Wild 1967 Corvette took three years to complete before massive SEMA debut
There are several approaches one can take when they set out to restomod a Corvette Sting Ray from the ground up. A person can begin with a perfect example of a factory original car or they can find a Sting Ray in need of so many repairs that the average person would choke at the expense needed to bring it back.
For Dr. Van Bingham, there was a specific plan. The choice was to find a clapped-out Corvette, and it had to be a 1967 Sting Ray coupe. Owning a C2 Corvette Sting Ray has been a lifelong dream for Van. Years ago, at 18 years old, he found a 1969 Corvette L88 for sale but didn’t have enough to buy it. Coincidently, another doctor Van knows—a specialist in his same field—bought that ’69 L88 and years later sold it for a reported $550,000.
How Van ended up owning a ’67 Corvette Sting Ray so far over the top in comparison to a garden-variety ’67 Sting Ray can best be attributed to “one thing leading to another.” Tray Walden at Street Shop referred Van to B Rod or Custom in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the project grew wings from there. The car selected was a $25,000 big-block ’67 coupe that turned out to be a lot rougher than first thought. Upon dismantling the ’67, B Rod’s Larry and PJ Burchett discovered the birdcage was rusted out far beyond usefulness. That set the wheels in motion to fabricate a new birdcage and ultimately created a new product for B Rod to offer Corvette owners.
The starting point for the project was to commission Eric of Eric Brockmeyer Design to pen a concept illustration for Van to approve. The chassis, as is for all Corvettes B Rod builds, is from Street Shop and is constructed from mandrel bent 4×2-inch steel tubing and based around C7 suspension components. The front coilovers are QA1 and a 1-inch sway bar capped with billet endlinks spans C7 spindles carrying 14-inch Z51 disc brakes. The rack-and-pinion power steering is a Flaming River unit made to Street Shop specs steered with an ididit Corvette-style column topped with a Billet Specialties steering wheel.
The C7 rear suspension is damped with shock absorbers and springs custom-made for Street Shop to use with its in-house machined lower billet mounts. Rear brakes are Z51 discs and body roll is controlled with custom 3/4-inch sway bar. Cast in aluminum alloy, the Super 8.8 differential limits wheelspin with a Truetrac unit and packs 3.50 gears. Custom Street Shop axles are made by the Driveshaft Shop. Fashioned after 1967 Corvette N89 cast-aluminum bolt-on wheels, the one-off Forgeline wheels measure 19×9 shod with Nitto Invo 245/40ZR19 tires in front and 20×12 mounted with 345/30ZR20 tires in the rear.
B Rod designates Van’s Sting Ray a “Wide Body” because wide wheels demand a very wide space. From the quarter-panels forward to the nose, four inches has been added to the car’s width. B Rod manufactures complete Corvette bodies and Wide Body C2 creations using press-molded fiberglass. Equipped with C7 suspension, the Street Shop chassis requires modified floors, hence a B Rod-modified floor and widened wheeltubs were utilized. B Rod purchased a new roof deck, taillight panel and hood surround from Lee Bumb Composites. The custom-made billet aluminum grille by Dan Baker’s Alumicraft rests beneath LED quad headlights by RestoMod Tech. Dan’s Polishing Shop did the chrome-plating work.
In Larry Burchett’s words, “The next step in the process was forming new front and rear floor molds and fabricating new widebody quarters, doors, fenders and front nose. Once the body plug was complete, the long hours and tedious work began. First, molds were built, then parts made and then these were assembled around and onto the reconstructed birdcage. With the body completed, the next decision was color. Discussion entailed every color of the rainbow when green was settled on. PJ Burchett mixed several spray-outs for Van to choose from. Axalta Hot Hues candy green was a starting point, then a multitude of pearls were blended into the mix to create Vanguard Green.
Under the 427 Corvette Stinger hood lies a 427-inch 2018 LS7 mated to a TCI 6x six-speed paddle-shifted automatic overdrive transmission. A Vintage Air Front Runner serpentine system drives a high-amp alternator charging an XS Power AGM battery and a Sanden compressor pumping R134a refrigerant to Vintage Air air-conditioning.
Street Shop stainless steel fuel lines feed an LS Classic twin throttle body fuel-injection system supplied from a Rock Valley gas tank fitted with an Aeromotive internal fuel pump. B Rod commissioned Dan Dittberner Engineering to develop the CAD data to make a breather top and fuel rails. In keeping with the look of a 427 Corvette Tri-power air cleaner, B Rod handformed a set of coil covers with the look of big-block Rat valve covers. The cooling system consists of a DeWitts radiator and DeWitts twin electric fan shroud assembly.
As illustrated by Eric Brockmeyer, the rich tan leather interior by Steve Holcomb’s Pro Auto Interiors relies on custom fiberglass bucket seat pods by B Rod for shape and Dynamat to suppress heat and road noise. The sound system features an Antique Auto head unit with Rockford Fosgate speakers and amplifiers. Instrumentation is by Classic Instruments. The completion of Van’s 1967 Corvette Sting Ray Wide Body by B Rod took three years to the month, making its 2019 SEMA debut a massive success.
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