For those of you old enough to remember, restaurants used to have a dish of buttermints up at the front counter by the cashier. Sort of a palate cleanser after you finished your meal.
These little lozenge-shaped candies melted in your mouth and came in an assortment of pale pastel colors: pink, yellow, blue, and my favorite, a minty green.
When I saw this pale green 1957 Corvette from Steve’s Auto Restoration out of Portland, Oregon, last month, it reminded me of the old school confection and was visually, the equivalent of the melt-in-your-mouth candy.
We saw the mint green car at GNRS 2019 and had to linger a good long while to soak it all in. It takes huge balls to alter a single-headlight C1, but this is a meticulous build with incredibly thoughtful and appropriate tweaks to Harley Earl’s mid-century sports car masterpiece. The additions improve the car and enhance everything touched.
Owned by Rhonda Ralph, it employs only top-notch components assembled by the best in the hot rod hobby. The car shares Steve’s Auto Restoration DNA with the yellow car, but the result is a completely different feel and flavor.
The body is sprayed out in a custom “Creme De Menthe” pearl, with a stinger hood, 1953 windshield, 1953 license plate receptacle, no door glass, and custom bumpers and exhaust trim. The pastel paint has a ton of fire and sparkle in it and was spectacular in person.
The car is running a GM Performance LS3 V-8, hooked up to a Tremec 5-speed sitting in an Art Morrison Sport GT C5 chassis. Rounding out the running gear are big black walls on 18- and 19-inch EVOD wheels, stuffed with Wilwood brakes.
The interior introduces some whipped cream elements to the mix. Dan’s Auto Upholstery, also out of Portland, stitched this thing up right with leather seats, steering wheel, and dash. The custom machined steering wheel is a killer, and perfectly frames the Classic Instruments gauges.
Finally, the car was presented flawlessly. Some folks think these high-end builds are fussy, unusable show cars. We say, “God lives in the details,” and seeing this thing in all its glorious perfection was breathtaking. A true achievement, and Power Automedia’s favorite restomod Corvette so far this year.
The judges at GNRS agreed, and awarded Rhonda’s ‘Vette 2019’s “Best Sports Car Pre-’63.” Congrats to Steve’s Auto Restoration and Ms. Ralph for this delicious, minty fresh Corvette.