In the late 1970’s the 3rd generation Corvette was languishing thanks to an aging platform and new government emissions and fuel economy requirements. Eager gearheads would do just about anything to make their ride stand out from the crowd. Enter customizer Les Dunham and the Corvette Caballista. His Dunham Coach Motor Car Company built just 50 Caballistas between 1977 and 1982. The example seen here is a later model based on 1982 Collector Edition Corvette.
Les Dunham started customizing cars in 1957. In 1973 he pulled the body off of a Cadillac Eldorado and mated it to Corvette frame. The Corvorado, as it was known, was used in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die. After numerous other creations he then assembled the 50 Corvette Caballistas between 1977 and 1982. He built a 51st car in 2005. Of those, there were just 5 convertibles made including a white one and a red one we found during some hardcore internet sleuthing. When new, a Caballista could cost you $65,000.
This flamboyantly custom Corvette is currently for sale at Bob’s Classics Inc in Clearwater, Florida just a stone’s throw away from CorvetteBlogger’s exclusive world headquarters campus. The price tag reads $24,900 which is roughly what a 1982 Collector Edition Corvette in nice condition will bring. For that sum you get the potent L83 Crossfire engine mated to the mandatory automatic transmission. The interior remains largely stock in its Collector Edition two-tone livery.
Mileage is represented as a shade fewer than 17,000 which translates to about 500ish miles per year driven since it was born.
On the outside there’s that unmistakable coachwork featuring a Rolls Royce-esque grill, exposed quad headlamps, a custom rear end, and a pair of non-functional side pipes among other modifications. It still wears the original CE wheels.
The finished package makes it look like a Corvette, a 1970’s Monte Carlo, and a classic Duesenberg came together to create a love child sporting design cues from all three. Snoop Dogg, we’ve found your Corvette.