Once upon a time, not so long ago, resto-modding an actual Holy Grail 1963 split window Chevrolet Corvette into an all-out custom fabricated pro-touring performer would be sacrilege, warranting possible violent reactions from ‘Vette aficionados.
Today, such automotive aspirations have become commonplace, with early examples of America’s sports car getting special attention from custom shops from sea to shining sea. Brown’s Classic Autos in Scottsdale Arizona is one such shop that has transformed an iconic first year C2 to another level.
Starting with the aforementioned sacrilege, Brown’s template car was a beautiful running/driving white ’63 split widow-an example, anyone in his or her right mind would be more than ecstatic to own and cherish. The original mission statement was to build-up the C2 with a new crate LT1 motor, tube chassis, modern suspension/wheels/tires and resto-modding everything in between.
The fruits of this labor of Corvette love were originally intended to appear at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas and then go to the highest bidder at the world famous Barrett-Jackson auction.
Rumor has it, that as the build commenced, a heavy-hitter Phoenix Footballer–who remains unnamed–saw the work in progress and showed considerable interest, as long as his wants and wishes were applied to the build of course. This now set the tone for the end result, creating one of the coolest pro-touring renditions of the classic American sport coupe ever.
Brown’s Classic Autos 1963 Split Widow Pro-Touring Corvette:
As stated, the new-old ‘Vette was fitted with a 6.2-liter LT1 crate motor, now draped with an Edelbrock Performance E-Force supercharger, cranking-out 624 hp/600 lb-ft, applied to the gears via a 4L70-E automatic trans. The modern mill required the fabrication of an appropriate-sized tranny and driveshaft tunnel, and mini-tubing the ‘Vette’s hindquarter to allow for a factory-like fit.
The spent gasses are exhaled through custom bent stainless exhaust piping, with unique Flowmaster mufflers and a C7 Corvette 4-gun salute from its center-mount quad tail pipes. And all that supercar power resides within a Roadster Shop FAST TRACK C2 chassis, propelled through a bulletproof Strange Engineering Ford 9-inch rear.
Getting-it to the ground, is a parallel 4-bar rear suspension with custom-tuned Penske coil-over racing edition shocks at each corner, riding-on black-painted Billet Specialties, Inc wheels, 19×8-inch front/20×12-inch rears-wrapped in Nitto rubber and getting hauled-down on a dime, by massive Wilwood 4-wheel disk brakes.
Exterior details are subtle yet powerful, starting with the emblem-free super straight body, Benz-like shut lines, tucked chrome bumpers and custom rear valence. And continues with eye-catching PPG Victory Red paint and body-length black stinger stripe, custom-made stainless-mesh hood, cowl, pillar and lower fender cove vents and one-off turn signal light openings-converted-to functional brake cooling ducts-pretty-trick.
In the cockpit, an Italian sports car theme prevails with plush black leather and suede throughout, an all-business manual-looking auto-shifter, race-inspired gauges and minimal clutter on the center console and dash, staying true to it’s Pro-touring theme. Tech touches like hands-free Bluetooth and power windows provide modernity and modified seats allow its ginormous pigskin player owner to fit like a glove.
Its obvious from the end result that this Corvette is a compliment to its iconic beginnings and a testament to the level of today’s customizing wizards. Sacrilege, I say no. I think Zora Arkus Duntov would praise this Pro-Touring beauty like a proud papa.