 327. He laughed when I told him I had set it to factory specs. Factory smactory....the engine knows what it wants. Feed it.....and man did it like it???? It ate the oats and hay a stallion (sorry Mustang owners) needs for racing. 6500 RPMs??? I swear I saw it on the tach as Phil took the steed out to eat and I sat praying in the passenger seat it wouldn't blow.
And now you get to see the Barbra Streisand nose on this fiberglass wonder. I did what I could to make 4 bad angels look as good as I could and at least I got the headlights to rotate without binding and a crooked grill with broken mounts that needed refiberglassed. It was frusrating but I didn't have the coinage to make it what it needed.
further evidence of what fiberglass hackers can do thinking they have skill levels which seem to be missing here. Our saying today is:
IT IS WHAT IT IS. And many people told me my nose was crooked and I said the car and I will both get them fixed if I can find a two for one deal.
Until then, we lived with it.
I always hated the single master cylinder. Safety was always in my mind and with drum brakes, I drove it smartly. Good following distances, looking far ahead and adjusting speed before emergencies. It was a fun, fun, fun, did I mention FUN? And although the girl in the song was sad when her Daddy took the T-bird away, that isn't happening here.
I finally owned my dream car. It wasn't perfect of course, neither am I.
But this story has a sad ending. It's almost as tear jerking as it was when they shot Old Yellar in the Disney Movie.
This is the one and only final pic I have of the C2 BEFORE I let it go, to sell it to cash in to buy a house. When the two buyers came from Idaho to Arizona and put my C2 on the trailer, I looked at my wife and said I just made a HUGE mistake letting the car go. Yes it was going for a full restoration and yes I made some money on it but I felt that sinking emptiness of seller's remorse.
And the garage sat empty. And the pics are hard to review now and see what I had. Things happen for reasons and I did end up with one more 64 Corvette but it wasn't the same. This one...with all it's flaws meant more to me than a trailer queen would have. This C2 had character. And to find it in it's ugly state stuck in mud, I brought home a pig and turned it into something that reminded me, I am not perfect and don't need perfection to be happy. End of story.
Hand me a tissue will you........God bless and no I didn't sneeze.
Mario on Dec 20, 2021 said:
What an awesome story Rob!!! I Love all your comments and the pictures are incredible!!!
At least you can say you owned a 64 Vette and had the honor and pleasure to work on it. And on top of that you were able to sell it to help you buy a House!!! How Grand is that???
These are wonderful memories you shared with us gearheads and I am truly thankful to hear your story with pictures!!!
Thank you Rob, you are truly a "car enthusiast" and our breed is slowly fading away, but our love of cars will last forever! Cheers! Mario[Reply to this comment]