Anyone who has spent time behind the wheel of a classic car knows both the rewards and challenges that accompany the privilege. Driving an old-timer is like having lunch at the country club with your stuffy uncle. One has to observe certain protocols and be on one’s best behavior. With a classic car, it’s watch the gauges, warm the fluids, mind the synchros and shift with grace. And even with all that, there are still limits on performance, reliability and, certainly, comfort.
If you want the same luxuries in a bygone-era machine that are taken for granted in modern cars—a blast of cold air, the stopping power of six-pot Brembos, razor-sharp handling and the heady rush of at least 500 hp—well, those can only come from a restomod. And that is exactly what this custom 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible happens to be, and a jaw-dropping example at that. The car also happens to be one of the lots being offered during Barrett-Jackson’s Huston Auction at NRG Center in Huston, Tex., running from October 20 through 22.
Out of eight generations of Corvette, the Sting Ray (the second series, or C2, as it’s known by owners and enthusiasts) is generally acknowledged to be the most influential, beautiful and enduring of them all. Designed by Larry Shinoda and influenced by Pete Brock’s Sting Ray concept of 1957, the first 1963 Sting Ray shook the world automotive stage and began an iteration that soldiered on through 1967, before it was replaced by the C3. Its proportions and timeless lines look just as good today as they did when new, and to some of us, maybe even better, given the fussiness of so many current car designs.
Throughout the C2’s production, there were numerous model variants, generally based on engine displacement and state of tune. Chevy’s 327 ci V-8 engine was offered throughout the run, while the biggest change came in 1965 with the introduction of a 396 ci big block. The latter was replaced by a 427 ci V-8 in 1966 and 1967, which, despite that car’s power and straight-line performance, wasn’t as balanced and fun to drive as the small block ’Vettes.
This striking Corvette convertible restomod offers the best of both worlds: classic Sixties styling and modern performance, amenities and reliability, with build quality never even dreamed of in 1967. About the builder behind the car, Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson says, “Jeff Hayes continues to bring impeccable works of art to our events. This specific build is a remarkable, highly desirable restomod. I’m particularly impressed at the level of craftsmanship that integrates so many contemporary elements to make the Corvette fun to drive, without sacrificing the essence of the American sports car. This car truly has all the right stuff.”
That “stuff” starts with the engine, a 6.2-liter (378 ci) GM LS3 V-8 rated at 540 hp. That’s a sizeable bump over the 390 hp made by Corvette’s hottest, four-barrel-carb 427 ci engine offered in 1967. The transmission is an easy-going four-speed 4L70E automatic, enhancing the comfort quotient . . . what a restomod is really all about.
Vintage Air, renowned for designing the best climate control systems for older cars and customs, delivers the ice-cold goods. Other amenities include AM/FM/Bluetooth stereo, power steering, power windows and a power hood. Fat side exhausts and an aggressively raked stance, especially in profile, really set this ’Vette apart from stock. Its body is built on an Art Morrison sport chassis, with Wilwood disc brakes at four corners that sit behind custom Schott wheels and whitewall tires, which add a little period flair from the time when such embellishments were in vogue.
Especially impressive is the vehicle’s mile-deep silver-blue paint, finished unlike anything off the production line 55 years ago. Interior appointments are tasteful and luxurious, with Oyster leather and a matching cloth top. The car will be offered at no reserve, so it’s anyone’s guess what this custom Corvette will bring. But based on recent sales of other exceptional restomods at auction, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a value exceeding that of an outstanding original example of this model, which can break into the low six-figure level.
Click here for more photos of this 1967 Corvette convertible restomod.