Corvette fans are known for being a very solid community. Every now and then, there are owners who modify their Corvettes the next day after the bought it new. This is what Pat Lamberton from Pennsylvania has done with his Corvette stable. The first Corvette he owned was a C4 and then followed by a C5 and a C6. According to Pat, the Corvette has drastically improved through every generation. And although he enjoys every generation of the Corvette, the classic C2 lineup has always had a special place in his heart. In 2012, he decided it was time to have a classic Corvette in this stable- a classic 1964 Chevrolet Corvette was his dream.
Pat searched for the perfect C2, he went through various pages that sold classic cars and like most classic car projects, and he ended up on eBay. Browsing through the pages, Pat believed he found the right car. “Rick Hendrick had a midyear on eBay. I took a look at it, and really liked the Goodwood Green color, and it looked like it was in really good shape,” Pat said. It was a 1964 Corvette but the front is from a 1967 Corvette and the engine has been replaced with a 327 V8. That was not a problem for Pat and just 1 hour before the 30-day auction ended, he clicked the “Buy It Now” button.
After completing the transaction, he shipped the car to his home. When it arrived, he immediately took it for a test drive. “I took it out for a ride and it was really disappointing,” he recalls. “I loved the way it looked in my garage, but it drove like a tank,” he said. As expected, it was nothing like the modern Corvettes he is used to driving.
Instead of being down because his new ride was not able to meet his expectations, he decided to not let it stay that way. Because it was already a partly modified Corvette, he thought it was best to go all the way and greatly improve the driving experience of the Corvette. He already saw some work done by Sean Farrell of The Vette Shop from Pumsteadville, Pennsylvania, and tasked them to turn his C2 into the car that would meet his expectations. Sean Farrell started to work on the car but then realized that it was hard to meet Pat’s hopes. Sean believed that the changes Pat had planned was not enough and drastic changes were needed.
The plan was to preserve the classic exterior beauty of the Corvette and completely change everything underneath to make its performance similar to a modern Corvette. To start the build, the body was removed and the chassis made bare. The rolling chassis was sold and Pat purchased a Jamison tube chassis which was ready to take in 1987-1996 Corvette suspension parts. It was a perfect chassis with the minimal modifications needed to mount the classic Corvette body.
The chassis was ready and it was time to choose the perfect powerhouse. Pat had a problem with choosing the best one for his car. He was confused between choosing a comfortable cruiser or a wild ride, so he settled for something in between. He did not need the fastest Corvette in town but just enough power he could enjoy speeding through the streets. He wanted his ride to be incredibly reliable which led him to GM. He picked the GM 6.2L LS3 performance crate engine. The small block was able to produce 430 horsepower. Pat wanted a gearbox that would further improve the reliability of his car. The LS3 had excellent gas mileage which opted him to choose the Tremec TKO 600 5-speed transmission which is connected to a Dana 44 fitted with 3.42:1 gears. Powdercoated C4 calipers were then added on all corners. It rides on shiny 18×9.5” ZR1 wheels fitted with 275/35-18 Nexen N3000 rubbers on all sides. The final touches were the addition of the exhaust system. The Corvette breathes through stock LS3 headers that are connected to Allen’s Stainless Exhaust systems.
After the chassis was done, it was time to move on to the interior. When Pat received the C2, the interior was not bad but he wanted to go all in. Everything in the interior was removed and it was then shipped to Gary Maucher Auto Upholstery from Ivyland, Pennsylvania. Pat wanted the interior to be covered with Italian leather. He wanted a very comfortable ride so Scat Industries Procar seats replaced the stock ones, it was then covered with Italian leather. The dashboard, headliner, Grant 3-spoke steering wheel, and the custom built door panels are all covered in Italian leather. The stock cluster casing was fitted with Auto Meter Cruiser Series gauges. To fill the interior with sweet music, a retro style radio was installed that is compatible with iPods.
After the build was done, Pat went out for a test drive. It was no longer the slow and heavy car that it once was. Its performance was a lot closer to his C6 Z06 and Pat is very satisfied with his new classic ‘1964 Chevrolet Corvette’ with a very modern performance.
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