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1953 Chevrolet Corvette Restomod

ONE-OF-A-KIND Painstakingly crafted over two years, beginning in December 2014. The last creation by Keith Schuck before his passing in 2018. This Sensational Tribute has a body shell manufactured by Lonestar Classics. Aesthetically far beyond GM‘s best efforts a half-century ago. The fiberglass is underpinned by a ladder frame made of 2x3-inch Steel tubing. The independent front suspension is an equal-length control–arm arrangement, supporting Ford Mustang spindles with a 2-inch drop. The front coil springs surround Aldan adjustable dampers. Mustang manual rack and pinion steering gear is located ahead of the front axle, while a gearbox made by Posies drops the steering shaft five inches to clear the way for free-flowing exhaust pipes made by Doug Headers. The cockpit has been stretched allowing extra leg room and comfort for someone six foot tall or more, something seriously lacking in the original. Outback, the solid rear axle is a Ford unit equipped with an 8.5-inch ring gear. Aldan adjustable dampers are again wrapped with coil springs, and four trailing links provide a secure axle-to-frame connection. The front disc brakes are Mustang–based, while the rear drums are Ford units, surrounded by stylish finned covers made by the SoCal Speed Shop. Under the hood is a 350-cubic-inch GM, crate engine, upgraded to achieve a mix of speed, power, and reliability, accented by an arousing exhaust beat. Raising the compression ratio a touch and installing a Crower hydraulic–lifter camshaft upped the anti to an estimated 400 hp. An Offenhauser intake manifold crowned with three Rochester two-barrel carburetors provides the right look and ample, high-end breathing ability. An MSD distributor with an internal control module, adjustable, advanced, and rev limiting assures dead-dependable ignition. As for that rousing soundtrack, the fender well headers supplied by Doug’s are a 1962–65 Chevy Nova design that has been shortened by three inches before the collector. They dump into 2.5-inch Power Stick mufflers purchased from Classic Chambered Exhaust, followed by 2.5-inch stainless pipes that run below the axle to the rear bumper. A GM bellhousing over a Centerforce clutch and pressure plate mates It’s potent V-8 to an M21 Muncie close-ratio four-speed. McLeod and Willwood hydraulic cylinders tie the left pedal to the clutches, throw-out-arm. A Hurst shifter modified for this application has a custom lever made of the same titanium rod material surgeons use. The beauty of the modern purpose-made frame at the core of this project is ample room under the stock-appearing fenders, providing space for modern wheels and tires. The stunning Billet Specialties Legacy II 8x18-inch front rims are fitted with 245/45ZR-18 BFGoodrich Comp TA radials, while the 10x19-inch rears are shod with 275/40ZR-19 rubber. Extra care was invested in keeping the interior appearance faithful to GM’s 1953 original. The array of six Moon black-face gauges perfectly matches factory diameters and spacing. The speedometer cluster, switch gear, and speaker grill are all original parts, while the AM Wonderbar radio is a period-looking aftermarket unit. A new Ididit tilt column supports a stylish CON2R steering wheel with a smaller diameter than the sailboat-suitable stock unit. Twin City Upholstery of Bloomington, Illinois, stitched the seat covers and trimmed carpets to match the original Corvettes' red hue. Most of the bright exterior trim came with the body and is believed to be a mix of NOS and reproduction parts. Consistent with the roadster theme, this Fair-weather friend has no soft top or side curtains (a matching hardtop is included). Declared finished in December 2016, its odometer has logged 880 miles of joyrides since then. Imagine what Corvette, patron saints Harley Earl, and Duntov would think of this tribute to GM’s humble creation. Using modern methods, materials, and mechanical components, Baum, and his collaborators have constructed a 1953 Corvette that runs and sparkles as if it’s been touched by the Tooth Fairy. It’s a prime example of what makes Chevy's premier sports car the envy of every imitator.