'64 Corvette: 2015 Edition!

by Frank Ewald

The lines on this C2 Corvette are stunning. Whether you are looking at it from the front, the back, the top, or the sides this car is an incredible work of art. The one that I am currently looking at and writing about is a 1964 Corvette Sting Ray - which is now a fifty-one year old automobile. One C2 owner commented to me, a few years ago while I was admiring his car, that it rode like a pick-up truck. Not a ride like the Targa Truck provides, but it was a comment that has stayed with me. He may not have enjoyed the ride, there was no question that he loved the looks of it and I certainly concurred. When I saw the incredible suspension setup on this Sting Ray, I knew there was a story here.  The C2, built from 1963 through to 1967, is a beautiful automobile that I believe is art. This one, rebuilt in 2015, is also art when you look under the skin.


Only the 1963 model came with the split window. All C2's came with the beautiful tapered lines. Stunning. C2's were manufactured from 1963 to 1967.

This particular car belongs to Rob and Gail Coppens. They wanted to maintain the original appearance but enhance and refresh virtually everything else. They gave it to Manny Dasilva at Dasilva Motorsports for the build with the mandate, "Make it loud and fast!" Thus it has undergone a frame off restomod. In fact, the paint and body have not been touched. The body on this car is in amazing shape and the paint is perfect, if you do not look too closely. Many of the pictures that I have obtained are taken inside the shop while it was being worked on or, in the case of the picture above, when the car was moved outside on a sunny day early in April to allow a few natural light photographs. Once it has been detailed I can only imagine how brilliant it will be! I am pretty sure it will be fast and I guarantee it will be loud - when conditions warrant it.

Marker lights, side skirts, interior pieces including the seats, still have to be installed in the Corvette. I wanted to take it out for a drive, as the laughter died down I realized that this wasn't going to happen.

You caught glimpses of this car in the earlier article Dasilva Motorsports: They Do It All! and I indicated that I hoped to do a full story. A RestoMod maintains the original lines and appearance of the classic body while updating the often outdated underpinnings of the car. As it sits in the middle of the parking lot, the only sign that this car has had any changes are the massive brake rotors and calipers peeking out from behind the wheels and replacing the original drum brakes. That is, until you see under the hood or have the car up on a hoist.


This is not the 327 cubic inch 1964 era motor that took the C2 through the quarter mile in about 15 seconds but a modern LS3. The C2 could be purchased fully loaded for under $6000 in 1964. (Specifications about the OEM setup came from Dasilva Motorsports and 1964 Corvette specifications.) And look back at the cover picture at the top of the story - does anything about that front end system look like it came from the sixties?! Quarter mile times? Only guesses right now.

Perhaps you remember this photo from the original story and thought to yourself that the rear suspension system was absolutely incredible. If so, then read on.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015 6:27 AM
One pretty 'Vette. Thanks for sharing!
Nick B
Nick Blink
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 7:31 AM
Beautiful resto-mod. Great work!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 7:44 AM
Thanks 8695 and Nick. Pictures simply don't do this car justice, but I tried to capture the essence of it.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 12:26 PM
Cool car, but they could have come up with a better air intake solution than sucking in superheated radiator exhaust.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 12:38 PM
I'd be curious to see a dyno with the cutouts closed / open. with how its coming off the header at a 90 degree angle, looks like all its good for is noise
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 2:47 PM
Stuntman, good observation.
Warmmilk - I don't have that comparison. Maybe in the future I can obtain it.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 7:44 PM
Not to take anything away from the build but the rear suspension might be in falling rate, hard to tell from pics 100% though. I know the car is in droop too.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 2:08 AM
If only I could have you for a day, Mike, to go over stuff on my own car with me. I'm sure we could make huge strides. When is MotoIQ going to open a satellite shop in Canada?
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 3:28 AM
One thing that worries me is the shock placement. Those QA-1s look like they have the twin tube style compression adjusters, and I can't imagine twin tube shocks liking being set at that angle.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 5:16 AM
Dan, I'll have to ask about the shocks. I do know that this setup has been used on many cars.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 5:35 PM
QA1 twin tubes can be inverted (per their tech literature), so there shouldn't be a problem with the orientation. Twin tube technology has improved a lot apparently.

I really like the build, and the car is beautiful, but I threw an attention-to-detail tantrum when I saw the weld spatter around the crossmember exhaust cutouts. Weld spatter that had been powdercoated..
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 5:38 PM
LOL, Fabrik8! I did too!
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Thursday, April 16, 2015 3:22 AM
Huh; wonder what QA1 is doing that Koni isn't.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 9:30 PM
I think that weld spatter is factory.

I think that's a cool car for a street driver. Just hate that brake master! Surely they could have ditched that cast iron anchor!
Friday, April 17, 2015 8:20 AM

Agree. My Dodge has hydro brakes (diesels have a nasty habit of never producing vacuum) with an aluminum master cylinder.
EB Turbo
EB Turbolink
Friday, April 24, 2015 1:20 PM
Koni doesn't separate the gas pressure from the oil. Thus when inverted they will mix and not work properly. Some of the more recent designed twin tube shocks manufactures will add a floating piston to the outer tube to prevent oil/gas mixing and allow for aggressive and inverted angles.

"The original rear suspension on the C2 was considered highly advanced at the time it debuted,.."

This had me in stitches... Those cars had really poor geometry. Not until the Guldstrand 5 bar came out and then GM used that design on the C4 did things get better.

"..but the Shark Bite cantilever coilover rear suspension completely replaces all aspects of 1964. The conventional springs and transverse mounted leaf spring are long gone."

All aspects of the 1964 shocks and springs.... not much other than that.
Friday, April 24, 2015 2:22 PM
Hey EB, glad that I could provide a few laughs. But 50 years ago they did think it was pretty cool stuff. Of course, I was only five so I wasn't really into the technical writing of the time...
EB Turbo
EB Turbolink
Sunday, April 26, 2015 5:56 PM
49 1/2 years ago it wasn't as nice. The factory C2 suspension had 0.500'' of toe steer at 3'' of travel. Not really ideal for many road and race conditions.
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