1954 Restomod Corvette “Transitions” Will Appear At SEMA 2018

It takes big cojones to cut up a C1 Corvette.

Corvettes can be fickle cars to customize. One misstep and you’ve got a clown car on your hands. We’ve all seen molested Corvettes and the final blow is no one wants a badly customized fiberglass sports car. All too often, the next step is 20 years of outdoor storage and ultimately, the junkyard.

Not so with the Corvette you see here.  It take’s Harley Earl’s vision and brings it into crystal clear focus.

Over the last year we’ve seen this mysterious maroon 1954 Corvette and waxed euphorically at it’s coolness. For folks that haven’t seen this car, you’re in luck. It will make an appearance at Barrett-Jackson’s booth at SEMA 2018 and then will cross the auction block for sale with no reserve at B-J in Scottsdale, 2019.

According to Barrett-Jackson, “The 1954 Corvette you see here is coming to the 2019 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction at no reserve. It’s called “Transitions” and was created to make the leap from what the future looked like back in the ʼ50s to the future we’re living in now. The artist behind this modern masterpiece is car-building guru Larry Griffey of Hot Rod Restorations in Knoxville, Tennessee. His build was inspired by those same early two-seat dream cars from GM’s legendary travelling Motorama shows.

Starting with a special, double-tube chassis engineered by Jamison Custom Corvette, it was given a complete C4 suspension package with custom-made front and rear anti-sway bars, making this 1954 model a much more precise handling machine than any stock Corvette could hope to be.

Every square inch of this car’s body has been reshaped or remolded. It’s new shell is wider, with a tapered drop that was crafted into the design. A cowl-induction hood was handcrafted to provide clearance for the engine. The rear wheel wells have been removed and re-imagined. 

The cowl was also modified to accept a ’56 Corvette windshield. The standard cowl vent no longer exists. The rear tonneau cover was recreated to accept a ’56 removable hardtop. The doors were widened to accommodate power windows. Hidden away is a steel structure for increased chassis rigidity.

The interior looks like an expensive leather glove just waiting to be put on. The color is called Deep Earth. The classic double-hump dash remains, but everything about it is new and softer than the original. Dashboard gauges are from Classic Instruments and offer precision along with vintage looks that fit the build perfectly. This all-weather interceptor is equipped with Vintage Air and NuRelics power windows.”

For motivation, the ‘Vette runs a LS1 5.7-liter motor with massaged heads, beefed up camshaft and an Edelbrock Supercharger. All this twists an GM 4L60E transmission, although the builders made it easy to swap in a manual if the new owner so desires. Dig the Lokar shifter that looks like an old Muncie manual. This ’54 also sports some serious rotating hardware with Billet Specialties wheels and Baer brakes.

“Transitions”  debuted at the Detroit Autorama in 2017 and was chosen as a Ridler Great Eight contender and since then, has gone on to multiple awards and car show appearances.

Finally, Barrett-Jackson says, “The ‘Transitions’ Corvette may prove to be the last car Larry Griffey himself builds, since he’s talking about retirement (even though his company will remain busy and active). If that’s the case, he is bowing out with one of the finest custom cars of all time and punctuating an already impressive legacy with a final seal of perfection.”

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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