Wednesday Rewind: Classic Style And Sound With A Set Of Doug’s Headers Side Exhaust On A C3

You don’t drive around in a shark Corvette hoping to blend in with the rest of the daily-drivers and econo-boxes found along the highway. Likewise, with so much style and that classic Chevrolet engine churning under that long, swoopy hood-line, it also makes sense that the exhaust note would match the appearance.

Our Corvette had the tri-power (L71) 427 engine. What better way to bring out that classic big-block sound than a set of sidepipes!

Whether big or small-block, that powerful exhaust note announces to everyone that you have arrived in a way that a newer, more modern firing order just can’t match. While some might argue as to how loud that exhaust note should be, there’s little discussion that a nice sounding set of pipes can really show off a car’s performance.

One way that many racers and street enthusiasts could get more performance from their Corvettes was to mount larger exhausts out to the sides of the car, rather than feeding them through a small straw to the rear valance. While sidepipes were only offered as an option from the factory in 1969, companies like Doug’s Headers have been making them available for all years of C3 Corvettes.

This system is much simpler to install than you’d ever believe by just looking at the header. – Doug’s Exhaust R&D Manager Don Lindfors

We took a look back at a story we did a while ago about installing a set of Doug’s Headers side exhaust on a ’69 Big-block Corvette and realized there were a couple of things worth noting. First, the story explains the main points of the install, and also reports that it wasn’t really difficult to make the switch. If you’re converting from a bottom-fitted exhaust, you’ll likely have more time in removing the old system than you would installing the new one.

Contrary to what you may have thought, the header and sidepipe install was not necessarily difficult. Likely thanks to the early Corvette’s simple design.

Also, when all is said and done, there’s a good video that helps drive home the fact of how great these pipes sound on a Corvette. Sure, our car was a tri-power 427, but they can also sound great on a high-winding small-block car as well. Do yourself a favor and turn up the volume for a quick listen. You’ll be glad you did, and you may even find yourself scouring the Doug’s Headers website for an exhaust for your Corvette!

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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