During the National Corvette Museum’s Bash this spring, we were able to witness the delivery of the 1963 Corvette from Heartland Customs to their customer Rod Halsell. This 1963 Corvette is the No. 002 SPECVETTE from the custom Corvette builder and like other Heartland builds we’ve witnessed, it’s one of the coolest restomod Corvettes you will ever see.
Those previous custom Corvettes from Heartland Customs include the 1958 SPECVETTE 001 unveiled two years ago at the NCM, as well as the gorgeous dark red 1971 Corvette Stingray shown last year in Las Vegas at the 2015 SEMA Show.
The SPECVETTE custom build program is pretty simple to understand. Call Jeff Page at Heartland Customs and tell him what you want in terms of Corvette body style and options. The cars are built based on a single price point agreed upon at the beginning so there is no “nickel and dimeing” going on during the build. Within 12-18 months, your dreams will have been realized when you see your SPECVETTE for the first time.
When building the SPECVETTE, Jeff and his team add some really cool options and convenience features that help set their builds apart from others. It’s these many small details that you would never expect a 1963 Corvette to have, and that’s what makes these SPECVETTE builds so special.
The No. 002 SPECVETTE is a 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe with a 525-hp LS3 crate engine mated to a TREMEC five-speed manual transmission. The Corvette has Baer Pro+ 14″ brakes with custom six-piston calipers, adjustable traction control and a switchable exhaust system that routes the exhaust either throught the sidepipes or out the rear.
Some of the custom features we’ll mention include:
- Push to Start ignition
- Custom gauge cluster that looks original but are LED backlit with illuminated needles
- Power hood, power locks and power windows
- Custom original looking stereo with Bluetooth hands free options
- Kicker speakers, subwoofer and amp
- Light sensing headlight system with upgrade flip-up headlights and LED Taillights
- Heated seats
- Back up camera
- Vintage Air Conditioning
Overall, the curb appearance of the 1963 SPECVETTE is stunning with its custom PPG Pearl Merlot paint and custom 18×7 and 18×10 Intro wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The interior features custom Italian leather with a one-piece alcantara headliner by Compton Custom Interiors of Ft. Worth, TX.
We reached out to the owners, Rod and Barbara Halsell of Collierville, TN about their new SPECVETTE. Rod told us he was looking for a 1963 restomod but wanted something more than just a SWC body on a modern chassis. He was attracted to Heartland’s SPECVETTE program after talking with Jeff and seeing his passion, experience and enthusiasm for building the custom SPECVETTE. And once Rod saw the execution of the first 1958 SPECVETTE, he knew he found his custom car builder.
After the 18-month build time, Rod was very excited for the reveal and said it was worth the wait! “It certainly was a long time although it did pass pretty quickly,” Rod told us and then added, “The anxiousness really kicked in the last 30-45 days leading up to the NCM Bash as we knew we’d be seeing an incredible restoration. Seeing SPECVETTE 001 during my design day experience really validated that we had found the builder we always had in mind when building our classic Corvette dream car.
We asked Rod what is the favorite new feature on the 1963 Corvette and he says “without a doubt our favorite feature so far are the electronically controlled sidepipes!!! At first we were a little concerned that the car wouldn’t retain the pure ’63 factory look but we’re very happy we added these to the car. My wife really appreciates & enjoys the sidepipes!”
Here are some of the photos from the unveiling at the National Corvette Museum:
Catch the full photo gallery of this custom 1963 Corvette Sting Ray at Heartland Customs. To inquire about your own SPECVETTE, call Jeff Page at 405-527-4526 or visiting them at www.heartlandcustoms.us.