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Classic Car Corner - Vettes

  • Written by Tom Berg, Windermere Woodinville

vettte_A Tale of Two Vettes:   I own a 1962 Corvette and my friend Mack owns a 1963 Corvette and both are convertibles.  They are just 1 year apart but actually are a generation or two apart.

My 62 is known as a C-1 generation Corvette  which covers the 1953 through 1962 models which were designed and manufactured with World War II technology and only came as convertibles.

Mack’s 63 is known as a C-2 generation Corvette (Stingray), was produced between 1963 and 1967 and has all the modern conveniences as of 1963, including  hidden headlights,  and  was also available in a split window, fastback coupe.

He actually has power windows and a modern suspension and options such as power steering, power disc brakes and even air conditioning which were then available.

Whereas my 62 had none of those options even available. In the day, they would road race the 62s but with the suspension of a 1953 Chevy truck I’m not sure how they kept them on the track.  My car has a trunk which is good for golf clubs or real estate open house signs and Mack’s has no trunk at all in the 63. There’s just a little room to stuff small items behind the seat.

My 62 Corvette is what’s known as a matching numbers car meaning it has all the same exact parts that it was made with in August of 1961 which includes the first year 327 engine with 250 horsepower (which really seems like plenty to me),  4-speed manual transmission, non posi-traction rear end and a stock body,  red interior and  Ermine White paint.

Mack’s 1962 is what’s known as a Resto-mod. It would look stock to most non-Corvette people but has a modified body including flared wheel wells to cover the wide tires, 1966 hood, 1969 side scoops, 1965 seats and a 1980’s 454 engine with about 500 horsepower.  That’s pretty powerful for a car that probably only weighs about 200 pounds more than mine!!  Mack picked up this Vette from a friend and the body modifications and engine swap were already done so he had the car prepped and painted in a beautiful Cadillac “Diamond Pearl”  which was a great choice and redid the interior.

My Vette looks refrigerator white next to his.   With the big tires and heavier engine, Mack’s next step is to have power steering installed by our buddy Marty Phillips, the Corvette guru at Phillips Auto in Totem Lake so he can actually steer the car in a parking lot.  I just have a big steering wheel and steering by “armstrong.”

Considering that these two cars are the same make and just one year apart, it’s amazing just how different they are.

But each car is a great car in its own way and Mack and I are very happy to be their caretakers for a while.

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