Monthly Archives: October 2015

Restoring The 1975 Corvette

Many times the restoration of a classic muscle car is not all its cracked up to be. There has to be passion, and money behind the drive. Restoring the 1975 has proven to need much of both. But I know that the end result will most certainly be rewarding.

Restoring anything, be it a vehicle like my 1975 Corvette or any other project you have to vision and re-vision the final product, until you reach your goal or standard. That has not been difficult to do with my restoration undertaking, with so many muscle car videos and car shows, it is pretty easy for you to determine what you will create with your drive and given the opportunity. Given my line of work, lets just say, I needed a project. My personal life and career, had taken me to a place to which I felt that I needed an outlet. This was it. So you find your project, be it a restoration of a classic muscle car or any other project, and vision what the final product will be and I promise you will be disappointed.

On this car, I had to basically re-design the rear of this 1975 Corvette to look like a 1980 C-3 Corvette. The main reason was that, if you have been following along on my previous posts, I had an after-market front end on the car when I purchased it. So I was able to find a factory front end off of a 1980 C-3 Corvette that was totaled in the rear. $700 dollars later, the front end was mine, and more importantly on this car. Many people ask me why I would do this? Well like I stated above, my car, my project. I love the look of the 1980 C3 Corvette, but I love the 1975 C3 Corvette’s rear window too. So there you have it. I will place finished photos on here once I am done with the exterior of the car. The tip for today when restoring an old muscle car, is and take my advice. One area that you do not want to skim on is the paint and body work. Take it from me, you are going to want to get to the bottom or the original color of the car, the main reason is that many times, many corners are cut with these cars as people look for either a quick fix, or a quick buck with flipping a muscle car for cash. I don’t recommend cutting any corners, but if you do cut a few here and there, don’t let paint and body be one of them.

Restoring Your Vintage Corvette

Restoring a vintage C-3 Corvette

Many times people give up on these projects, here is a video…a great example of when you are into a restoration, you are all in. Here is a nice video of a restoration of a 1976 Corvette. The difference between pre-1976 Corvettes and post 1975 Corvettes is that many of the fiberglass parts were changed to metal and the metal gets rust, like any older car. Evident in the video, you will see plenty of rust.

Rust is a tricky animal and you have to make sure that you get as much of it out, and treated because, it will be a re-occurring issue with post 1975 Corvettes. The Floor pan for one is someplace that you have to check when purchasing these vintage Corvettes. Get down in there and check it out. Make sure that not only you don’t have to replace the floor pan, but if you do, there is plenty of good metal around the floor pan. If not this could set you back a few bucks, and it will most certainly be something you will have to do, before you do anything else to the car. Kind of like fixing the roof of the house, before anything else is done to the home. Very similar…check out the video!

Use SEM Multi-Purpose Adhesive

SEM Multi-Purpose Adhesive

OK, the first trial run was simply the placement of the 1980 front clip that I have been writing about. By the way the weather in South Florida is so good, that I have neglected writing on here for a some time and updating my progress, because I have been taking advantage of the cool weather. Thanks to the Canadian winds!

So I return with the news of the new and proper installation of the 1980 Corvette clip. For those reading for the first time, and I am glad that I have about 100 followers already that have either commented or contacted me for some information. I am not a professional at restoring a Corvette. I simply have learned from many of the you tube videos and some of the old legendary Corvette masters that are still around working on Vette’s for 40 plus years.

For those of you who do not know, I have a 1975 Corvette, I chose 1975 and or lower because of simply thing that I did not want to deal with, rust! The floor pans for one are not fiberglass in Corvette’s that are post 1975. Yeah you get the metal floor pan, and those rust my brothers and sisters. So 1975 and earlier have fiberglass floor pans. One less area of concern and not much inspection needed there.

Just on a side note, I cleaned the floor pans both as well as I could and before I introduced some new floor pan plugs (which I purchased at Eckler Corvette fairly cheap) then I painted the floor pans with a rust-o-leum semi flatback. I just wanted to give it some extra protection, because even though the floor pan will not rust, the attaching elements can. So just a thought and tip on what I did. In addition to that I will add some extra sound protecting strip before I do the interior.

So back to the 1980 Corvette front clip. I originally placed the front clip on before adding the SEM adhesive. This was the adhesive that was recommended to me to solidify the front end. Now I was ready to place the front end on permanently. So there are a few things that you will need if you are going to attempt this on your own. One is a good jack. Not the one that the Corvette brings from factory. You will need a strong hydraulic jack. Do not let the front end fool you. It is very heavy. Ideally you will need about three to four people to assist you in placing the front end clip.

The SEM adhesive will be placed in several places to include both the right and left or (driver and passenger side) quarter panels. In addition, you have to make sure that you have the front clip on perfectly before adding the SEM multi-purpose adhesive, we will get back to that statement in a brief moment. You will have to check and re-check the closing and opening of the doors of the Corvette. Don’t worry if the front clip looks a bit separated from the tires, because it will eventually settle just right.

Now back to the statement of settling perfectly. There is always going to have to be some modification. It does not matter that you are dealing with a C3 Corvette. The parts simply do not always fit perfectly just because you are placing a C3 part on another year C3 corvette. You will read on many of the Corvette forums that everything is inter-changeable. That my brothers and sisters is complete bull crap! You will need to modify some part of the body somewhere to make it work. Now not everyone wants to change the body style of their Corvette like I do.

A 1975 Corvette that is being restored with original parts won’t be facing this situation that I encountered. I however, purchase the 1975 Corvette because the price was right for my project budget. Then the 1980 front clip and back clip came at a good price too. Besides the front end that I had on the car originally was an after-market front end, I just chose original over after-market. I will keep you posted on the upcoming paint job and interior modifications.

Now, here is a side note. Many people want to start a project like a vintage Corvette. Well did you know that you can get financing for these projects? Many people do not know it. It is true. The financing is fair and affordable. In fact I am going to use this company for my next project, my intent it so own three Corvettes. One for me, and one for each of my boys. They help out quite a bit, and have taken an interest in vintage Vette’s. I will be purchasing a convertible Corvette, looking for something in the early 1970’s. Anyway this company has helped me out in the past, and I recommend them. Here is the easiest car financing out there. Let me know what you think?