We had looked after this 1966 327 roadster for a number of years including a respray around 2006. Having decided it was time to move the car on we handled the sale for the current owner.
Francis, the new owner wanted to use the car abroad for extended rallies and events so wanted the car gone through head to toe mechanically, he also preferred the idea of a manual car. It was decided that a body off was the way to go, along with an engine rebuild and a conversion to a 5 speed transmission, phew!
The body off and the engine removed. We have given the chassis a steam clean to assess what we have. All was as expected and in good condition overall with the exception of some damage on the left rear corner.
With the chassis sandblasted and given a protective coat of primer we began the chassis repairs. A new rear crossmember was ordered and we set about straightening the rear chassis rail.
This video shows the completed chassis in the paint shop ready for spot priming and topcoat.
The chassis repaired and painted. Looking good in satin black. The suspension has been rebushed and refitted. New stainless steel fuel lines and new brake lines installed.
Francis also opted for a new Positraction differential with the ratio optimised for the 5 speed transmission.
The engine back form my machinist and looking good, ready for the new aluminium cylinder heads to be fitted. There was a problem with the original crankshaft, small journal 327 cranks are no longer available so we had a crankshaft specially ground for us in the USA.
Whilst the body was off it made sense to give the engine bay a freshen up, the engine bay and underbody received the satin black treatment. Whilst we were in there we replaced the heater matrix and AC evaporator. Anyone who knows air conditioned mid year Corvettes will know that that is no mean feat!
The engine going together nicely. We had the intake manifold machined for the oil fill tube and the valve covers bead blasted. The completed motor looks great and should perform well.
And we’ll be hooking it up to this. The Tremec 5 speed is a wonderful transmission for these cars. We have tried all the kits out there and the one we use is the very best.
The chassis wax oiled ready for the engine and transmission to be installed. A close up of the front suspension and steering gear showing the new fuel and brake lines.
The engine and transmission back in the frame and looking great. You can see we have installed a new gas tank also. Note the tach drive HEI distributor.
The engine bay getting built up. You can see the new air conditioning parts, along with a new aluminium radiator with auxiliary cooling fan. We have also installed a new expansion tank and heater hoses. We don't want this car to suffer in hot weather.
And the body back on, really starting to take shape now. A nice engine bay is one of my number one turn ons!
A new carpet set fitted and the centre console refinished. Note the 5 speed shift pattern.
Almost there! The rest of the exterior trim getting refitted and the brakes bled. A new halogen headlight kit gets installed.
This shows the rebuilt rear wheel bearing and trailing arm assemblies and rear suspension from underneath.
And thats it, body off, engine rebuild, conversion from automatic to manual, full suspension rebuild, new carpets, new leather seat covers and steering wheel, the list goes on and on…… Note the uprated A/C compressor.
And a few on the final road test, the car drove absolutely beautifully as one would expect and the sound from the side pipes is just epic, now off to live a new life in sunny Monaco!