In this post, we will look at a story in Vette Vues Magazine of Eckler’s 1975 Corvette Hatchback coupe. We learn about the features, specifications, and general information from when it was introduced in 1976.
This article appeared in October 1976, Volume Five, Number 4 issue of Vette Vues Magazine
ECKLER’S CONCOURS PREPARED 1975 CORVETTE HATCHBACK COUPE
By Jim Prather
The original design and concept of this beautiful machine were done by Ralph Eckler of Titusville, Florida. Starting with a 1975 Corvette coupe as the prototype, he then completely redesigned the car from front to rear. The finished result is a Corvette that is all new in design but with still familiar lines. With all the rumors flying that the 1978 Corvette will be a true hatchback, we would hope that G.M. is listening and looking at this excellent example: I first saw the car at the recent NCCC Convention in Orlando, Florida, and was very impressed and excited with the beauty, added interior space and yet retaining the basic Corvette lines. We’d very much like to see the 1978 Corvette use some of the concepts of this beauty; at least as far as the rear hatchback design!
Special Features of Hatchback Design –
- Electrically operated double-latched hatchback door (G.M. latches), operated from the passenger compartment.
- Test proven automotive positive weatherseal around hatchback door.
- Increased usable cargo space with improved accessibility.
- Standard automotive tempered, tinted, safety glass with electric defrost element. Stainless steel moldings for corrosion resistance.
- Specially designed interior side panels and one-piece underbody panel.
- Gas filler door relocated into a recessed area of the center body panel.
- No need to relocate spare tire or rear exhaust system.
- Total design encompasses sleek good looks, functional use of space and versatility of operation.
Additional Features –
- Eckler’s custom C-530 Monza Tilt Front-end.
- Custom Rectangular Headlight Assemblies with clear plexiglass covers. “Street Use” front spoiler.
- Tilt Front-End is fitted with special hydraulic/pneumatic lift mechanism. ZL Wheel wells.
- 81/2″ front and 10″ rear American Mag wheels with GR60 and LR50 B.F.G..radial tires.
General Information –
Exterior finish consists of 9 color coats of Emberlite Firemist Gold lacquer, 1 coat of clear lacquer containing “Diamond Dust” particles and 10 coats of clear lacquer hand rubbed for a final finish.
Prototype car required a complete strip-down including the replacement of the entire frame, and repair of many other mechanical parts before construction of the new design could begin.
The firewall, underside of all fender wells, and the underside of the complete tilt front-end were sanded smooth, filled in and sprayed with black Gelcoat.
The engine block was stripped and repainted with many components chrome plated.
The new frame, drivetrain and running gear parts were painted gloss acrylic black and all brake lines and small parts either chromed or painted in a contrasting color. Stainless steel nuts and bolts were used where possible.
All mating surfaces of doors and other openings have been detailed for a constant dimension throughout the entire car.
Interior design considerations included complete re-upholstering in genuine saddle leather, custom door panels with special woodgrain inserts, color coordinated plush cut-pile carpeting and woodgrain panel inserts in the center console.
Wheel insert panels painted in body color.
Total design and building time was well over 12 months, 6 months of concept and design and 6 months of the actual building of molds and preparation of car for NCCC Convention competition.
Eckler’s Hatchback Corvette Coupe took First Place for full custom in the first competition entered (NCCC Convention), Orlando, Florida – July 1976.
Complete kits available from Eckler’s Corvette Parts to build your own Hatchback Rear
End on 1968-76 Corvette Coupes or 1968-75 Corvette Convertibles. All kits include everything you need to install a hatchback on your Vette, except the window glass which is available from your local auto glass dealer.
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