Many consider the Corvette to be the first American sports car, and Jay Lena has just enjoyed a long rendezvous with one of the earliest models. Equipped with Blue Flame inline-6 and no modern improvements this window into the past of the American automotive industry.
As Leno notes while driving the Vette, the recovery will easily destroy the real behavior of the car. Mike McCluskey, the man behind this and many other Corvette restorations, including Jay’s personal 63 Separating the window, took the time to carefully return him to the condition he was in the day he left the factory. This even involves not restoring some features too much for fear that they will be better than the factory finish.
Of course, bringing it to the state we see here was not easy. This particular car lay in the field for about 30 years before it was restored, and it emphasizes the benefits of fiberglass as a body material. Instead of rotting or rusting, it was in good enough condition to be cleaned and restored without the need for major panel replacement.
Read also: 1954 Plymouth Belmont could be a rival to the Corvette
As visual evidence that 1954 was a different time, look at how the rear of this Corvette bends. This is not a spring failure or some other mechanical problem. That’s how this car came about, because, as Leno says, “they wanted it to look like it was taking off.” This is literally the opposite of how people today develop sports cars.
The driving experience is definitely also old. It has no electric brakes or power steering, and the in-line six rumbles with a noise that shocks only those familiar with new corvettes. Although it’s convenient, and as Leno notes, today no one expects it to be fast, so the ride is more fun. When it was new, it was also not very fast, but at the time it could be a little awkward.
Now you can use it and enjoy it, says Lena, and that’s even better news because McCluskey wants to sell it. Not a word about how much he asks, but it’s a smooth ride with lots of original work and a great story.
Jay Lena rides an almost perfectly original 1954 release corvette
Source link Jay Lena rides an almost perfectly original 1954 release corvette