Video: Frame-Off 1971 Corvette Sting Ray Big Block Startup

Everyone should have the opportunity to do at least one frame-off car restoration project in their lifetime; it give you a new appreciation for the meaning of  “hot-rodder” and a great lesson in what it takes to refurbish and recondition every single part on a car. Taking the opportunity to bolster your mechanical skills in the process will be a lifelong lesson, and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing will be the ultimate topper of all.

We ran across this engine-start video from a 1971 Corvette frame-off resto on the owner’s YouTube channel and thought we’d share it with you. Upon further inspection, it appears that owner Tim Cote is running a complete timeline of the build from start to finish on his website – there are tons of pictures of each segment of the rebuild. The builder states that the car was a ’20-footer’ from the exterior before he began the restoration, and the interior was complete but needed some love to appear new again.

It had a tired big-block already installed between the framerails; who doesn’t love a healthy rat motor in a lightweight ‘Vette? During the engine rebuild he decided to upgrade a number of components, most notably the Air Flow Research 305 cylinder heads, and in its final guise the engine makes over 500 horsepower. Take the time to poke through the build galleries, and you’ll find hundreds of images documenting the entire process of the restoration to date including commentary from the car owner on the rebuild process.  The build started way back in September of 2005, so before you decide to undertake a project like this, be forewarned that it will consume your life for at least the next couple of years depending on how deep your wallet is.  

There’s something to be said for a car builder that will not only take detailed photos of their build but also the time and effort to post photos and writeups onto the web for other enterprising souls – that’s a level of dedication few have. To share all of the tips and tricks, trials and tribulations of building a car for everyone in the world to see takes a brave man, and we’re thankful he has. Enjoy!  

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws upon nearly 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry. Collaborating with many of the industry's movers and shakers assists him in the creation of compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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