This Crazy 1976 Corvette Got a Major Make Over

1976 Corvette

Purist Corvette collectors will say that only the original Corvettes are beautiful this 1976 Corvette will beg to disagree. Although there are Corvette models that have lost a lot of power they have boasted about years with the availability of aftermarket parts, you can enhance them into a great restomod Corvette that will outshine the original Corvettes. Especially if that restomod retains all of the best traits of the classic Corvettes and enhance it with the features of the more modern Corvettes, and top if all of with one of a kind design.

*Check out this classic “Chevrolet Corvette Parking Only” sign.*

1976 Corvette Sport Coupe

This 1976 Corvette Sport Coupe is one of those restomods and is owned by Joyce & Jim Marshall from Greenwood, South Carolina. During the mid-70s, the automotive industry took a big hit due to the stricter emission laws which ultimately forced the motor companies to create much smaller engines for their cars and the Corvette was not exempted. In 1975, the last Corvette convertible was produced after a decade and in the same year, the most powerful engine they have was only a 205 horsepower engine. In 1976, it was basically the same but still the Sports Coupe was still very successful and sold 46,558 cars. The Marshalls’ Sport Coupe was 1 out of 3,268 that came in a Bright Blue finish. This is also one out of 1,203 radio delete Sports Coupe of that year. The only rare 1976 Corvette Sports Coupe is a one of kind Code 39 Dark Green Metallic Corvette.

1976 Corvette Sport

1976 Corvette Sport Coupe exterior

The story of this blazing Corvette started when Joyce name her car Lola which was named after the 1970 Kinks’ song “Lola” that was written by Ray Davies and went “… she walked like a woman and talked like a man, Oh my Lola la-la … Lola.” The couple already owned a 4 other Corvettes before this one. They found it being sold on eBay and is supposed to be in great condition with air-conditioning still working, exactly as how the seller described it. But when the car arrived, Joyce knew right away that the car will need a lot of work. “Everything metal was completely rusted or pocked. The frame was ready to break in half, the windshield posts and birdcage was completely disintegrated. Nothing worked. Jim declared it a complete basket case and determined there were few if any, salvageable parts on the car at all. We parked Lola in a little garage beside the house and life went on.” Joyce said.

1976 Corvette Sport wheels

Years after, Joyce started to see a lot of restomod Corvettes that were being auctioned by large auction companies. Jim is a Corvette purist and as Joyce calls him, “Mr. NCRS” which took Joyce a long time to convince Jim to approve Joyce’s dream custom built Corvette.

They saw a customized 1948 Cadillac done by Ryan’s Rod & Kustom during a local car show which was what finally convince Jim for the build. They contacted Michael Jones, Ricky Bowie, and Chris Ryan to help them with the build.

1976 Corvette Sport Coupe chasis

The chassis it came with was already covered with rust so they replaced it with a much better one, a rack-and-pinion steered tube chassis supplied by SRIII and a C5 suspension was installed in the new chassis. For the rear suspension, a Viper Dana 44 IRS with deep 4.12 gears, limited-slip, and custom axles that have been narrowed. Viking coilover shocks were used to have a smooth cruise Corvette C5 13.5 inch disc brakes were installed on the rear wheels. Ryan said that it was really unfortunate that they had to cut the original steel floor but it was necessary to make room for the Viper on the rear. For the front suspension, it was also C5 similar to the rear except for the stock Corvette transverse spring which was replaced by Viking coilovers.

76 Corvette Sport Coupe

Joyce was hands on in creating her dream Corvette. Mike Curtis from Curtis Speed Equipment located in Orange, California was the one who fabricated the billet aluminum wheels designed by Joyce herself. The wheels measured 17×9 and 18×10 for the front and rear, respectively, which all had an 8-inch backspace. The center caps on all four wheels have “Lola” inscribed in them. They are then covered by 245/45R17 and 275/40R18 Michelin Pilot for the front and rear tires, respectively.

1976 Corvette Sport Coupe interior

When Joyce first saw it on eBay, she fell in love with the bright candy apple red finish and classy pure white interior the Sport Coupe had which also became the inspiration for its total makeover. Joyce showed Ryan a newly picked Bing cherry for the color she wanted and Ryan choose the PPG’s Street Sweet Cherry Cordial finish and was then covered with a deep coat of PPG DCU 2002 Clear. But before the Sports Coupe had its paint job, it still needed a body. A ton of fresh fiberglass body panels and metal sheets, and birdcage. Ryan recommended that should find a 1976 Corvette in a better condition but Joyce really wanted that Lola should be the car they use. The rear quarter panels were the only part that they able to use. CBC Plating Services from Greenwood, South Carolina worked with the shiny chrome plating and made everything shine. Dan Baker’s Alumicraft from Bellwood, Pennsylvania created the one-off a kind grille.

1976 Corvette Sport Coupe engine

Lola may look sexy lady’s car but it certainly packs a punch like a man with its 2014 LS3 Chevrolet Performance engine that features Billet Specialties Tru Trac serpentine belt system and trick engine covers made by BH Custom Designs. The LS3 is attached to a Chevrolet Performance 4L65E automatic transmission.

*Check out this classic “Chevrolet Corvette Parking Only” sign.*

Joyce finally got her dream Corvette and it really is a gorgeous car, this would probably convince her purist husband, Jim, to have a custom Corvette for his own as well.

Reference & Photo Credits:

Add Comment