C1 Corvette – THE HISTORY OF BODY KITS & DRESS-UP PARTS

C1 Corvette History of Body Kits and Dress-up
C1 Corvette History of Body Kits and Dress-up

This is the first re-post of six-part series that looks back at the various custom modifications that could be installed by an owner, contracted to a shop, or purchased as turn-key vehicles. This re-post presents additional photos to those which were selected for print in VETTE VUES.

In this series, VETTE VUES presents a photographic summary of the major trends in customization, as it has evolved through the various year groups.

The treatment for each year group follows a set format. Examples of kits (or parts) that were offered in that actual time period will be presented first, followed by various retro-themed kits or turn-key cars developed in later years. Miscellaneous items are included at the end of each year group.

NOTE: The first of the six-part series started in the May 2018 issue of Vette Vues Magazine with the C1 and C2 Corvette Body Kit History.  The article is full of more photos and great Corvette history.

By: Wayne Ellwood

Photo Credits: Facebook, General Motors, Mike Terry, Mark Jenkins, John Neas, AAT, CRC, Keith Kaucher, Gas Grecco, Bob Radke

C1 (1953-62) PERIOD:

HIGHLIGHTS FOR CUSTOM CORVETTES

Period” Custom Trends

  • 1954 Motorama Corvettes
  • Full customs by professional builders
  • Wire wheels – one of the first dress-ups
  • Removable hardtops
  • Plexiglass “Bubbletops”
  • XP-700 – a GM Concept Car
  • SR2 and driver fairings
  • XP-87 – Stingray Racer
  • Fiberfab Centurion (replicates GM Concept car)

Modern Retro” Variants

  • 1953-Style Corvette by AAT
  • 1953-style Nomad by AAT
  • 1961-style Corvette by CRC

Computer Design” Aids Custom Variants

  • Designers, Modellers, and Artists
1954 - Brett Henderson Corvair replica at NCM
1954 – Brett Henderson Corvair replica at NCM
1954 - Brett Henderson Corvair replica at NCM
1954 – Brett Henderson Corvair replica at NCM
1954 - Brett Henderson Corvair replica at NCM
1954 – Brett Henderson Corvair replica at NCM
1954 - C1-Style body kit - SEMA 2016 - Photo Credits: Adam Boca
1954 – C1-Style body kit – SEMA 2016 – Photo Credits: Adam Boca
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 - Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1954 – Turbosquid model for Corvette Corvair Concept
1959 - Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 – Corvette with Corvair fastback kit on display at the 2016 SEMA show.

“LS2 motor with polished Magnuson blower and Tremec 6-speed transmission as well as custom chassis, C4 polished suspension, Aldan coilovers and custom 11″ 6-piston slotted and drilled Baer brakes make the car a great ride. Exterior House of Kolor Tangelo Orange, custom gray interior with hood scoop on underside of fastback top, heat and air, Flaming River tilt steering column, EVOD true knock-off wheels, PRC custom dual fan polished radiator, Cadence stereo, modified exhaust and custom exhaust tips. Body modifications by A1 Fiberglass and Gary in Aurora, NE. Designed and built by Street Rods Only, Macon, IL.” ~ Barrett-Jackson

1959 - Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 – Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 - Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 – Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 - Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 – Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 - Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1959 – Corvette with Corvair fastback kit
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953 Custom Corvette Names Harerazn
1953-55 - Bubbletop Custom Corvette
1953-55 – Bubbletop Custom Corvette
1953-55 - Bubbletop Custom Corvette
1953-55 – Bubbletop Custom Corvette
1953-55 - Custom Corvette as Track Pusher
1953-55 – Custom Corvette as Track Pusher
1953-55 - Custom Corvette as Track Pusher
1953-55 – Custom Corvette as Track Pusher
1954 - Eric Rickman - Paint by Von Dutch
1954 – Eric Rickman – Paint by Von Dutch
1954 - Eric Rickman - Paint by Von Dutch
1954 – Eric Rickman – Paint by Von Dutch
1954 - Ghia Corvette
1954 – Ghia Corvette
1954 - Ghia Corvette
1954 – Ghia Corvette
1954 - Ghia Corvette
1954 – Ghia Corvette
1955 - C1 Custom Corvettes - Bob McNulty
1955 – C1 Custom Corvettes – Bob McNulty
1955 - Custom Corvettes - Al Gratz
1955 – Custom Corvettes – Al Gratz
1956 - Custom Corvette - Mike Sparrow
1956 – Custom Corvette – Mike Sparrow
1956 Corvette - Paul Koon clone of a 1956 SR2
1956 Corvette – Paul Koon clone of a 1956 SR2
1957 - Custom Corvettes - Bob Moreira
1957 – Custom Corvettes – Bob Moreira
1957 - Custom Corvettes - Bob Caldwell
1957 – Custom Corvettes – Bob Caldwell
1957 - Custom Corvettes - Darol Jorgensen
1957 – Custom Corvettes – Darol Jorgensen
1957 Corvette - Bob Hartley - prepped for NHRA
1957 Corvette – Bob Hartley – prepped for NHRA
1957 Corvette Custom
1957 Corvette Custom
Custom 1958 Corvette Dragon
Custom 1958 Corvette Dragon
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1958 George Barris Custom Corvette
1959 Custom Corvettes - Hank Bornstein
1959 Custom Corvettes – Hank Bornstein
1960 Drag Corvette - Custom Body CMSP
1960 Drag Corvette – Custom Body CMSP
1953 - McCulloch Supercharged Corvette
1953 – McCulloch Supercharged Corvette
1953 - McCulloch Supercharged Corvette
1953 – McCulloch Supercharged Corvette
2002 AAT Corvette with 1953 Style
2002 AAT Corvette with 1953 Style
2003 AAT Corvette with 1953 Style
2003 AAT Corvette with 1953 Style
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1950s Corvette Bolt-on Wire Wheel Covers
1953-55 Corvette Wire Wheels and Plexi
1953-55 Corvette Wire Wheels and Plexi
1953-55 Corvette Wire Wheels
1953-55 Corvette Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette Wire Wheels - Placke Chevrolet - Photo Credits Ed Goldberger
1954 Corvette Wire Wheels – Placke Chevrolet – Photo Credits Ed Goldberger
1954 Corvette Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette Wire Wheels
1955 Custom Corvette with Wire Wheels
1955 Custom Corvette with Wire Wheels
1955 - Corvette Wire Wheels
1955 – Corvette Wire Wheels
1953-55 Corvette Hardtops - Patrick Durieux - France
1953-55 Corvette Hardtops – Patrick Durieux – France
1954 Corvette Hardtop
1954 Corvette Hardtop
1954 Corvette Motorama - US Tour
1954 Corvette Motorama – US Tour
1954 Corvette Motorama
1954 Corvette Motorama
1955 Corvette Hardtop
1955 Corvette Hardtop
1959 Corvette with Hardtop
1959 Corvette with Hardtop
1965 Custom Corvette with Hardtop
1965 Custom Corvette with Hardtop
1957 Corvette With Modified Hardtop in Puerto Rico
1957 Corvette With Modified Hardtop in Puerto Rico
1957 Corvette With Modified Hardtop in Puerto Rico
1957 Corvette With Modified Hardtop in Puerto Rico
1953 Corvette Bubbletop
1953 Corvette Bubbletop
1953 Corvette Bubbletop
1953 Corvette Bubbletop
1954 Corvette Bubbletop
1954 Corvette Bubbletop
1954 Corvette Bubbletop
1954 Corvette Bubbletop
1954 Corvette Bubbletop
1954 Corvette Bubbletop
1954 Corvette Bubbletop With Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette Bubbletop With Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette Bubbletop With Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette Bubbletop With Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette Bubbletop With Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette Bubbletop With Wire Wheels
1954 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1954 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Kustom-arama
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Kustom-arama
1955 Corvette Bubble Top
1955 Corvette Bubble Top
1955 Corvette Bubble Top
1955 Corvette Bubble Top
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Vintage Magazine Ads
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Vintage Magazine Ads
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Vintage Magazine Ads
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Vintage Magazine Ads
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Vintage Magazine Ads
1955 Corvette Bubble Top Vintage Magazine Ads
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Hardtop
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Roof
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Roof
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Roof
1955 Corvette with Plasticon Roof
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1955 Corvette has a bubble top designed by William Chaffee of Model Builders Chicago only 15 Built
1956 Corvette Double Bubble Top
1956 Corvette Double Bubble Top
1959 Corvette Bubble Top
1959 Corvette Bubble Top
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Kit
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Kit
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Kit
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Kit
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Kit by Acme Fiberglass
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Kit by Acme Fiberglass
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Style
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Style
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Style
1957 XP-700 Corvette Fiberglass Style
1957 XP-700 Corvette Tribute Car
1957 XP-700 Corvette Tribute Car
1957 XP-700 Corvette Tribute Car
1957 XP-700 Corvette Tribute Car
1958 XP-700 Corvette in Front of Tech Center
1958 XP-700 Corvette in Front of Tech Center
1958 XP-700 Corvette
1958 XP-700 Corvette
1958 XP-700 Corvette
1958 XP-700 Corvette
1958 XP-700 Corvette
1958 XP-700 Corvette
1959 XP-700 Corvette
1959 XP-700 Corvette
1959 XP-700 Corvette
1959 XP-700 Corvette
1959 XP-700 Corvette at Road America
1959 XP-700 Corvette at Road America
1957 Corvette Kit looks like SR2
1957 Corvette Kit looks like SR2
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1956 SR2 Corvette at NCM Bob McLean Story
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for Headrest Fairing
1957 Corvette Kit for SR2 Replica
1957 Corvette Kit for SR2 Replica
1959 James Erwin Drag Corvette with Big Fin
1959 James Erwin Drag Corvette with Big Fin
1959 James Erwin Drag Corvette with Big Fin
1959 James Erwin Drag Corvette with Big Fin
1959 James Erwin Drag Corvette with Big Fin
1959 James Erwin Drag Corvette with Big Fin
Corvette Race Car - SCCA CM - Dick Thompson
Corvette Race Car – SCCA CM – Dick Thompson
1957 Stingray Racer
1957 Stingray Racer
1957 Stingray Racer
1957 Stingray Racer
1957 Stingray Racer
1957 Stingray Racer
1958 XP-700 Corvette - Precursor to Mako Shark I
1958 XP-700 Corvette – Precursor to Mako Shark I
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer at Amelia Island
1959 Corvette Stingray Racer at Amelia Island
Corvette Racer - 1960 SCCA CM - Dick Thompson at Watkins Glen
Corvette Racer – 1960 SCCA CM – Dick Thompson at Watkins Glen
Corvette Racer - 1960 SCCA CM - Dick Thompson at Watkins Glen
Corvette Racer – 1960 SCCA CM – Dick Thompson at Watkins Glen
Corvette Stingray Racer - GM Press Photo with Harley Earl
Corvette Stingray Racer – GM Press Photo with Harley Earl
Corvette Stingray Racer at the 1985 Bloomington Gold Corvette Show
Corvette Stingray Racer at the 1985 Bloomington Gold Corvette Show
Corvette Stingray Racer at the 1985 Bloomington Gold Corvette Show
Corvette Stingray Racer at the 1985 Bloomington Gold Corvette Show
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray replica at Monterrey
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray replica at Monterrey
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Racer Kits
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Racer Kits
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Racer Kits
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Racer Kits
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Centurion 2nd car
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Centurion 2nd car
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Centurion -Photo Credits Concept Carz
1959-65 - Fiberfab's Corvette Stingray Centurion Replica
1959-65 – Fiberfab’s Corvette Stingray Centurion Replica
1953 Corvette Commemorative Edition by AAT
1953 Corvette Commemorative Edition by AAT
1953 Corvette Commemorative Edition by AAT
1953 Corvette Commemorative Edition by AAT
1953 Corvette Commemorative Edition by AAT
1953 Corvette Commemorative Edition by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT (Advanced Automotive Technologies) at Corvettes at Carlisle
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT (Advanced Automotive Technologies) at Corvettes at Carlisle
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Corvette Wagon (Nomad) Replica by AAT
Classic Reflections Corvette
Classic Reflections Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
Classic Reflections Coachworks Corvette
1959 Computer Gen Custom Concept Corvette
1959 Computer Gen Custom Concept Corvette
1959 Nelson Barros Corvette Design Concept
1959 Nelson Barros Corvette Design Concept
1962 C1 Custom Corvette Rendering
1962 C1 Custom Corvette Rendering

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