Seems like we have C3 Corvettes on the brain these days at Street Muscle. We recently brought you the story of an almost 50-year-old 1968 Corvette that was a Car Craft magazine project car back in the day. Dubbed the Big Banana, it was a state-of-the-art build in 1976 and although essentially obsolete in 2023, the car took the notion of what a modded C3 Corvette could be to the next level.
That brings us to our feature here, which might be the spiritual successor to the Big Banana. Dig Garrett Randall’s 1970 Corvette has been pumped up on steroids and christened Rambo. The guys over at Four Speed Films bring us the story
Rambo was originally an LT-1 car, had seen track duty for years, and was acquired by Cris Gonzolez, owner of JCG Customs and Restorations based in Southern California.
When Garrett tired of autocrossing his hulking El Camino, he went looking for a C3 to mod and use for racing. When he saw Gonzales’ car, he thought that would be a good starting point for a build. The two struck a deal and Garrett bought the car. JCG Customs was then tasked to do a complete rethink of the car. To many Corvette purists, cutting up a real LT-1 car is blasphemous, but it was already modded by the previous owner so the damage was already done.
The blueprint used on Rambo is familiar. A burly LS engine, T56 TREMEC transmission, Van Steel suspension with coilovers, Wilwood binders, and a thorough updating of the cooling, fuel delivery, and electrical systems.
Next up was reimagining the styling of the old C3. Garrett loves flares on a Shark Corvette, so he mounted massive 18×11.5-inch front and 18×12.5-inch rear Forgeline GA3R wheels shoed with huge 315- and 335-width 30-series BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S rubber to the car.
With the rolling stock in place, the flares were custom-built to fit the low-profile gumballs. We think he hit the bullseye here as Rambo takes the C3’s menacing look one step further with the lowdown stance and shrink-wrapped flares.
James Mullenix of Mullenix Racing Engines was hired to build the cammed and ported LS6 engine to reside in between the frame rails underneath Rambo’s bulging bodywork. With an estimated 530 RWHP, it has proven to be fast and reliable.
Inside the cabin, it’s all business. The old, almost useless factory center console was ditched and AutoMeter Sport Comp black/aluminum gauges were added in the OE receptacles. A hat tip back to the old days is evident as they retained the old aftermarket cassette tape deck. A Sparco suede wheel, Hurst shifter, Kirkey driver seat, RCi belts, and a custom four-point roll bar complete the build-out of the interior.
Is Rambo the ultimate modded C3? We’d say it’s in the top echelon these days. See Kyle Tucker’s Detroit Speed C3 and Bert Bertlson’s Green Mamba for further inspiration. In the meantime, be sure and keep your eyes peeled at the next autocross event, Garrett and his mean green machine just might make an appearance and the crowd will witness maximum C3 Corvette in motion.
Images courtesy of Front Street Media