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A C2 without makeup, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

Still pretty at any age and angle

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.

This is the driver's side for those of you who are unfamiliar with Corvettes. Yes I will go slow for the uneducated, unaware. This pic is me showing off my C2s butt to the world and neighbors. It drew a crowd

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.

Come in, sit down, buckle up and shut up. There's a grab bar in front of you in case you feel you're about to die. Don't touch anything. The fire extinguisher you see is to SAVE THE CAR, NOT YOU. If you throw up, or wet or soil yourself, you will be expected to do a complete detail.

All the roof and body lines looked like factory. It was the nose that was the "ugly" on the car. But hey, my nose isn't perfect. So you get a pet or a car that looks like you. This C2 had a nice butt and I have been told the same. See, it works.

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?

See that nice door that's how they COULD do it in the factory. Did they ALWAYS do that? Come on...we all know Monday and Friday cars were treated like unwelcomed guests. Get rid of them as fast as you can. Always buy a car built on a Wednesday I was told.

Oh yes, now this is a "JOY STICK" for us 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.

Sure wish the lenses were clearer but this is what I got and figured someday I will remove and clean or replace. That 23,XXX miles? I can attest that is not ORIGINAL. If it's 23K original miles, someone needs a beating for what they did to this C2. 123K MAYBE? Or 223K ???? Never rule anything out.

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 cleaned the little small block wonder and added a nice Edelbrock carb to feed the mighty air pump, and power steering. I put new valve stem seals and cleaned up the valve covers. All labors of love. And the car paid me back in spades with joy and happiness.

I tweaked and twisted things as best I could, traded the 64 grill for a good 65 and took the usual grief for doing that. I thanked the commenting public for their input and left them thinking they just saved humanity by telling me this. Let them enjoy their world. I'll enjoy mine.

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.

New tires and wheels in recommended sizes gave the C2 a new look. Torque Thrust IIs and some 225 wide tires fit nicely in the wheel wells.

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.


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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

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Mario on Dec 31, 2021 said:

Happy New Year 2022 Rob! Hope you can find that C2 you want or another car so you can post the pictures. Stay healthy and don't take any wooden nickels! Boy am I old! Mario

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