Drop Top C2 Corvette With Big-Block Flare Masquerading its LS Heart

The Ultimate 1967 Corvette: Powerful Powertrain, Performance Suspension, and Custom Interior

By Brian Brennan   –   Photography By NotStock Photography

In the performance world, some cars come from the factory with cachet, and others, as hard as one may try, it just isn’t going to happen. The Corvette is one of the factory hot rods that have “cachet” in droves, specifically the 1967 Corvette with big-block power. Andy Nowka of Washington knew rebuilding his 1967 Corvette convertible was a no-brainer. Big-block Corvettes are cool, really cool, but he saw an opportunity to go one giant step further by installing an LS and have it outfitted with an LS Classics Series big-block makeover from Lokar. Andy teamed with another Andy, this time Andy Leach of CAL Automotive Creations out of Omaha, to produce this flawless-looking piece of Americana hot rod “kool.”

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03 CAL Automotive Creations flawless 1967 Corvette in Sherwin Williams Blu Scozia

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Let’s stay with the “kool factor” and get into the LS 427 built at Don Hardy Race Cars (DHRC) that was topped with the LS Classics Series Tri-power look. It is complete with the big-block three-deuce air cleaner and chrome valve covers. What’s nifty about the LS engine platform is how much “easy” horsepower these motors can make while retaining their driveability. In the case of this 1967 Corvette convertible the dyno tells us that it averages 574.5 hp and 518.2 lb-ft “under the curve” of 5,850 rpm. (It’s this “power under the curve” that we are looking for when seeking both a powerful and driveable hot rod.) The LS big-block sporting 427 ci did max out at 605.6 hp and 552.3 lb-ft of torque. The DHRC-built LS utilizes an LS7 aluminum block, a 58x reluctor, a DHRC 0.600-plus lift cam, custom pushrods, LS7 lifters, stainless valves with Lunati valve springs, a pair of DART LS3 heads, all held together with an ample supply of ARP bolts. Part of the package also includes an Edelbrock water pump and a 2×4 Holley throttle body kit, which includes an intake manifold, fuel rails, and 39 lb FAST injectors. A Holley EFI ECU along with an accompanying harness brings the “big-block” V8 engine to life. Other engine appointments include Billet Specialties Tru Tracs (serpentine belt system), LS3 ignition coils, an ATI balancer, and a Melling M295 oil pump. The LS is bolted to a six-speed T56 Magnum transmission prepped by Bowler Performance Transmissions. The T56 magnum has a 2.66 First gear and a 0.63 Sixth gear, making it an ideal street performer for quicker accelerations and great highway cruising at low rpm.

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07 Ragtop C2 Corvette with big block power

Keeping this potent LS engine between the lane lines falls to the efforts of a Fast Track Roadster Shop chassis with a fully independent suspension designed for the C2 with a 58-3/4-inch track width. This chassis is designed for superior Pro Touring performance that a potent street-driven 1967 Corvette would command. It has Roadster Shop proprietary suspension based on Corvette C7 Z06 spindles, Fox fixed valve coilover shocks, and a 1-1/4-inch splined front sway bar with 1-1/4-inch upper control arms and 1-5/8-inch lower control arms. It has an aluminum center section that runs 3.90 gears and Roadster Shop axles. Braking is always important, but especially true when you have the power this 1967 Corvette is pulling around. So, Baer 14-inch rotors with six-piston calipers are used in front and four-piston calipers in back. Surrounding the Baer brakes are the e. Black Design wheels that were then machined by Leading Edge Machine & Design custom one-offs featuring a Halibrand-style with functioning knock-off spinners. The wheels measure 18×8 and 18×10 and are covered with 225 and 295/40R18 rubber.

12 LS 427 engine by Don Hardy Race Cars with Tri power look in a 1967 Corvette

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The body is a true 1967 Corvette with all New Old Stock panels. CAL Automotive Creations rebuilt the center body with these New Old Stock panels and from here Leading Edge machined the new door handles, emblems, rocker trim and covers, and gas fill cap, while narrowed and filled New Old Stock bumpers were used. The grille is New Old Stock while the nickel plating and all other brightwork were handled by Advanced Plating. All the bodywork was then achieved at CAL Auto Creations and from here they proceeded to paint the ’vert in Sherwin-Williams Blu Scozia (a vintage Ferrari) color.

16 Custom shifter by CAL Automotive Creations in a 1967 Corvette

Inside there is nothing like a Corvette interior. And the C2, particularly this 1967, is no exception. While the appearance looks all Corvette one must look more carefully and realize the dashboard, while original, was reworked with numerous freshly minted and machined parts. From here the C2-looking gauges are Dakota Digital RTX while the Coach Controls wiring kit positioned by CAL’s Mike Swan handles the car’s electrical needs. The one-of-a-kind steering wheel was designed by e. Black Designs, machined by Leading Edge, and then painted by Scott Sullivan and now rests on top of the ididit steering column. The factory bucket seating was retained and then Vintage Fabrication stitched the seats in Relicate maroon with single white center stripe leather and then the automotive carpeting was laid down. While the shifter looks to be stock the fact is it is also the handiwork of CAL Automotive Creations. Resting above the vertical mount Wonder Bar radio are the Vintage Air AC, defroster, and heat controls.

24 1967 Corvette with 18x8 and 18x10 custom wheels

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If this 1967 Corvette convertible has a look you believe you have seen before it may be because you have. The car has been to the 2023 Triple Crown of Rodding and took home a Top 30 award and did appear in the Speedway Motors booth at the 2023 SEMA Show. It has also appeared at several other well-known car shows in its short life since hitting the road. MR

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Drop Top C2 Corvette With Big-Block Flare Masquerading its LS Heart.

mr april 2024

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