The life story of my '68


Der Bismarck
Mar 25, 2008
Palm Bay, Florida
The anti-vette lives

Since I was a kid, I always wanted a '69 vette. I had a neighbor (Henry) who used to come over our house when my siblings and I were kids. Sometimes when my mother was gone, he would watch us. The problem was, he had the mind of a kid in many ways but nobody was willing to tell him (he was a physical monster, national weight lifting competitor). The last time he watched over us, we had a watermelon fight in the house and my mother was not too happy about it when she got home that night. Years went by and he got married and moved from the house next door. He also bought a 1968 corvette. He once drove up the neighborhood in it to visit somebody and I saw it. It looked ok but it had an odd front end (tilt nose). About 10 years went by and a friend of mine (who was a cousin of Henry's wife) told me that Henry wanted to sell the vette. This was in the mid 1980's. I pursued the rumor and Henry said, "Geez, if Sadistic wants to sell it, I'll let him have it for $3500". Even in the 80's this was a great deal. I bought the car (it was in rough shape) and began a merciless exhibition in self torture. By this time, the car was black with rusted Hooker headers and Cragar wheels. It did not run. Henry said it originally had a big block 427 in it but by the time I bought it, it had a small block. I got it running, put on some Centerline wheels and BFG tires, buffed it out and used it for a summer. All was well except on one day, the motor began making a knocking sound. A main bearing was gone and it was an opportunity to switch the car back to a big block. At the time, GM listed LS6's and LS7's (454's) as available. I put a $1000 deposit for an LS7 at a local Chevy dealer and waited over a year, to no avail. Then I discovered an LS6, new in the crate at a dealer in NJ. I bought the engine and put it in. Of course, I had to switch pulleys, brackets, etc. but had the help of a corvette business called "Corvette Specialty Center". There were 2 guys I dealt with from this place (Mark and Tom). These guys new C3 vettes like nobody I ever met (a big difference from the Eckler's newbs, who always ask "Do you have a part number?"). Some years later, I moved to Florida and brought the vette there.
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This is about how it looked at that time.

It looks good from a distance but there were plenty of cracks, scratches, etc. in the paint. About 4 years or so ago, I put forward an extra push to finish the car. In the previous years, this car was named "The Black Hole" because of how it continually sucked in my money. In 2004 and later, it really took a big gulp. I modified the LS6 with a solid roller cam, roller rockers, lifters etc. as well as a BG Demon carb, Weiand intake, ultralight starter, aluminum flywheel, MSD distributor, MSD6AL ignition, etc. At about this time, I joined corvette forum and found out about some other interestingitems (hydraboost, aluminum, adjustable upper a arms, Stahl headers, etc.). So, I finished most of the mechanical mods and then sent it out to get painted. By this time, the C6Z06 arrived, decimating all previous modern vettes. Why is this relevant? Because my intention was to build a faster vette than one could buy at the dealer. Anyway, it took over a year to get the vette back from the body shop. It was not a good experience.
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I never liked the tilt nose so I had it removed before painting the car. I also ordered some Boyd Coddington custom made wheels and BFG TA/KD tires. I put them opn when the painting was finished. I also have Kumho slicks for it. Next will be the titanium rotors and 6 piston aluminum calipers from Red Devil brakes. I also have to finish the interior with carbon fiber seats, race harnesses, etc. I will be sending out the headers to be ceramic coated in the near future.

I contacted "Corvette Specialty Center" to update them on the progress but sadly, both Tom and Mark passed away in the last several years. It was very strange since Mark was very young. Tom's brother gave me the news and he was obviously in shambles over the loss of his brother. At this point, getting parts is a chore because nobody really knows these cars like those guys did. Half the time, I get the wrong part from other vendors. Even Paragon doesn't suffice. Eckler's may as well have local strippers handle the phones.
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It's the Spy Photos Dude.........:hi:......... Awesome.
I absolutely love that car of yours...........:drink:
I agree with my dad that is an absolutely awesome car!
I really like that paint job, and those tires are wicked. :D
Hope mine turns out half as good as that one.
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