With the ever-changing world of Corvette’s its hard to be an original, but nowadays we all know companies like Callaway and Lingenfelter facilitate the need to stand out among fellow Corvette owners. Back in 1968, when the C3 graced streets the need was no different, with companies like Eckler’s and Greenwood taking the reins of the aftermarket industry and providing a means to an end for modifications. In the case of the C3, the 1970s saw the dawn of the widebody craze with both Eckler’s and Greenwood diving headlong into the market.
Greenwood’s Daytona Turbo was a radical design take on a widebody that seems to utilize every bit of aerodynamic technology the early 70s had to offer. Using and stretching the somewhat open-
ended rules the IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) the Daytona body got its glorious shape.
Soon after, Eckler’s designed its own wide body C3, which had a better flowing design featuring extravagant scoops and overly pronounced fiberglass body lines. Body modifications also included an unmistakeable trailing view off its optional six rear taillights molded into the rear fascia.
Jeff Plotkin’s 1975 Corvette Can Am is a testament of how breathtaking a Can Am can be with its eye-poping paint job and 10.1.1 compression small-block with a roller 0.600 lift cam. Although this build spanned 40 years, this wasn’t his first C3 Corvette. In 1975, at the age of a 21, he acquired a ’73 coupe. A resident of Brooklyn, New York at the time, Jeff wasn’t able to ward off the enticing gazes of passersby while his C3 was parked outside on the streets, resulting in a separation of the two. Unable to cope with separation of his sold beauty, he filled the void with a ’75 coupe purchased from a friend, which in time became known as the Can Am “Handy Kandy.”
Jeff, knowing all too well that this C3 wouldn’t remain stock for long, enlisted the help of friends Tommy and Sal Zaino of Zaino Brothers Corvette Shop in Brooklyn to give his Corvette a distinctive look. A phone call to Eckler’s Florida-based shop, and Zaino Brothers had all the parts to transform the C3 into one of the first Can Am’s built outside of the Eckler’s shop. When all was said and done, the total build cost nearly $15,000.
Jeff enjoyed his beautiful ‘Vette for four years before it went back under the knife at Zaino’s to graph Eckler’s six taillight rear bumper and fastback window into the fiberglass body. Attention then turned to the interior. To contrast the show-stopping addition of the hand-rubbed acrylic House of Kolor Candy Apple Brandywine over a gold base coat, the dated seats were updated to a more modern ’80 Corvette Oyster White leather. The result is a mind-blowing piece of automobile art that Jeff drove to local car shows and the occasional cruise around town for the next 23 years. Yet he still longed for the power output that would complement the rest of the car.
A ZZ465 roller crate engine from Texas-based Scoggin Dickey was the answer to his horsepower blues. While in the midsts of talks with the very well-known crate engine supplier, he decided to make a few tweaks to the ZZ465, milling down the GM Performance Parts Quick Burn heads with an addition to the Lunati rotation assembly change, helping to bump the compression from 9.6:1 to 10.1:1. Hooker Headers ceramic-coated side exit headers allow this new motor to exhale in response to the newly added 0.592/0.613 lift and 237/244 duration Lunti camshaft.
When we asked Jeff more about the engines’ cubic-inch displacement, he responded, “I’m a street racer at heart and you don’t give up all your secrets, but I will say that it’s a big small-block.”
Tremec that was a necessary upgrade from the OEM BorgWarner T10 four-speed. Installing the conversion kit was left to TJ’s Automotive in Brooklyn. VBP brakes are hidden behind a set of vintage Western Wheels, making this restomod standout that much more of a stunner while cruising to car shows, and the envy of any car collector.Strapped behind this 465+ horsepower small-block Chevy is a five-speed