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macx 01-27-2011 01:59 PM

New member from MO
Hello all.

I live near Cape Girardeau, MO, having moved here from central MN some 20 years ago, but hope to move to Casper, WY, when I retire in 3 or 4 years.

Through circumstance I got involved in heavy Construction Quality Control, with most of my jobs on new power plants.

That means I work mostly away from home for long periods so don't have much time to work on any major car projects.

Several years ago I got the bug for a Corvette, one of the few "hot rods" for lack of a better term I'd never had. I had a good selection of classic & muscle cars back in the 60's & 70's which has included Mopar (66 426 Hemi, 70 Challenger RT S/E 440 Six Pack), Ford (64 Galaxie XL 390), and of course Chev (61 Impala bubble back, 66 El Camino SS 327, 67 Camaro SS 396 / 375 hp, 68 Nova SS 350), most of which were "enhanced" at least mildly. About 5+ years ago I was able to get back into the game in a moderate way with an 89 Lincoln Mark VII LSC into which I've swapped a moderately built 351 Lightning motor, a beefed 4R70W electronic trans with stall, and other upgrades. Most major parts were used, collected over 3 years, and I did all the wrenching myself incl building the motor, trans, and rear end.

I have always admired the Shark style Vette's, and have never had a convertible. So several years ago, not knowing much about the unique rear suspension, I bought an 81 that had all the factory options along with
a new leather interior and paint. Unfortunately that masked significant problems with the rear suspension and problems with the body including body mounts and a rusted out driver side door post.

Not having any time to work on it since I bought it and over the first 6 months was able to get under it and discover the extent of the problems, it has sat in storage since. I did quite a lot of online research when I started finding the problems, but of course then it was too late. Now I'm hoping to retire in 3 to 4 years and, while laid off inbetween projects (I work on a contract basis one job at a time) I've had time to review all the info I found before and develop a plan for upgrading it mechanically to incude basicaly a mild top end & cam upgrade to the engine, installing an improved 200-4R and mild stall, rebuilding and upgrading the rear suspension and all the brakes, hopefully installing a rack and pinion, possibly upgrading the front suspension, installing a 6 link on the rear, and rebuilding the differential & changing gears. My wife and I hope to do some traveling with it when I retire so am planning it with an eye for getting good gas mileage but still with some decent throttle response and improved fun factor, besides suspension and brake and steering upgrades to more modern technology. I do all my own work, and am always looking to expand my knowledge base on procedures and products.

Thank you for accepting my membership. I look forward to continuing to learn and to post my planned upgrades for review and comment.

mrvette 01-27-2011 03:45 PM

Welcome to the motley crew.....

Lotsa guys here that have similar job experiences to what you do, and that sounds like fun.....I just did household remodeling, nothing super heavy....

I bet you got some wacked out tales of various job sites over the years....
I did a bit of industrial related travel years ago, with many funny and crazy recollections....:hi::flash:

denpo 01-27-2011 06:57 PM

Same story here.
Loved C3s since kid, finally realized my dream, bought a bucket of rust in disguise, started a full resto.

Twin_Turbo 01-27-2011 09:40 PM

Welcome to VM :hi:

saudivette 01-28-2011 07:37 PM

Hi, welcome to VetteMOD :hi:

Any pics of the beast?

69427 01-29-2011 03:14 AM


In addition to the Corvette, I'd sure like to see any old pictures or info regarding the '61 Impala, one of my favorite cars (and on my wish list for several years).

C6Z51 01-29-2011 06:21 AM

Welcome to VetteMod:hi:

macx 01-29-2011 02:06 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thank you, one and all, for the welcome!

No pics, unless you want to see a Vette up on blocks with no rear suspension and much of the interior taken apart. That would be just too sad!

I actually do have 1 or 2 pics of the old Impala taken with an old Kodak Brownie camera. So not close up or much detail. One of these days I'll have to do an album and post on PhotoBucket.

I got it in 63 while a Jr in HS - talk about cock of the walk! :-) If I wouldn't have been such a sheltered farm boy, well - just think of the possibilities! :-)
348 engine, 3 speed auto (not powerglide), don't remember what it was called. Note the bullet tail lites and the black rims and "spinners". Right in style! :-) It was white with red interior, even had a rear speaker in a grill between the top of the back seatbacks! That was cutting edge back in the early 60's.

Slow?! Lucky to get her up to 70 in "about" a 1/4 mile. I think my father may have made sure it wasn't a hot rod.
Course at that age, I didn't know anything about cars, and hot rods weren't in vogue yet in our rural community, so - -.

But he somehow or other decided to trade it the next year for a new Ford Galaxie 500 XL - I got him to agree to a 4 speed and a 390 engine, but it was the lo po 300 hp version - biggest one that burned regular. I just couldn't talk him into the 427 cuz it took premium. Darn!!!! His 413 New Yorker would beat it, and a 62 Impala 327 with 3 deuces a friend of mine had would also beat it. That was the car in which I learned to drive a 4 speed. My father "just couldn't figure out" why the trans and rear end had to be rebuilt so soon in a new car, and why the tires wore out so quickly!

mrvette 01-29-2011 02:50 PM

Macx, very similar car and story to a buddy of mine, he wrecked his into some road rebuilding ditch at high speed in '64 or so, just before going in the Navy.....

I known him since '60 or so....been a while....


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