My birth announcement was a picture of my dad’s ’69 Vette with a hand drawn baby carriage being pulled behind it. I learned how to change oil and to meticulously detail, with this car. I drove it to prom, when I was 17 years old. Dad drove it daily, until 2005, when he bought a brand new Z51 C6. Then it sat in his garage, gathering dust and acting as a shelf for pool floats.
Seeing the car that I had grown up with just sitting there set wheels into motion, in my head. I started researching C3 Vettes on web forums and came up with my ideal game plan. In October of 2007, I convinced dad to sell me the ’69 for $1, and so it began! I put a new battery in her and drove the old 350 automatic home to prepare for the transformation.
I added VB&P’s Performance Plus suspension kit and rack & pinion conversion. I swapped the original 3:08 differential for a freshly-built 3:55 unit. And we pulled the engine and transmission and swapped in an LS1 and T-56 6-speed, from a 2002 Trans Am. But as many do, my project stalled, after the birth of my second child. So in 2012, I shipped the car to Josh Powers, at Custom Image Corvettes, to finish her up.
Josh added a large cam, upgraded valve train, Vintage Air A/C, hydro-boost with Wilwood master cylinder, Magnaflow exhaust and an L88 hood. He finished up the wiring, plumbed the fuel system, and added Dakota Digital gauges. It was safely tuned to slightly under 400hp. I got the car back just in time to attend the Hot Rod Power Tour, in 2013.
In 2015, I watched the 48-Hour Corvette build that Ridetech broadcast online. That was the first time that I’d heard of vinyl wrapping a car. Again I turned to the web and found a Matte Blue Metallic C6 Corvette with blacked out trim. I wasn’t sure it would work on a ’69, but I gave it a shot. I removed everything off the car and handed it off to Sundown Wraps (local shop) for the wrap and tint. I then Plasti-dipped all of the trim matte black myself. At the same time, I also upgraded the interior with a Momo steering wheel and shift knob, Corbeau A4 seats, and 5-point harnesses. I bolted on red Wilwood front calipers, in time for the 2015 Hot Rod Power Tour.
I was very happy with how the Vette was turning out, but my old wheels lacked the modern aggressive look that I required to complete my vision. I’d been a fan of Forgeline wheels for several years and knew that the GA3Cs with transparent smoke centers and black pearl lips would be perfect. I once again turned to Josh at CIC to help me dial in the perfect fitment of 18x10s up front and 19×12.5s in the rear. We were able to fit 285s in the front and 345s out back with zero rubbing. I am thrilled with the look and cannot wait for this year’s car show season to begin!
Future plans include LS-swap side pipes in black, L88 fixed headlights, and a Magnacharger.