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Transformations

Wes Burch

Growing up I was a gearhead, but I always had ‘muscle cars’ like Novas, Camaros and a Monte Carlo. Based on no evidence, I thought Corvette people were somewhat aloof. In the mid 1980s I was leaving work one day when a fellow mid-level supervisor said, “Wes you look like you have been hit by a truck.” I told her it had been a tough day and she said, “You need a Corvette.”

I said I had a hot rod. She told me I did not understand and she insisted we swap cars for the evening. So my first actual Corvette drive was a 1982. On the way home I was smitten and stopped to buy a ‘Corvette Trader’ magazine. Research in the ‘Corvette Black Book’ led me to want a C3 with chrome bumpers and the flair behind the wheels, a 1970-1972 Corvette.

It took 6 months to find my 1972 small block with automatic transmission. It was a real mess, but the price was good, because electrical trouble prevented the car from passing a state safety inspection. As an electrical engineer, I correctly figured I could solve the problems. Within a week I had a good safety inspection and joined the Corvette Nation.

The car has had several reinventions in the near thirty years that I’ve owned it. Originality was never an issue with me. The previous owner had added a later C3 L82 hood and changed the color from Steel Cities Gray to an unknown blend of neon-like blue. Sharp eyes will detect that I added 1973 side vents and 1982 vintage aluminum wheels. I also changed the original black interior to 1976 white. My first major mechanical change was converting the TH400 automatic to a manual Tremec 5-speed. Then I added a 1990 Corvette TPI EFI induction system and Vintage Air A/C.

Since then, just about every component of the drivetrain, brakes and suspension (other than the front lower control arms) have been replaced with aftermarket components. Long ago I threw away all the receipts and quit tracking costs. I decided I just did not want to know. Since originality was not a concern, I have refined the car with features from all the C3 years that I liked the most. I believe that Zora would agree with every change I’ve made.

Wes Burch's Parts List