PRI 2023: Mike Smith’s Sleek 1965 Restomod Corvette

When you find something you’re good at in life it can be beneficial to stick with it. For Mike Smith, owner of Street Rods Only, it’s being good at restoring iconic Corvettes. Mike took your average 1965 Corvette, and turned it into the ultimate road trip ride. This Corvette has the style and grace of a classic car, but under its skin has the driveline of a new vehicle.

Mike and his team at Street Rods Only have been banging out awesome Corvettes for over 20 years. They’ve perfected the art of creating amazing restomods out of the quintessential American sports car. Mike has built up a healthy customer base of people who want to enjoy a car he’s built.

This particular Corvette was an impulse purchase, but Mike was ready to take on another project.

“I was at the Frog Follies car show and they happened to have a swap meet too. This car was just sitting in the car coral and I worked out a deal to pick it up. It was for just the body and chassis, there was no chrome included, but the car was in good shape, so that made it a great starting point for a build,” Mike explains.

To really give this Corvette some get-up-and-go, Mike picked up a 500-horsepower LS3 crate engine from GM. The new LS engine is backed by a GM 6L80 transmission, this creates a great combo that’s very reliable and can be driven anywhere. Under the Corvette, Mike replaced many of the OEM suspension parts with new aftermarket units to really help the car handle well and ride great. Finally, a set of 3030 Autosport wheels was added to give the Corvette an aggressive, yet stylish look as it rolls down the road.

Richard’s Interior took care of reupholstering the OEM seats and adding some custom touches as well. A set of Intellitronix gauges were bolted into the dash to give the Corvette an updated look. A killer aftermarket stereo is the final touch to the Corvette’s interior.

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“The Corvette is such a great car and it’s an iconic vehicle. We wanted to find a way to improve a classic car so you could drive it anywhere and not worry about it starting. I’ve always enjoyed building these cars, and love to find new ways to build them,” Mike says.

Mike Smith has found a way to make a 1965 Corvette look even better. The choices he made with this build really accent all the great lines of the car, but the addition of the modern driveline makes it a real show-stopper. This is the kind of car you’d want to take on a cross-country adventure.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. Brian enjoys anything loud, fast, and fun.
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