The fender change on this...
The fender change on this '60 Corvette is subtle once painted, but the ability to run larger tires is significant.
One of the biggest problems with going the resto-rod route on a C1 or C2 Corvette is the lack of space in the rear wheelwells. What good is it to install a fire-breathing engine under the hood if the only tires you can install in the rear are too skinny to grab the pavement when you mash the throttle? Thanks to Greg Thurmond, owner of GTS Customs in Simi Valley, California, there's now a sanitary way to modify your vintage Corvette so you can stuff 9.5-inch wheels wearing P275-style rubber under the rear quarter-panels without having the car look like a '70s-era Trans-Am Racer.
The new GTS widened rear quarter-panels for all '56-'60 C1 and '63-'67 C2 Corvettes are the perfect fix. They fit into the stock rear quarter-panel placement just like the stock skinny fenders. Widened rear quarters for '61-'62 Corvettes will be available eventually. The C1 panels provide about 1.5-inch additional clearance in the rear, and the C2 units add about 1 inch of room per side. Best of all, the panels not only allow the use of more reasonable wheel and tire sizes, but the widening is subtle and generally goes unnoticed by anyone save the most seasoned NCRS judge.
New, wider, rear fender panels...
New, wider, rear fender panels are available for C1 and C2 Corvettes.
If you're comfortable ripping pieces off your vintage car and doing fiberglass work, this could be a DIY project. However, you may want to consider having a professional do the work, since any mistakes made at this stage will greatly affect the quality of the paint applied later. In addition, owners often opt to build wider bumpers to follow the new, wider contours of the body.
Follow along with Thurmond and John Holloway as they apply the full fender upgrade to a '64 Corvette.
|DIFFICULTY INDEX |
|ANYONE'S PROJECT ||No tools required |
|BEGINNER ||Basic tools |
|EXPERIENCED ||Special tools |
|ACCOMPLISHED ||Special tools and outside help |
|PROFESSIONALS ONLY ||Send this work out |
The GTS quarter-panels come...
The GTS quarter-panels come with a line denoting the point at which they should be cut to fit the original body line. This is a carryover from the original plan, which was to have the new quarter mate with the body at the peak over the fender. Later molds omit this material. Thurmond trimmed it with a saber saw and a 10-tooth-per-inch blade designed for wood. Note the dust mask and safety glasses-these are a must for this kind of work.
This quarter-panel was missing...
This quarter-panel was missing a vertical bonding strip that should be located in the wheelwell just aft of the wheel. Thurmond said this could be indicative of a previous accident and panel replacement. The strip will be replaced later.
The adhesive and fiberglass...
The adhesive and fiberglass residue on the original bonding strip where the old panel was attached had to be cleaned away. A 40-grit wheel on an air grinder quickly smoothed down the area to bare fiberglass. Note the "flange" revealed by the grinding-that's the factory bonding strip.