About Luis

I've loved cars for as long as I can remember, especially American muscle cars, and the third generation of Corvettes, also known as C3s for short, ranks at the top of the list.

I've also owned a few Firebirds, Camaros, a couple El Caminos and even a 1971 Mustang, which is sort of out of character for a guy who favors vehicles manufactured by "the General." But the Mustang was a fun car, especially for an 18-year-old guy.

Okay, might as well do the right thing and admit that my first car was a Ford Falcon. An in-line six-cylinder, 3-on-the-tree station wagon Falcon, baby! LOL. I also had a couple Chevy Blazer K5s, a Vega (and what a POS it was), a Buick Skylark, a GMC Syclone, and even a Fiat 125 (And it's true that FIAT stands for "Fix It Again, Tony!).

At nineteen I bought my first Corvette, which was a 1968 model. Nothing special about it, really. It had a 327/350 mill coupled to an auto trans. It would light up the tires when summoned to do so, so it was a fun car to drive.

The '68 was followed by two 1971 Vettes which I bought to flip. Then, in 1983 I think it was, I bought a 1976 Stingray which served duty for a while as my daily driver. I then sold it so I could purchase a used 1982 Firebird SE.

Fast forward to 2013 and—for reasons unknown—I purchased a 1975 project Corvette. Thank God common sense prevailed and I was able to sell it before I went broke trying to fix it. At least I broke even from that deal.

After that, I purchased my 1976 Corvette Stingray, which has undergone many changes while under my care. I think they are all good changes, especially the rebuilt motor.

This blog is the chronicle of the process of restoring, restomodding, fixing and improving my Vette. I hope it provides some information you'll find useful.

Thank you for reading.

—Luis



Why a Corvette?
It's America's Sports Car, Jack. That's why.

But seriously; I love the looks of Third Generation Vettes, and I think that having owned six of them is proof enough.


Why a 1976 Corvette?
I've owned three chromies: a 1968 and two '71s. And while I still love the look of all that chrome, I tend to favor the cleaner and more contemporary look of the "rubber" bumper C3 Corvettes.

But you never know what the future may bring, so a chrome bumper Corvette is always a possibility.

As far as post-77 Vettes go, I like them, but I am a die-hard fan of the "sugar scoop" rear window. Besides, I never understood why Chevy failed to make the bubble fastback glass an opening hatch. Yeah, they did that in 1982 and only for the Collector's Edition, so they missed the boat for several years.


Why a red 1976 Corvette?
"All Corvettes are red. The rest are mistakes."
—John Heinricy | Racecar Driver and Corvette Assistant Chief Engineer (Ret.)

Just kidding! I've owned C3s in blue, yellow and beige! Yeah, I know. Beige! Not that sporty. But—in retrospect—beige actually looked good, especially with a bright red interior. Besides, it was the seventies, man!

Anyway, I've always loved red sports cars, so when this one showed up on Craigslist, I had to go check it out.

Originally my '76 was silver (paint code 13), but the second owner had it repainted years ago a pretty unique shade of red, which looks great on the car and gets lots of compliments.

Since I do not know the manufacturer or code of the paint color he chose, when asked about it I simply refer to is as "lipstick red," and everyone's happy with that explanation.


Chronology
The day I found it (Monday, February 16, 2015).


Inspection and test-drive day (Wednesday, February 18, 2015).





The day I brought it home (Friday, February 20, 2015).



First car show.



My '76 Corvette Stingray today.