There’s nothing like driving a mid-year 427 Corvette … nothing!
That’s the opinion of the gentleman who has spent countless hours lovingly restoring this 1966 Rally Red Sting Ray convertible, currently up for sale on eBay. With 40 bids already climbing to $55,555, with the reserve not met, activity is likely to continue at a strong pace through the end of the auction on Sunday at 7 p.m.
A previous owner apparently had planned to rebuild the original 427/390 horsepower engine back in the 1970s before mothballing the project. When the current owner bought the car, the original engine and driveline were stored in the cockpit. You can even barely see the block jammed behind the seats in one of the vintage photos that accompany the listing.
This classic C2 has definitely come a long way since then, with the seller subsequently undertaking a body-off restoration with everything said to have been “either rebuilt or replaced,” including the windshield that was etch-logoed and dated.
Most importantly, that original 427 motor was rebuilt by R&L Engines and bored .003 over, with the goal of keeping it as stock as possible.
Other mechanical updates included the rebuilding of the four-speed manual transmission, rear end and trailing arms, and installing new fuel and brake lines. He also sought out correct versions of the starter, alternator, water pump, and distributor (a hard-to-find part he finally sourced on eBay from a Canadian seller) and had them rebuilt by professionals.
While trying to restore the car as close to NCRS specs as possible, he admits he did make a few minor compromises, including changing the mechanical clock over to a more dependable quartz version and switching the AM/FM radio to a modern stereo with an iPod jack, with “the strongest speakers” he could fit in the kick panels.
He also made two useful updates – installing a reproduction hand-operated antenna to replace the original electric version, which could be reinstalled if desired because the wiring remains in place, as well as a spin-on oil filter in place of the stock canister type.
After having serious leakage problems with several correct-shaped, rebuilt power steering pumps and growing weary of spending six hours each time to reinstall one, he finally gave up and switched to a brand new unit of a slightly different shape, noting that it’s buried so much under the alternator, pulleys, belts, and hoses “that you can’t really tell.”
As for the frame, he says it was media blasted, then coated with POR 40 “instead of the tar-based goop that the factory installed.” The fiberglass body was gel-coated, then covered with epoxy primer and Rally Red acrylic lacquer paint with a clear-coat. The chrome and trim also look great, as do the reproduction 1966 knock-off wheels with gold-line tires.
While restoring the interior, he found several dollars worth of change with no dates later than the early 1970s, along with a box of new lifters dated 1975. There’s little work needed inside now, however, as the restored interior looks great, including the dash, seats, carpet, and gauges.
The result is a stunning Sting Ray that the seller describes as a “monster driving car,” likely capable of still delivering times of way less than 14 seconds in the quarter-mile the same way it did back in the ‘60s.
“If you wanted, I would think you could spin the tires through three gears and catch rubber in fourth,” he believes. “But that’s kind of a high school move and the repro tires are kind of expensive to be doing that.”
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