Thursday, December 28, 2017

C3 Corvette: Manual Headlight Assembly Operation

If your C3's headlight assemblies fail to go up and down when you operate the headlight switch, there's a simple workaround. Corvette engineers designed the system to be operated manually in case of a vacuum or actuator failure.

It's not a difficult procedure, although based on the terrain your vehicle may be parked on, as well as how dirty the assemblies may be (remember, these things are exposed to weather and road grime), you may get a little dirty. Also, try to protect your eyes somehow in order to prevent injury by falling debris.

Above: You don't have to "wink" at everyone if one of the actuators is inop.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Product Review: RhinoRamps by FloTool

Crawling under a slightly lowered C3 is nearly impossible unless you're ultra thin. But even if you were, it would be of little benefit as there's no room to do anything under the car if you were able to squeeze your body under it. I weigh in at a buck seventy, so I'm not heavy by any stretch of the imagination, and can barely get my head and one arm under my Corvette when it's flat on the ground.

A floor jack is one of those must-have tools for the do-it-yourselfer mechanic, but if you're going to crawl under a vehicle, you will also need jack stands, which means you will spend time looking for stuff and then setting it up. So that's where car ramps prove their worth. You set them up, roll your car onto them, do whatever it is you're trying to get accomplished, and when you're done you simply roll your car off. Done!

Above: Product number 11909ABMI.
Most ramps tend to be a bit on the high side for sports cars, so I did not really consider them for my Corvette until I saw a set of RhinoRamps by FloTool advertised on Amazon. They seemed they would work fine since they were designed for wide tire width, low-clearance vehicles, according to the manufacturer.

For $29.98 they were more than reasonable and as an Amazon Prime customer, I would have them in my hands in two days. Best of all, if—for whatever reason—I did not like them or if they didn't work as advertised, I would be able to return them.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

New Digs for Me and My 1976 Corvette

Back in October, I closed on a house I purchased in DeBary, conveniently located only a few miles away from the rental apartment I had been living in for the past year.

And even though the house needed some remodeling in order to bring it into the 21st century and only had a one-car garage, the price, overall condition, and central location, made it a good buy.

Above: My Vette at the house for the first time.
Having owned homes with two- and three-car garages in the past made downsizing to a one-car garage tough, but having an enclosed place to safely park my Vette was a must.

I say enclosed since many older houses in Florida have carports which although they provide a roof over a vehicle, offer no additional protection and also make the car easily accessible for anyone who wants to get close to it.

So a carport definitely was a deal breaker for me.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday... C3 Corvette Style

What better way to celebrate a day of cultural and moral decline than by showing a collection of black C3 Corvettes?

If your idea of automotive debauchery revolves around Corvettes (especially of the third generation vintage), you're in the right place.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

To Each His Own — Custom and Strange C3 Corvettes

Photos of modified Corvettes that make you say, WTF?!?!
From mild to wild... OK, mostly wild.

These are photos I've found online while looking for Corvette-related info.

 Above: Not sure the custom camper is good for this Vette's suspension.
Add a couple of adults and you're going to need new spring and shocks!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Eckler's Chevy Classics - November 2017

The feeling you get when your car makes the cover of a popular automotive magazine cannot be put into words. Like falling in love, it must be experienced for it cannot be properly conveyed with simple words.

The morning of Wednesday, October 25th. 2017, started like any morning for me, with the tiny exception that it was my birthday. So when my phone chimed to notify me I had a message, I automatically picked it up and as anticipated, there was a birthday greeting from my friend Allan Albee.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Great White Sharks

I love red C3s, so that color will always be my favorite. But there's a very close number two color, and it is white.

White—in my opinion—has a special way of making C3 lines show in a way that no other color can, and when a car is shot at the right angle along with the right background, it can look striking.

So here are a few photos of white C3 Corvettes, of different years, for your enjoyment.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Art of Miroslav Porochnavy — Part II

After a delay by Hurricane Irma, I was able to finally take my 1976 Corvette drawing to the local Hobby Lobby in order to have it professionally framed.

The staff at Hobby Lobby in Orange City were great and helpful assisting me with ideas that would enhance the drawing and even suggested I choose double-matting which created a red pinstripe effect that matched the red of the car and really made the whole piece pop.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

C3 Corvette Starter Heat Soak — Part 1

Friday, October 6, 2017

I've been having problems when I try to restart my Corvette once the engine is hot.

Yesterday, I took the car for a spin around town and, after a stop at the local Sunoco, I went to start the car, only for the starter to barely turn like if the battery was almost dead. What's interesting is that while it struggles for a few seconds, eventually it spins somewhat normally and the car starts right up.

The dashboard battery gauge proved that the alternator was doing its job by showing the battery was being charged, so I believe that's not the culprit as I think the loads being imposed on the battery while trying to restart the car, are strong enough to require the alternator to recharge it, as shown by the gauge. After a minute or so, the needle settles back down to a normal positive voltage.

In order to chase this issue, I removed the battery to have it tested at the local auto parts store, where it showed a 95% charge and it was given a clean bill of health for both voltage and cold cranking amps.

The battery, by the way, is barely two years old, and—it's been my experience—that you can get approximately five years of life out of a car's battery.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cops and Corvettes. Donuts Anyone?

This is an online photo compilation of Corvettes, of different generations, being used as police cars. Most of them are U.S. cop cars, but a few are from other countries, which proves good taste is not limited to these shores.

Are they all "the real McCoy?" I do not know for sure. But one thing I do know is that I wouldn't want to see the popo cruising around in Corvettes... of any vintage.

I think that would be "police brutality."

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Night Moves — C3 Corvette Garage Photos

Blame it on boredom or tiredness after a long day, but I had to shoot a few photos of my Corvette after a late-night paint polishing session in my small garage.

Unfortunately, my iPhone—or any other camera for that matter—is incapable of capturing the "mood," but at least some of the pics show the shiny surfaces as well as the intricate and sexy shapes of a C3.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wax On, Wax Off — Waxing and Detailing your Corvette

I believe that if you want your vehicle to stand above the rest, you have to pay attention to even the smallest details.

When people talk to me about my Corvette, they always say that it is the cleanest one they've ever seen, and that's nice to hear, but I believe my attention to detail also helps hide some of the flaws or imperfections.

My car is far from perfect, but if there's one thing I do constantly is to keep it as clean as possible and the paint polished to the best of my ability.

To that end, I like to use a liquified Carnauba wax I found at a local car show a few years ago. Actually, I like it so much I usually buy four or five bottles every time I start running a bit low.

And even though you can apply and remove the wax very easily in direct sunlight, I avoid doing that and, instead, wax my car in the garage and sometimes allow the wax to dry and stay on for days. I know it sounds excessive but it wipes off without any effort and, I believe, adds to the paint shine and depth.

Best of all, I can also use the product on glass and chrome, and the water-repelling properties are an added bonus.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Art of Miroslav Porochnavy

It all started with a Facebook post to the C3 Corvette Owners forum I'm a member of.

Miroslav, a talented automotive artist in Humenné, Slovakia, posted a beautifully executed pencil and marker drawing of a C3 to show forum members his artistic abilities (see image below). Suspecting that he would get tons of requests in the next couple of days, I immediately sent him a friend's request followed by an inquiry via Messenger, to which he replied immediately.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

After a few messages back and forth I commissioned Miroslav to capture my 1976 Corvette Stingray on paper.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pace Car Air Dam For My 76 Vette | Part 1

For the model year 1978, the Corvette Indy Pace Car edition featured a distinctive front air dam that not only gave the car a more aggressive look but also helped improve its drag coefficient.

In addition to the front air dam, the car also featured a "duck tail" style rear spoiler, also made out of urethane.

But for the 1976 Stingray, those accessories were not available and my car featured a functional chin air dam whose mission was to help direct air to the front of the radiator. Functional, yes. Sexy, definitely not.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"All Corvettes are Red..." 8/5/2017

Hello buys and girls. It's time for another installment of "All Corvettes are Red."

These are photos of red C3s I happen to run across during my Internet travels, and I like to share them here for everyone's enjoyment. 

And if you would like your third generation Corvette immortalized here, regardless of color, please email me a good, clear, large JPEG of your pride and joy, and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Corvette Mako Shark II Concept Car

One from the Chevrolet archives, featuring the Corvette Mako Shark II concept car built under the direction of General Motors Design Chief, Bill Mitchell.

Above: YouTube video by King Rose Archives.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cars & Coffee at Gateway Classic Cars | July 29, 2017

Just got home from this month's Cars & Coffee at Gateway Classic Cars of Orlando, in Lake Mary. I left before the end of the event since it looked like rain, but got caught in it a few miles down the road. Thank God the a/c works, otherwise I would've suffocated in my Vette.

I arrived at GCC early this morning in order to secure a good (read, "shaded") parking spot but this being Florida in July, it was already muggy at 8:30 am.

Above: Another C3 at today's Cars & Coffee.
The folks at Gateway always take care of everyone by providing not only a great venue, but also fresh coffee and plenty of pastries, which is greatly appreciated.

This is one of the few events I attend where I have loads of fun and gain a few pounds at the same time. Just kidding!

DJ Don of Cruisin Orlando provides great tunes and commentary for those in attendance.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Photo Shoot of my 1976 Corvette Stingray

Sometimes, finding a suitable location to photograph a car can be the hardest portion of a photo shoot.

Fortunately, my good friend and automotive photographer extraordinaire Russ Muller suggested the SunRail station parking lot in neighboring DeBary, FL.

And what a great location it proved to be.

Although the place is extremely busy during weekdays with commuters traveling to Orlando, we literally had the place to ourselves Saturday morning.

So we found a good spot to park and Russ got busy snapping photos of my Vette.

Here are some photos I shot while Russ did his thing.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

1971 IMSA Tribute Corvette

While attending this month's Cars & Coffee at Gateway Classic Cars in Lake Mary, hosted by Cruisin Orlando, I took some time to go inside their huge showroom to check out their inventory.

Of course, I always pay special attention to the C3 Corvettes they have for sale and this 1971 IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) tribute Corvette immediately caught my eye. And it's hard to miss a car built like this one.

Stunning is one word that can be used to describe it, but you have to see it in person in order to appreciate the amount and quality of the work that went into building it.

Unfortunately, the hood was closed and I did not want to risk opening it to snap a few pics of the engine, but GCC Orlando has a lot more pics of the Vette on their website including some of the motor and suspension.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Corvette: The Meaning of the Famous Name

According to an article in The Gentleman Racer, Myron E. Scott (1907-1998), a photographer and art director with the Dayton Daily News, submitted the name for the car that would become known the world over.

Scott, a 2002 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee, worked for Chevrolet as an assistant director for the Public Relations department for more than three decades, starting in 1937.

In early 1953, Chevy executives were scrambling in attempts to find a name for their still-in-development, new sports car. The mandate required that the name of the car start with the letter C, but the task proved tougher than anyone could've anticipated as every submission was rejected by the top brass.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Car Show: Rock & Brews, Oviedo, FL 4/30/2017

Thank God for overcast skies and a slight breeze. Otherwise, most of us would've roasted during the Rock & Brews cruise Sunday, April 30th. By 3:00 pm the temperature was 90° with high humidity. That's Spring in Florida!

Here are a few photos I snapped during the event, but with an estimated 300-plus cars in attendance, I limited them to a few C3s as well as a few other interesting vehicles.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Reilly Auto Repair | Corvette Specialists, Daytona Beach, Florida

After three unsuccessful attempts to have Corvette Masters of Maitland, Florida work on my '76, I decided I had wasted enough time and effort trying to get them to take my money. And after the third canceled appointment, I decided to give Reilly Auto Repair in Daytona Beach a try.

I talked on the phone with Paul Jr. who scheduled an appointment for me to bring the car in the very next day and have his dad take a look at it.

I arrived at Reilly Auto early the next morning and Paul Sr. gave my car a thorough inspection, which included a test drive with me in the passenger seat, in order to determine what needed attention.

He then gave me a tour of the facilities and assured me my car would be kept indoors while under their care.

And he also promised to have an estimate for me the next day, which they did, and I made an appointment to bring my car on April 10th.

Friday, April 21, 2017

"All Corvettes are Red..." 4/21/2017

Imagine that. Another post featuring red Corvettes.

But I am positive few people will argue the fact that most sports cars look good in red, and I happen to be one of them.

But like I've said before, I've owned yellow, blue, and even a beige C3 over the years. Yes, I owned a light tan C3 back in the early 1980s. But I digress.

So here's another small selection of beautiful red C3 Corvettes for your viewing pleasure. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

C3s of Vettes at the Port 2017

Excellent weather and close to 250 Corvettes made for a fantastic event during the 16th Annual Vettes at the Port 2017 car show.

My Corvette performed without a hitch during the 160-mile drive (total mileage) down to Cape Canaveral and back, and the few little details that remain should be addressed this week at Rilley Auto Repair in Daytona Beach.

The C3 category was split into two classes: 1968 to 1977 and 1978-1982, so my Vette was in the C3 "A" class and I must say, in very good company. I do not have an exact count, but I am guessing there were at least thirty C3s there between the A and B class and those in a separate section for Cape Kennedy Corvette Club member cars.

Above: Partial view of the C1 and C2 area with the Exploration Tower in the background.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Vettes at the Port (Announcement)

There are 235 spaces available for the car show, and—as of this writing—172 Corvettes have been already been pre-registered.

Don't wait until the last minute to secure a spot in order to participate in this event.

For more details and registration information, visit the Cape Kennedy Corvette Club website. You can also register for the event online. If you sign up online, you will receive an email confirmation with your registration number.

Hope to see a lot of C3s at Vettes at the Port on Saturday, April 8th.

For Cape Canaveral weather information, click here.

Stay tuned for event photos.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

C3 Corvettes of the 2017 Spring Daytona Turkey Run

Two days was plenty for me this year at the 2017 Spring Daytona Turkey Run, held at the Daytona International Speedway infield.

I was there on Friday and Saturday with perfect weather for the event.

Did not see as many C3s as I was hoping to, and probably missed a few amidst the sea of cars and trucks present, which I am guessing was probably well over a couple thousand.

Above: Early morning view of Hwy. 92 in DeLand out of the office window.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Downtown Longwood Cruise | 3/11/2017

"Perfect" is the only word that can be used to describe the weather we had for the cruise in downtown Longwood last evening.

It was good to see several C3 Corvettes at the show, most of them in very nice condition, which shows they're finally coming out of the woodwork.

Here are photos of C3s in attendance, plus a couple others.

Thanks for following.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Florida Walmart Parking Wars

According to the report, the Ford driver "mistakenly" hit the gas instead of the brake pedal. No, really?

Fortunately, someone captured the aftermath on video.

I feel horrible for the owner of the C1, but I would not take a classic car to Walmart. Auto manufacturers make "grocery-getters" for those trips.

Source: Yahoo! News. Click here for the video.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Manual Transmissions: Electric Overdrive vs. 5- or 6-Speed

Driving my car at highway speeds over 70 mph while the engine turns at 3500 rpm, is not enjoyable.

Even with the windows closed, plus the air conditioning and radio on, it is hard to ignore those eight cylinders which sound like they're ready to blow up at any moment. Even while street driving I find myself trying to shift into a nonexistent 5th gear.

And let's not even begin talking about all the resulting noises and vibrations created by high RPMs. Sometimes it feels like my car will rattle itself apart.

While talking to the folks at Classic Muscle Motor Company (CMMC) in Daytona Beach, I inquired about options, and Randy suggested I look into electric overdrive, so I did a bit of investigating in order to familiarize myself with those systems.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rock and Brews Cruise & Show | 2/26/2017

Cruisin Orlando organizes some of the best cruises/car shows in Central Florida, and today's cruise at Rock & Brews in Oviedo was no exception.

I arrived at the venue way too early, which allowed me to go to the local Starbucks on Red Bug Road and Tuscawilla in order to get some much-needed caffeine in me. And by the time I pulled into the parking area, there were at least twenty or more show cars there, even though the event did not officially start an hour-plus later.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Corvette Masters. Maitland, Florida

I am fortunate to live about 40 minutes from Corvette Masters, a Vette specialist located right here in Central Florida, so after making an appointment the week before to have them inspect my car, I arrived at their facility early Tuesday morning for the inspection.

I was met by George, one of the mechanics, who promptly got my car up on a lift to check things out.

Above: George at Corvette Masters getting ready to start my car's inspection.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Precious Metals — Gold and Silver C3 Corvettes

Although my '76 Vette was originally Silver Metallic (paint code 13), the previous owner—at some point years ago—had the car repainted its current shade of red. I debated for a while whether I should have it returned to its original color, but I really like the shade of red he chose so it will remain red ... for now, anyway.

Having said that, I've always liked how C3 Corvettes look in either silver or gold, so here are a few examples I have collected during my web surfing.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Eckler's 30th Corvette Reunion — Photos

Here are photos of all C3s that were entered for the 30th Eckler's Corvette Reunion at their warehouse in Titusville, Florida, Saturday, January 21st.

Many other Corvette enthusiasts brought their cars to the event, but unless they were pre-registered, they had to park in the back forty. Consequently, I heard many unhappy comments from people who wanted to show their cars but were unable to.

I was told that the limit was two hundred spots, which were taken up mainly by C4 and newer Vettes. The C7 class was so big that their parking area looked like a Corvette dealership.

Here are a few pics I was able to shoot with my phone of the C3s in attendance.

Yours truly and my '76.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Eckler's 30th Corvette Reunion

The rescheduled 30th Corvette Reunion by Eckler's is taking place this Saturday, January 21st at 7980 Grissom Parkway in Titusville, FL.

The original event was planned to take place October 8th., 2016, but hurricane Matthew forced its cancellation.

Even though the two hundred show spots were sold out, I emailed the Cape Kennedy Corvette Club in order to secure a place on the waiting list. And when they notified me that one opened up, I made sure to send in the entry fee right away. 

So my '76 Stingray will be at the show, along with the other C3 entries.

If you are planning to attend, make sure to stop by and introduce yourself.

Stay tuned for show photos. And as always, thanks for following.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Rebuilding and Upgrading the Corvette L-48 Engine | Part 7

When I talked to Mark at Sunrise Automotive here in Orange City, Florida about having a local race shop rebuild the L-48 with a few performance parts a while ago, I mentioned to him that I'd also like to have a list of specs of what they did and/or added to the motor.

This is the complete report of what they did: