When a builder faces an incomplete Corvette, there are usually 4 ways they can tackle the build. Usually, if the Corvette is solid enough and the parts needed are readily available, they will restore it to factory spec condition. If that is not possible, they can take the car apart and sell off the parts, or find someone who has the capacity to complete the car and sell it to them.
*Check out this classic “Chevrolet Corvette Parking Only” sign.*
The last choice and probably the most enjoyable work for a builder, is to go crazy and turn it a one of a kind custom build. Gino Irvello from Havertown, Pennsylvania had the same idea and went crazy with his 1964 Corvette Sting Ray. (maybe too crazy??)
Before it turned into this fiery Corvette, Irvello started with an incomplete Corvette. He only had the frame and the original fiberglass body reinforced with a steel “birdcage”. He went to King’s Chassis Shop located in Broomall, Pennsylvania and to install a 4-link rear and stock front suspension. It now rides on Genuine Boyd’s billet wheels on all corners and are fitted with Mickey Thompson tires in the front and large ET Drag Radials in the rear.
To bring some power to this Corvette, a big-block was used. And it isn’t your standard big-block engine, it is the largest Mark IV Chevy V8 engine, a 572 ci GM Performance Parts stock engine. Many Corvette hot rod fans would agree that the gigantic engine that is topped with a large 4-barrel carburetor would be more than enough. In stock condition, the engine could produce 620 horsepower and 650 lbs.-ft. of torque. But Irvello was far from done with this Corvette, he wanted the power and looks of his fully customized 1939 Camaro.
He talked to fuel injection specialist Kinsler to create a “Dargon Claw” fuel-injection system to beef up the gigantic engine. To ignite the juice supplied by the Dragon Claw, an Accel DFI 77063 ignition system was installed. Custom exhaust and headers were then fabricated by King. The 572 is connected to a Turbo 400 made by ATI that is connected to a Precision Performance shifter.
The interior also received a significant update. A roll cage was installed to ensure Irvello’s safety. Pro Auto from Philadelphia worked on the interior. Auto Meter gauges were installed into the original dashboard. For a comfortable drive, Tenzo Racing sports seats and Budnik steering wheel were installed. Irvello though it was pointless to install an audio system because all he wanted to hear was the roar of the 572.
The Corvette’s fiberglass body was prepared for a complete makeover. A basecoat of black PPG was first applied and then Killer Creations airbrushed the fiery paint on the fenders, hood, and rear. After the body was completed, Irvello added the final touches of the build. Like most custom Corvette build, this was certainly not an easy and cheap one to finish. But Irvello said that the result is more than worth it. He now enjoys his fiery 1964 Corvette Sting Ray that packs a punch.
References & Photo Credits: