"Everything is original-voltage regulator, starter, manifolds-all that stuff is original," Ben says. "The only non-original part is a replacement Holley '67 390 carburetor. I even had the fan clutch sent off and rebuilt. It's a pretty correct restoration under the hood. The only other thing is the basecoat/clearcoat paint instead of the lacquer. That's pretty hard to keep up when you drive it. The years take their toll on lacquer paint."
Ben, a lift truck mechanic by trade and an NCRS member, said the only change to the paint scheme was having Larry Steiner in Gas City, Indiana, change the stinger on the hood from black to white when he repainted the car in 1992.
Ben said he discovered the car languishing at a body shop where he had work done on his metal cars. It's the same old story: The body-shop owner bought it in rough shape-a messed-up left front fender-with the idea of fixing it up "someday."
"He just never fixed it," Ben, the car's third owner, says. "He did a paint job for me and I started bugging him about buying it. I knew about the car for probably 10 years before I bought it. At the time, he was giving me a price he'd sell it for and I thought he was crazy. I ended up buying it, though."
He said the car had some issues after sitting around for some 18 years. The wheels were frozen, as was the engine. However, the car boasted so many original parts, Ben decided to go that route when he did the frame-off restoration, which took three years to complete.
This car sports a 390hp 427 under the hood and, like its "twin," the power gets to the pavement via a close-ratio four-speed. However, the revs are kept a little more in check with the assistance of 3.36 gears out back.
Interesting to note about this '67 convertible, though, is its recent role as the standard used by '67 judges at Bloomington 2004 to base their points decisions to ensure uniformity and consistency among the teams scoring the other '67s. Even more interesting is that this car, the judging standard for '67s at Bloomington 2004, isn't certified. Ben said, "I'm a member of the Bloomington 1967 judging team and, to keep the team systematically together on points scoring, we used this car as a way for all the '67 teams to get their scoring together for deductions," Ben says.
He uses the car to show and for special trips, but it's no less documented as a "real deal" big-block '67 as a result. Ben says he has the original warranty book with the Protect-O-Plate, original tank sticker, and a host of miscellaneous service and repair records.
"The car came from the factory with white sidewall tires, a white top, and a white interior," he says. "I talked to the original owner and he confirmed the stinger on the hood was white when he bought it."
Again, with the potential for making an expensive mistake when looking to purchase a big-block car-particularly of this vintage-Ben says a potential owner should bone up on the year Corvette he or she is interested in purchasing.
"You need to become knowledgeable of that particular year," he says. "And, if you don't have the time, go ahead and pay somebody who knows the car to check it out. It's well worth paying somebody $200 or $300 and maybe even a plane ticket to check out a car or its documentation. If it's been through NCRS or Bloomington competition, you can pretty much bank on it being what the seller says it is.