Ecklers Body Kit for 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe: An Overview

Discover the Custom 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe by Ecklers: a Look into Its Design and Features As Featured in Vette Vues Magazine

The Ecklers body kit for the 1975 Corvette Hatchback Coupe was a game-changer when it was introduced in 1976. The kit was designed to enhance the appearance and give it a custom look and feel that would make it stand out from the rest as well as provide some storage space for your Corvette.

You see, Corvettes weren’t recognized for their large storage capabilities back then. However, Ralph Eckler, a Corvette pioneer, introduced a remarkable hatchback transformation that increased the car’s usability while preserving the classic design – long before the ’82 Collector Edition had its hatchback addition.

One of the most significant features of the kit is the C-530 Monza Tilt Front-end. This tilted front end was designed specifically for the C3 Corvette, and it allowed for easy access to the engine compartment. It was a popular option for custom Corvettes.

Another notable feature of the Ecklers kit is the Hatchback Rear End. This rear end was designed to give the Corvette a sleek, sporty look, and it was a popular option for 1968-76 Corvette coupes and 1968-75 Corvette convertibles.

Overall, the Ecklers body kit for the 1975 Custom Corvette was an excellent addition for any Corvette enthusiast looking to customize their car. It was designed to be both functional and stylish.

It remains popular to this day if you happen to see one at a Corvette show.

C3 Corvette Hatchback Conversion Article from 1976

Below, 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 to the general public at the NCCC convention in Orlando, Florida.

The 1975 Corvette was the eighth year of the third-generation Corvette and customization was all the rage. There were 38,465 C3 Corvettes produced that year…I wonder how many have been customized over the years.

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

ECKLER’S CONCOURS PREPARED A 1975 CORVETTE HATCHBACK COUPE

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.

Photo from Pinterest

We found some photos that were taken of Ralph Ecklers personal 1975 Corvette Hatchback on Pinterest.

Ralph Ecklers' 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Hatchback Coupe - Source Pinterest:  The 1975 Custom Corvette by Ecklers had a unique look that set it apart from other C3 Corvette models. One of the standout features was the C-530 Monza Tilt Front-end which gave it a more aggressive appearance. Additionally, the Hatchback's Rear End added an extra touch of sportiness and storage space. This body kit was designed to fit 1968-76 Corvette Coupes and 1968-75 Corvette Convertibles. Overall, the Ecklers Body Kit transformed the already iconic Corvette into a truly distinctive and eye-catching ride.
Ralph Ecklers’ 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Hatchback Coupe – Source Pinterest: The 1975 Custom Corvette by Ecklers had a unique look that set it apart from other C3 Corvette models. One of the standout features was the C-530 Monza Tilt Front-end which gave it a more aggressive appearance. Additionally, the Hatchback’s Rear End added an extra touch of sportiness and storage space. This body kit was designed to fit 1968-76 Corvette Coupes and 1968-75 Corvette Convertibles. Overall, the Ecklers Body Kit transformed the already iconic Corvette into a truly distinctive and eye-catching ride.
Ralph Ecklers 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Hatchback Rear End - Source Pinterest
Ralph Ecklers 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Hatchback Rear End – Source Pinterest
For a final finish, Emberlite Firemist Gold Lacquer is applied nine times in color, one time in clear lacquer with "Diamond Dust" particles, and ten times in clear lacquer hand-rubbed.
For a final finish, Emberlite Firemist Gold Lacquer is applied nine times in color, one time in clear lacquer with “Diamond Dust” particles, and ten times in clear lacquer hand-rubbed.
The prototype 1975 Hatchback Corvette had to be entirely taken apart and the frame replaced with the new design before it could start to be put together.
The prototype 1975 Hatchback Corvette had to be entirely taken apart and the frame replaced with the new design before it could start to be put together.
The time of design and production was well over a year, with six months spent on the conception of the design and another six on the making of the molds and custom parts for the 1975 custom Corvette Hatchback.
The time of design and production was well over a year, with six months spent on the conception of the design and another six on the making of the molds and custom parts for the 1975 custom Corvette Hatchback.
Ralph Ecklers 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Hatchback Coupe Interior - Source Pinterest
Ralph Ecklers 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Hatchback Coupe Interior – Source Pinterest

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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