The third and final category of your headlight system is the factory wiring. Electric motors call for the highest amount of current in your car's electrical system, whether it's a starter motor, blower motor, or headlight motor. After 40 years of service, moisture causes corrosion within the electrical connections, which reduces the amount of current flow through these connections, which causes overheating of the wiring that not only further reduces the amount of current flow (increased resistance), but also melts the plastic connectors and makes them dang hard to take apart. Plus, it makes the motors work slowly. Look hard at the two female wiring connectors within the green plastic plugs on the ends of the factory wiring harness. This is the business end of the harness, and the source of a lot of wiring maladies. If you spot any green corrosion on the copper or feel brittle wiring up to the plug, plan on taking these spades out of the plug and replacing them. Without adequate current flow to the headlight motors, they are not going to work well. The final place to look would be at the headlight motor switch. This switch toggles heavy amperage that can burn the contacts within the switch, rendering it inoperable. On its way out, it will still work, but not well. Take it apart and lightly sand the contacts with 400-grit sandpaper or replace it with a reproduction.
Tag, you're it
Some years ago I did a frame-off restoration of a '61. One piece that was missing was the VIN plate that was originally riveted to the steering column. Since I did the frame-off, I verified that the frame numbers matched the numbers on the title. Do you know of anyone who reproduces the steering column plates, and is it legal to do so for a car that has a title that matches the frame number?
Ed Schadle, Via e-mail
The first step is to check with your local authorities on the legality of a replacement vehicle identification number in your state. Some state authorities, after a theft check, will issue their own VIN tag to your car. Unfortunately, it can be of an entirely different number, which will negate the title and any other original identification numbers to your car. A rider may be attached to your title, or a completely new title may be made at this point. I have seen Corvettes that have bizarre number plates in place of their original VIN tags. This, obviously, may have a negative effect on the value of the car.
I did a web search and read through about 30 pages of results, coming up with little on replacement VIN tags. One site showed a little promise, although this guy seems to be a Ford man (don't trash him for this until he helps you) at http://www.datatags.com. The company name is A.G.Backeast, with a byline of Tag Restoration Since 1982. I don't know anything about this company, but it's a path. The only other thing to do is to get with other Corvette owners through N.C.R.S. forum blogs, club events, and so on. See if anyone else has had experience with this problem, as I'm sure you're not the only one. Good luck.