We thought we should give our readers an idea of what we’re starting with…
We’ll be searching for original engine components at Bloomington Gold this year.
What you can’t see from the above photos are that there is upper windshield (birdcage) rust, but the side pillars seem to be in okay condition and I’m hoping that the lower windshield triangles are okay as well (we’ll know more when we remove the windshield). Also, the windshield is cracked on the passenger side (so it will need to be replaced).
Due to long term leaks while being stored outside, the floors have rotted (the 1976 Corvette had partial steel seat-pans), and the body mount cage (a low point on the seat-pan) also rotted out. The rest of the frame looks good, however, so hopefully the upper windshield support, seat-pans and body mount cages will be the extent of the rust repair…we’ll see.
On the mechanical side, the transmission is slipping and leaking fluid (we plan on rebuilding the trans as part of this project), and the power-steering system is leaking and will likely need rebuilding. There is also an oil leak from near the transmission torque converter cover which is likely due to the rear main seal on the engine (we will also be rebuilding the engine as part of this restoration).
And did I mention that the tires are dry rotted?
We certainly have our work cut out for us on this project, but we also have a plan:
- Pull and Rebuild the Engine and Trans
- Clean the Engine Bay and Rebuild the Steering Components
- Rebuild the Front and Rear Suspension (replacing the dry rotted rubber)
- Clean and Paint the Frame (while leaving the body attached)
- Fix/replace the Upper Windshield Support and Seatpans
- Reassemble Suspension and reinstall Engine and Trans
- Remove old paint (down to fiberglass) and then prime and repaint
- Replace Seats, cracked Interior Components, and Carpets
We’ll probably be a couple of years doing this, so check back often for status updates.