History/News/Commentary from K. Scott Teeters

amazon store

Vette Videos: Eckler Can-Am Custom Corvette Blast From The ’70’s Past

Dateline: 4.6.12

“Corvettes and Racing” A Wonderful Marriage!

“Corvettes and racing” have been perfect together since 1956. Without the influence of racing, I’m sure that the Corvette would have morphed into something else and been gone long ago. The other day CorvetteBlogger.com posted a story about a 2011 C6.R Le Mans Winning tribute Corvette that’s For Sale. The car looks as if it was just rolled out of the transport and is ready for a few hot laps, but this is a street machine sporting a brand new LS7 crate engine and a host of delicious racing goodies. The car has 52,000 miles on the odometer and the asking price is just $55,000. Almost begs the question, “So what’s wrong with the car???”

Seeing the car got me to thinking about earlier Corvette street machines with a powerful visual racing reference. Arguably the most over-the-top race track-influenced Corvettes were the ‘70s wide-body IMSA Corvettes. The wide body design was the last of Zora Arkus-Duntov’s “racer kit” Corvette parts program and first showed up on John Greenwood’s Corvettes around 1974-1975.

Previous Corvette racer body parts were limited to the functional L88 hood and fender flares. The fender flares were pretty big, but as tires got wider and wider, something else had to be done. Corvette stylists came up with a wild-looking and functionally aerodynamic full body kit that not only cover up the Can-Am-size racing tires, but improved the car’s aerodynamics. In full battle regalia, Greenwood’s IMSA Corvette looked like “the future” and was quickly nick named, “The Batmobile.”

Almost seemed like overnight, companies such as Eckler, Greenwood, and Motion Performance were offering IMSA wide-body kits and turnkey Corvettes sporting the new race track refugee-look. Motion’s Can-Am Spyder was Joel Rosen’s most outrageous-looking Phase III Motion Corvette ever, but only 4 were made. Eckler and Greenwood sold lots of kits to the do-it-yourself Corvette crowd.

Building race car replicas and race car-inspired street machines are two entirely different animals. For the race car replica builder, strict adherence to the original is what’s most needed and will determine the final success of the effort. Successful custom street machines depend on the skills, abilities, and aesthetic sense of the builder. Even a well executed street custom is subjective. Since so many of the C3 IMSA wide-body kits were sold, the results are all over the place.

Trim, details, and paint aside, what makes or breaks a C3 wide-body street machine comes down to wheel size, wheel offset, and ride height. The wheels and tires need to be wide enough to comfortably fit into the wheel wells and the ride height has to be such that the car doesn’t sit too high. In other words, the body/wheels/chassis has to look like it’s all one. If the wheel/tire combo isn’t wide enough and too far inboard, the fender pontoons look silly. If the ride height is too high and there’s too much of a gap between the tops of the tires and the wheel openings, the wide body looks like it’s not sure of what it wants to be – road racer or off road. But when a builder gets the wheel/tire/height combo right, it’s a look that still turns heads.

Our friend Jonathan Settrella owns a Greenwood body kit C3 Corvette that’s spot on. Jon’s blood red wide-body doesn’t have any identification badges that say, “CORVETTE,” which has long been the source of many amusing exchanges with gas pump jocks. The most common quhttp://www.corvettereport.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpestion from the “young dudes” is, “What kind of Ferrari is this, Mister?” Settrella takes no offense. He’s well aware that the term “Ferrari” is for many, a generic term used for anything exotic-looking on four wheels. And when he answers, “It’s a Corvette.” the most common response is, “Awesome!” We agree. I’ll be doing a post on Jonathan’s wide-body custom C3 Corvette in the coming months. Hope you enjoy the above video! – Scott


Related: Body Shop Find: Lost Motion Can-Am Spyder Corvette Has A New Home! HERE.


The above 11×17 Parchment Paper Print is available for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. You can order your with the secure PayPal button below, or by calling 1-800-858-6670, Monday through Saturday 10AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


The above 11×17 Parchment Paper Print is available for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. You can order your with the secure PayPal button below, or by calling 1-800-858-6670, Monday through Saturday 10AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


The above 11×17 Parchment Paper Print is available for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. You can order your with the secure PayPal button below, or by calling 1-800-858-6670, Monday through Saturday 10AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


The above 11×17 Parchment Paper Print is available for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. You can order your with the secure PayPal button below, or by calling 1-800-858-6670, Monday through Saturday 10AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


Here’s the BEST way to keep up with K. Scott Teeters’ Corvette blog!

Enter your email address:

Sign Up


newsletter sign up
FREE Updates
newsletter sign up
Amazon Store

C6 Review Art Print Available:

Sidebar ICS-194-C6-Review-375px

But-Order-Here
K Scott teeters Fine Art America Store
Zazzle Tees
Corvette Neon Clocks
Zazzle Gifts
Topics