The Story of My Corvette blog was wildly successful, thanks to being selected as a Freshly Pressed post, but the story of the car is most definitely incomplete. Obviously, I’m attached to the car and I’ll likely give it to one of my kids someday, but I’ve made a lot of changes to the car since it has become “mine”. When I first started driving it, the car constantly ran hot, due to the fact that it had a .060 over 327 and 4.11 rear end gears. The throttle linkage was very sticky and a touch of the brakes would pull the car unpredictably to the left or right, which made it exhausting to drive. Watching the temperature gauge like a hawk, I would carefully select the gears, because my dad had drilled into my head the likelihood of getting it hung up between gears. I found that my dad’s gripes about the car were totally true, so it was time to do something about it, instead of just dealing with it every time I slid behind the wheel.
So, the first order of business involved an overdrive transmission. Generally, I’m against overdrives because they prove to be unreliable in performance applications, but the Tremec TKO-600 seemed to be a great choice for the Corvette. I got the kit from Keisler Engineering, which included new mounts so it would bolt into place “easily”. For me, it didn’t go so smoothly because I chose to run a bulky, and heavy Lakewood blow-proof bell housing. And the fact that the TKO is longer, wider, taller and heavier than the stock Muncie four-speed offered quite a challenge when it came to installing the new setup. However, the overdrive greatly reduced rpm at cruising speeds, so it helped it run much cooler. While everything was torn down, we also installed a Zoom aluminum flywheel, Zoom clutch set and a new driveshaft.
Next was a new engine combination. Although the car was known locally for its blower and street scoop, I wanted to go with a basic setup to make it more dependable. I went with a Dart Top End Kit with 200cc Pro1 Platinum heads and a single plane intake. Then switched out the original distributor for a basic HEI unit, and installed a 650cfm Holley mechanical secondary carburetor. The new setup doesn’t run quite as strong as the old one, but in all reality the heads are too big for the mild combination. Oh well–a turbo would definitely help fill up the empty spaces in those heads.
The car also got new brakes, which it needed badly. New hoses, lines, hardware and all that stuff. It made an unbelievable difference in driving quality. It has also gone through a few phases of tire and wheel combinations, but I think I’ve found a winner with the skinny five-spokes up front and black steel wheels out back. I recently bought a pair of M&H Racemaster slicks for it, to further the vintage drag look. Let’s see, I’ve also had to patch up a few rough spots in the body work, so that explains the primer spots. I really want to give the car a fresh paint job within the next few years…it needs it pretty bad. It also needs a turbo pretty bad, so I guess we’ll find out which one is a higher priority for me!