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Hugh's 1971 Corvette

Take it from someone who has "Been there, Done that". If you plan to restore your Corvette, body off or on, get ready for a few surprises. I began my body-on restoration in June of '96 by removing everything, inside and out, and hoping I could find all the pieces to put it back together when the time came. My job was made easier than some, in that it was pretty much all there and in pretty original condition when I bought it in Houston, in June of 1990. The only real concern was that it had been sitting in a garage for 5 years, un-touched. The tires were flat, the brakes were shot, the carburetor was........broken, the battery was dead, and the gas tank had enough holes in it to be considered a strainer.
It was interesting to uncover all of the hidden signs of an assembly line produced car. The markings on the interior indicating the options the car was to have installed such as automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering and such. It was also pretty neat finding a signature on the inside of the driver's side door panel, I assume she was the person who either made the panel or was the one to install it on the car. Either way, my car is now un-officially named "Alice". I wonder if "Alice" signed all the panels she did or if this car was one of the lucky few to carry her autograph all these years.
Anyway, by the end of November I had it pretty much all back together. The car is original except for the radio, (the original was gone), the new luggage rack, (for the T-Tops), and a different color, (originally Nevada Silver - now Dark Yellow Green Mettalic, a '96 GM color). I figured with all the work I was putting in it, I might as well paint it the color I liked. It also eased the shock of the money being spent on it, as my wife LOVED the color, too.
I have documentation on the car's repairs since around 1980. Some of the other original items include:
The original 4-clip trim rings
The original Jack
The original Spare Tire
The original Warranty Card
The "Protect-O-Plate"
The Tank Sticker

Of course, the rest is original also:

The original Engine (base L48, 350/270hp)
The original Transmission (TH-400)
The original rear-end (3.08)
Tilt/Telescopic Steering
Power Windows
Factory Alarm System
Air Conditioning
Pop-Out back glass
And, Fully Functional Fiber-Optics Light Monitoring System

I still have a few things to work on, but don't we all? I am by no means an accomplished mechanic or painter, but I figured if I messed something up too bad I could take it to a pro and let him EARN his money trying to figure out what I had done. All in all it was a very educational experience. I enjoy learning new things about the car, and believe me, you WILL learn something while going through a process such as this. If you don't, you're not paying close enough attention. I encourage all owners, new or old, to jump in there and get acquainted with your Corvette, of course this is kind of difficult with the newer models, unless you have a computer you can hook up to "diagnose" the problem. Don't be afraid to work on it yourself, if I did it - anyone can (believe me). I would also like to encourage everyone, especially Corvette Owners, to become members of the National Corvette Museum. The museum is located in Bowling Green Kentucky and has a beautiful display of Corvettes from the 1953 to concept Corvettes. They have a celebration every year on Labor Day weekend. Corvettes from all over the country converge on the Museum for food, fun and celebration of the marque. I have attended every year since it opened. I will attend every year until I die, which I hope is a long time from now.
Look for me, or at least my car, at Bowling Green this year, ( Hint: it's AGreen'71 ). Hope to see you there, and "Save The Wave"!


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Pictures of our 1970, '71, & '78 Stingrays

Hugh's
Some pictures of my 1971 Stingray
Steve's
Some pictures of my brother-in-law's 1978 Stingray
Jeff's
Pictures of my "on-call" mechanic's 1970 Stingray




Millington, TN 38053
United States


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