Written by independent automotive journalist Roger C. Johnson
This 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible, is the result of a seven-year build process. This care has always been a high-water mark for the brand. Its lines were wonderfully smooth and contemporary, and radiate that same vibe even today. It was a world-class sports car and proved it on the road-race courses and drag strips alike. Now that our sense of history is sharper than ever, the ’57 Vette is experiencing a resurgence in the collector’s market. And upgraded versions are at least as popular as pure originals.
This optimized Corvette was designed to put it on the very top tier of the world class of sports cars, and its credentials are extremely impressive. Make sure you’re sitting down for this.
A seven-year build process culminated in Lot #1377, a visually subtle yet radical creation offered at No Reserve that incorporates the finest high-performance parts in the industry. Power comes from a tweaked 7-liter LS7 Chevy utilizing a dry-sump oiling system. Customized tanks for oil and gas from Rick’s Custom Tanks keep the fluids running efficiently. The engine creates its own visual with the classic “snakes-in-snakes-out” intake runners and exhaust headers. A 3-inch polished stainless-steel exhaust system tucks away nicely exiting with unimposing twin tailpipes, much like the original Shelby Cobra.
A TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission with a Hurst shifter has all the muscle and finesse you’ll ever need to stir this modern-day asphalt shredder.
A complete McLeod clutch assembly including a dual disc clutch make for a bullet-proof connection of power plant and gearbox. Out back, a Dana rear end houses 3.73 gearing with posi-traction. To keep this road rocket properly affixed to the earth is a complete C4 Corvette suspension package that has been beautifully engineered to be at home underneath this machine. A carbon-fiber rear-leaf assembly was only fitting. This up-tech machine also incorporates massive Baer disc brakes to the tune of 15-inch rotors on all corners. The oversized calipers look like they came from an airplane. Supersized Asanti wheels host low-profile radial tires and enhance this car’s striking image and performance even more.
This Corvette’s exterior represents an exercise in hand-formed perfection and attention to detail. With the goal of preserving the ’57’s already immortal body lines, countless subtle changes were made that catapulted this machine into a realm of the fantastic.
The rear fenders were modified and widened by 3.5 inches on each side to permit the use of the car’s extra-large rolling stock. The aggressive stance shouts out maximum performance without even saying a word. The side coves are actually 1961 versions that were meticulously crafted into the ’57 body. Notice the small side air-intakes in front of each rear wheel. Excessive chrome trim has been done away with so it can’t distract from the car’s natural good looks. Parking lights and turn signals have been repositioned inside the grille and out of sight.
Open the flush-mounted C5 Corvette door handles and you’ll find the interior of this roadster offers the level of plushness you’d expect in a fine classic touring sedan, like its Italian leather seats and German carpeting.
Stock-looking factory gauges have been upgraded by Classic Instruments to be compatible with all the modern electronic requirements of today’s sophisticated powertrains. Air conditioning, power windows and door locks, along with heated seats and a hidden Kicker stereo system with interface capability, will constantly remind you this is a 21st-century sports car of the highest order. This fantastic custom Corvette was completed in 2018 and has only been driven 945 miles.
So, if you’re looking for a collectible Corvette that can stand its ground against any kind of street-legal performance car in the world ‒ and if you’re intrigued by the melding of the past and the present ‒ here’s an opportunity to alter your personal reality forever.
For up-to-date information on this vehicle, click HERE.
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