1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe by Ecklers

In this post, we will look at a story in Vette Vues Magazine about the 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe by Ecklers written by James Prather. We learn about the features, specifications, and general information from when it was introduced in 1976.

The 1975 Corvette was the eighth year of the third-generation Corvette. There were 38,465 C3 Corvettes produced that year.

1976 Cover of Vette Vues Magazine featuring the 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe by Ecklers
1976 Cover of Vette Vues Magazine featuring the 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe by Ecklers

This article appeared in October 1976, Volume Five, Number 4 issue of Vette Vues Magazine


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 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe Design –

  • Electrically operated double-latched hatchback door (G.M. latches), operated from the passen­ger compartment.
  • The test has proven automotive positive weather seal 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.
  • The gas filler door was relocated into a recessed area of the center body panel.
  • No need to relocate the spare tire or rear exhaust system.
  • Total design encompasses sleek good looks, functional use of space, and versatility of operation.

Additional Features of the 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe –

  • Eckler’s custom C-530 Monza Tilt Front-end.
  • Custom Rectangular Headlight Assemblies with clear plexiglass covers. “Street Use” front spoiler.
  • The tilt Front-End is fitted with a 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 –

The 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.

The 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 were 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 were well over 12 months, 6 months of concept and design, and 6 months of the actual building of molds and preparation of the car for the 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 parts were available from Eckler’s Corvette Parts to build your own Hatchback Rear End on 1968-76 Corvette Coupes or 1968-75 Corvette Convertibles. The complete package included every­thing you need to install a hatchback on your Vette, except the window glass which is available from your local auto glass dealer.

We hope you enjoyed the History of Eckler’s 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe package which included wheels and tires, suspension components, interior upgrades, brakes, shocks, and more. But did you know that customizing Corvettes had a big following? Check out our article on C3 Corvette Body Kits and Customizations and see what else was going on in the 1968-1982 C3 Corvettes.

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Vette Vues Magazine is jammed packed with Corvette information covering C1 to C8. Each monthly issue has features, reviews, tips, restorations, clubs, events, racing, auction results, model cars, classifieds, products, services, and more.  Enjoy the latest Corvette news, as well as some great historical facts.


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