Mike Walker caught wind of the Mastrettas' desire to sell off their investment and promptly flew to Mexico to look at their operation. He was given a tour of the organization and shown all the individual parts and pieces needed to create the Mexican Vette. Impressed with the facility and the careful detail taken to produce the kit bodies, Mike was quick to purchase everything the Mastrettas would sell. After the sale, a large truck was loaded up to head north. When the shipment arrived, Mike and crew immediately began establishing a new department in their Street Rods Only shop.
The few remaining items at the Mastrettas' warehouse were then loaded up and sent north. Unfortunately, between the time the truck pulled out of the Mastrettas' driveway and the time it was scheduled to back into Mike's loading bay, two passenger jets struck the World Trade Center. The government quickly shut down all borders, airports, and docks. Both Mike and the Mastrettas had to verify the truck's legality over and over again until officials found no sign of WMDs amid the fiberglass panels, body molds, and tooling dies. finally after several weeks, the shipment was cleared through customs, and Mike and his crew could begin building their first Mexican Vette.
Even though Mike's first Vette was built per the Mastrettas' blueprints, he found certain places where revisions and modifications could improve the overall performance and look of the car. Since his first build, Mike has modified the chassis to accept an independent rear Dana 44 as opposed to the rigid 10-bolt from before. In addition, the original design was setup to utilize a Mustang II front suspension. Knowing that component had to go, he decided to ramp up the stakes a little and reconfigured the custom-boxed chassis to mate to all C4 suspension components.
Not content to simply tweak a few minor things, Mike added aggressive Aldan coilover adjustable shocks to all four corners. The brake and clutch assembly was modified and relocated under the dash, leaving the firewall clean of unnecessary hardware. Larger diameter discs and heavier-duty calipers were bolted at each wheel to ensure the Vette-Rod's stopping prowess. the chassis was modified to allow the seats to be pushed back an additional 3-4 inches to accommodate taller passengers. The chassis was formed from solid 4x2-inch steel boxed tubing, which made the frame more rigid in case of a side impact. The box tubing also provided significant added resistance from torsional twisting and flex. This allowed Street Rods Only to use a wide variety of powerplants from LS1s, LS2s, Z06 LS6s, and the new 427ci, 505hp LS7.
Dash ::: Before the body...
Dash ::: Before the body kits were modified to use factory-style interiors, the cockpit required a completely hand-fabricated dash. Mike had Classic Customs inscribe his company's name on the red-face gauges.
Scallops ::: Part of the...
Scallops ::: Part of the refinement process included sealing up the '58-inspired kit car's door scallops. Other modifications include removing the cowl vent and restyling the gas door.
Upholstery ::: Schober's...
Upholstery ::: Schober's Upholstery was hired to stitch up this trick red-and-black leather interior with custom seats, door panels, and center console.