My entire childhood featured a revolving door of awesome cars. My dad bought, sold and traded a lot, so he always had a yard full of cars. And with his bodywork and paint skills, he started bringing in full on restorations and street rod builds. The Corvette I’m posting pictures of today is one of the most impressive transformations I’ve seen him perform.
The car is a ’65 Corvette convertible, and we actually had a small window of opportunity to buy this car last year. Instead, one of dad’s longtime friends, Bill Sims bought it and commissioned my dad to work it over. So my dad still got to put his hands on an old Corvette, which is always pleasure for him.
Like many Midyear Corvettes, this one had been butchered at some point as an unsuccessful attempt at fabricating fender flares left it with huge wheel openings. It rolled in on a set of slotted mags, 15×8 up front and 15×10 on the rear, so you can imagine the looks that most people gave it. What most people didn’t know was that my dad could make this car look good in a matter of one week. When it comes to fiberglass, he can do anything.
So, he ordered a full set of wheel well repair panels from ACI (American Custom Industries), which really come in handy for projects such as this one. Other companies like Ecklers and Mid-America offered “repair kits” for C2 wheel openings, but their panels didn’t offer enough surface area to repair this big of a fender flare. So after I did some research, I told my dad that ACI was the only place that had what he needed.
My dad doesn’t always go “by the book” on certain stuff, so his installation process may differ from many others who have performed this task. First and foremost, any other builder would have replaced the entire quarter panels and front fender panels, but the budget didn’t allow for it. So my dad attached the wheel wells, using a special bonding adhesive. Instead of trying to splice in the new panels to the existing fiberglass, he overlapped the new panels, and filled the transition with fiberglass mat and resin.
From there, the body required very little routine bodywork, and then a couple rounds of priming and block-sanding. Bright red paint was then applied and later sanded and buffed for a slick finish. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to do a photo shoot on the car, because Bill sold it a couple months after finishing the car. Anyway, just figured I would show a great transformation, and the fact that anything is possible with fiberglass!