Cruella De Ville, Your C7 Corvette Awaits…

For those too young to remember the disco era and Ronald Reagan, retro cars were once all the rage. Posh names like Zimmer, Clenet, Excaliber as well as “tribute” versions of Auburn Speedsters, Cord Roadsters and ’32 Model A Fords, were abundantly recreated in fiberglass riding on top of modern running gear. They fell out of favor years ago and are now considered taste-challenged jalopies from a bygone era, minus the provenance.

This 1974 Excalibur was a re-bodied C3 Corvette.

Then there were re-bodied Corvettes and Fieros. Some were hideous–badly executed Greenwood kits, Les Dunham/Superfly cars and miniature Ferraris come to mind–while other builders like Callaway went in a more synergistic direction by upgrading the entire car with a clear goal; to go fast.

“Caballista” by Les Dunham

The Fiero and the C4 Corvette ushered in the modern blueprint of a drivable chassis and (easily swapped) non-structural body panels. All the latest iterations of the Corvette since–RIP Fiero–continue this tradition.

Classis Reflection Coachworks

Shops like CRC and Karl Kustoms have been re-skinning modern Corvettes for years, mostly as 1967 models and older.  We were wondering when someone would transform a C7 in the spirit of classic coach builders.

Well, the wait is over…

Looking conspicuously similar to the ’30s era “Mercedes” driven by arch-villain Cruella De Ville in Disney’s 1961 classic “101 Dalmatians,” eccentric supercar maker Eadon Green’s Zeclat has deftly swapped out the C7s modern threads for fat-fendered retro styling cues and the results ain’t half bad.

According to Carscoops, “We might just be looking at one of Geneva’s weirdest supercars in the Zeclat. It’s powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 engine, which allows it to get from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a blistering 3.6 seconds, thanks to 460 HP and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) of torque.

And yes, we don’t need to look that close in order to see it’s based off a Corvette C7 wearing a custom exterior body. It’s low, wide, and (supposedly) styled after aero cars created in the 1930s by French coach-builders such as Figioni & Falaschi, Bugatti, Chapron and PourTout – though, we’ll leave you to tell us if it lives up to those names…

Door, roof “hoop” and greenhouse from B-pillar forward are easily recognized as C7.

Inside, the Corvette C7’s cabin is unchanged featuring the familiar driver-oriented cockpit, with hand-stitched leather, carbon fiber, piano black glossy surfaces and polished aluminum here and there.

Aim it at the horizon and the 460 HP Corvette LT1 V8 unit will “convert power to speed in a safe and controllable way,” says the coachbuilder. Meanwhile, the near 50/50 weight distribution, performance traction management, electronic limited slip differential and launch control system all play their part in making this car enjoyable to drive. Purists can even substitute the Zeclat’s 8-speed paddle shift automatic for a 7-speed manual gearbox with Active Rev Match – a system for smooth gear change throttle blips.

There are five different running modes to choose from: Weather Mode, ECO Mode, Tour Mode, Sport Mode and Track Mode – their functions being pretty self explanatory.”

Whether or not you think this it’s cool, it is a friggin’ C7 Corvette. Any owner getting guff from detractors could easily reduce them to a tiny dot in the rear view mirror, quickly quelling clucking wiseguys or haters. How much all this retro goodness will cost is hazy, but the controversy surrounding the car will most likely be clear as a bell…

What do you think? Pick or kick??

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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