Did you know that Chevrolet made about half a million C3 Corvettes over a 14 year period? Yup, and aside from some low production big block models and LT-1s, there really ain’t nothin’ rare about this era of Corvette. Whether consciously or not, I think some C3 owners sense this and have treated their C3’s badly, leaving them to rot in a field or customized them into rolling clown cars.
We think the Mako Shark body style is one of the prettiest ever made and it doesn’t take customization very well. Sure there are definitely custom C3s out there that are very cool, but as a general rule, we say leave Bill Mitchell’s masterpiece alone and turn your attention preserving and improving these old Corvette’s from GM’s golden years.
Before you send us a “nasty-gram” with your “Corvette Fever” clone attached, check out this red 1968 roadster built by JBL Specialties in Sterling, Virginia. If there was ever a blueprint on how to do C3 right, here it is.
The 1968-69 body style is probably the purest of the C3 run. No fender flares, round exhaust tips and 4 vertical vents give the car a super clean look. This particular car was massaged to laser straight perfection (check out door gaps and overall tolerances of the body) and sprayed out in “arrest me” red, BASF Glasurit paint.
The matching red interior is about as tight as you can get with a C3. Fresh vinyl “Comfortweave” seats and meticulous fit meet your eye where ever you look. Again the ’68 interior is closest to the designers original idea with no map pocket/glove box, low back seats, and ’68 exclusive door panels.
From here is where it gets really good, with JBL Specialties orchestrating a symphony of tried and true resto-mod goodies. The car runs a 525 hp LS3 V8 motor with the original 4-speed trans, C4 suspension components, perfect 5-spoke mags with big ass rubber. The LS3 needs little jewelry to shine and looks like it was born in this car. The custom radiator and air intake and Wilwood brakes round out the list of upgrades.
The car wasn’t aways this nice. According to “Hogdriver” over at CorvetteForum, this ’68, “was in sad shape. The frame was rusted in two pieces and the windshield frame was rusted out, both door frames were rusted and doors had to be replaced. It had been hit in the rear at some point and the only good part was the ’69 exhaust panel. The owner wanted led lights in the rear so that’s why it has 69 backup lights. They kept the original 4-speed and put on a aluminum flywheel and a 3.70 rear. It weighs about 2600 pounds and is crazy fast.”
Obviously, we love this car. We say it’s a damn good blueprint for a C3 resto-mod. We also think its a free country and you can do what you want with your car, but why not enhance and preserve these old C3s rather than tarting ’em up or running ’em into the ground?