Take a trip down memory lane as we look at the third part of the original series in Vette Vues Magazine covering Corvette body kits and dress up parts. We are looking back at the various custom modifications on the C3 Corvettes that could be installed by an owner, contracted to a shop, or purchased as turn-key vehicles. Enjoy the journey! C3 – THE HISTORY OF CORVETTE BODY KITS & DRESS-UP PARTS
By Wayne Ellwood
Credits: Facebook, General Motors, Jeff
Page-Heartland, Eckler, Ben Labaree, Tony Mezzacca Motorsport, Chris
Farkash, Wayne Ellwood
This is the third re-post of the original series in
Vette Vues Magazine. We are looking 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 who were selected for print in the original article in VETTE VUES MAGAZINE. The C3 Body Kit article ran in the June 2018 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
this series, VETTE VUES presents a photographic summary of the major
trends in customization, as it has evolved through the various year
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.
Are you looking for someone to work on your Corvette? We have compiled a list of Corvette Custom and Restoration Shops. This page is not intended to endorse these companies. Many of them come from show boards at car shows and others are readers and social media followers submissions. C31 (1968-82) PERIOD CORVETTE BODY KITS AND DRESS UP PARTS: HIGHLGHTS
FOR CUSTOM CORVETTES “ Period”
Custom Trends L88 hood Endurance headlight system FSO cars, spoilers, air dams, and fender flares Full body kits Moon-roofs and t-tops GM widebody design Greenwood GT series Duntov Turbo by ACI Eckler’s body kits Bill Mitchell’s Great White ACI carbon fiber body John Silva and the Maco Joel Rosen MOTION cars Miscellaneous home-built customs Chassis upgrades (commercially available) 1969 GM Design Variant This updated chassis by the Roadster Shop is representative of this category. Seen here is the chassis used for the 2017 SEMA “Corvette Menace’ show car EXAMPLES OF C3 SPOILERS, AIR DAMS, AND FENDR FLARES ON THE C3 CORVETTES… Mike Yager’s # 4 RED Dave Heinz race car features the L88 hood, L88 flares for the rear, and a deep air dam. Another shot of the No 4 RED Dave Heinz race car. The No 4 RED Dave Heinz race car features the L88 hood, L88 flares for the rear, and a deep air dam. Other innovations that emerged from racing on the C3 Corvettes were the “endurance” series headlamp buckets and Plexi covers. The basic idea was the reduction of drag and turbulence by smoothing out airflow over a fixed surface rather than having pop-up headlights. As with the C2, these headlight modifications were often picked up by C3 owners who had managed to damage the front ends of their cars. As a repair item, it saved considerable money. Initially. Piranha lights based on Eckler kit Piranha lights based on Eckler kit Spoilers, air dams, and fender flares were very popular on the C3 Corvettes. Spoilers, air dams, side skirts, and diffusers are all functional as well as cosmetic. But they must be properly designed to have an appropriate effect. ACI Aero Body Kit Hood ACI Aero Body Kit Rear for the C3 Corvette. Spoilers, air dams, side skirts, and diffusers are all functional as well as cosmetic. But they must be properly designed to have an appropriate effect. ACI Narrow Flares ACI Narrow Flares The range of add-on aero kits continued to evolve over the C3 period and, depending
on the individual company’s connections with aero experts, so did the actual aero effects. Notice the custom Flares on the C3 Corvette. C3 Corvette Fares and Wings Wings and Flares on the C3 Corvette Fender Flares and Air Dam on the C3 Bob Wingate’s 1968 FSO Corvette Bob Wingate’s 1970 FSO Corvette Here you can see GM’s New Body Panels on display at Cobo Hall. GM’s New Widebody Panel is on the cover of the Blue Bars magazine. NEXT, THE GREENWOOD C3 CORVETTES Greenwood Race Car 1975 Laguna IMSA Race The early Greenwood/GM widebody panels gave a hint as to some of the truly wild
customs we would see today. Pictured here is a 1977 Greenwood Turbo GT Hatchback Prototype. 1981 Greenwood Dayton Body Kit 1981 Greenwood Dayton Body Kit Front The early Greenwood/GM widebody panels gave a hint as to some of the truly wild customs we would see today. Lou Pittack, Wilkes-Barre (PA), owned both this red Turbo GT and a Sunoco Blue Daytona for many years. 1981 Greenwood Dayton Body Kit in France. 1981 Greenwood Dayton Body Kit Side Shot. 1981 Greenwood Dayton Body Kit Rear Shot. 1981 Greenwood Dayton Body Kit Driver’s Side Front. 1981 Greenwood Dayton Corvette 1981 Greenwood Dayton Corvette 1982 Greenwood GTO Corvette THIRDLY THE DUNTOV TURBO BODY KITS FOR C3 CORVETTES… ACI Duntov Turbo Body Kits for C3 Corvettes. The ACI Duntov Turbo was the first of many projects where Zora would be encouraged to lend his name. Some paid-off. Duntov Turbo C3 Corvette Front Closeup Duntov Turbo C3 Corvette Interior Shot NEXT WE HAVE THE C3 CORVETTE STATION WAGONS… Ecklers Station Wagon Mold This Sebring GT by Greenwood now resides in the Lingenfelter collection. At the time you could buy a full car from Greenwood or individual pieces. SOME MORE BREATHTAKING C3 CORVETTES – THE CAN-AMs… Eckler Can-Am Corvette Eckler Can-Am Corvette At just 72 pounds weight, this full race body proved to be a very successful item. Eckler Can-Am Corvette for Street Eckler Can-Am Corvette Mold AND THE CUSTOM C3 CORVETTE DAYTONA Eckler Daytona Corvette Eckler Daytona Corvette Engine Compartment NEED MORE CARGO SPACE? HOW ABOUT THE CORVETTE HATCHBACK FOR THE C3S The Eckler hatchback remained popular even after GM brought out its own hatch. It was an easy fit for the early C3 Corvettes. Eckler Daytona Corvette Driver’s Side Shot Eckler Corvette Hatchback Magazine Ad Eckler’s Hatchback Corvette Eckler’s Hatchback Corvette Warehouse Stock Eckler’s Hatchback Corvette Rear Photo The Can-am kit also proved very popular and was often just the kick-off point for some serious customs. Eckler’s Hatchback Corvette Side Shot – Hood Open. MISCELLANEOUS CUSTOM C3 CORVETTES Eckler’s Turbo Corvette Bill Mitchell’s 1976 Corvette Concept “Great White.” Mitchell was a big believer in concept cars and giving designers opportunities and challenges and in 1976 his team created “The Great White.” Bill Mitchell’s 1976 Corvette Concept “Great White” Badging. Bill Mitchell was head of Design at General Motors from 1959 through 1977. William Mitchell’s name was on the Great White Corvette. The Great White by Bill Mitchell is similar to many other designs of the era . . . Mulsanne and Scirocco spring to mind. SHARK WEEK THROWBACK: THE MAKO SHARK CORVETTES… John Silva’s Mako Shark body went through several stages of development before his death in the late 1990s. Modern Material made a difference – Carbon Fiber This Corvette is the Mako style and is in Sweden. This Corvette is the Mako style by Silva. Corvette Mako style by Silva Corvette Mako Style Corvette Mako Style by Silva Corvette Mako Style by Silva side shot. Another Corvette Mako Style by Silva Rear of a Corvette Mako Style by Silva Interior of a Corvette Mako Style by Silva Corvette Mako Style by Silva with the hood open. Custom Silver Mako Style by Silva. Custom Silver Mako Style by Silva side shot Custom Silver Mako Style by Silva side/front Mako Shark II Front THE RADICAL MOTION CORVETTES… 1969 Baldwin Motion GT III Drivers Side 1969 Baldwin Motion GT III Passenger Side 1969 Baldwin Motion GT III Side View 1969 Baldwin Motion GT III Rear View 1969 Baldwin Motion GT III Interior 1969 Baldwin Motion GT III Engine Compartment 1969 Baldwin Motion GT III Driver Side Rear 1971 Motion Phase III GT Chevrolet Corvette Motion Manta Ray GT Chevrolet Corvette Motion Manta Ray GT Front Front of the Corvette Motion Manta Ray GT Corvette Motion Manta Ray GT Rear Rear of Corvette Motion Manta Ray GT MORE CUSTOM TOUCHES: ETCHED GLASS AND CUSTOM ROOFS FOR THE C3 CORVETTES… Shirley Greenberg’s WILD CHILD. Shirley used GM glass roofs which could be etched, as seen here Over time the entire “roof” business also expanded to include repairs and customization. You might also enjoy these articles on Corvette Customizations:
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