Gerry Demski has always loved the look of the early fiberglass Corvettes and wanted to build his '60 Vette to enjoy on the open highway. While those early Vettes made great performance cars in their day, a '60 Vette's suspension is considerably dated. As Gerry sees it, "I wanted to break away from the old suspension technology, and to do that required that I build one based on a custom round-tube chassis." Since Gerry has spent years building some of Canada's coolest street rods at his shop, Springfield Motorsports in Anola, Manitoba, he knew just how to fabricate the suspension and drivetrain pieces to accomplish his goal.
The Vette's rear wheelwells...
The Vette's rear wheelwells are fitted with a pair of Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires wrapped around Torq-Thrust II wheels. To fit such massive rubber, Gerry narrowed a 9-inch housing to fit his custom chassis.
Starting with lengths of 1 ¾- and 15/8-inch chrome-moly round tube, Gerry shaped and welded a complete custom chassis to fit under his Vette. On the front he added Mustang II rack-and-pinion steering and built a set of custom tubular A-arms. At the rear he narrowed and fitted a 9-inch housing spinning Strange 4.11 gears and posi unit. Next he attached the works to the frame with custom rear control arms dampered with coilover shocks.
To power his Vette, Gerry wanted a motor that would build gobs of torque, yet sport a vintage look. He assembled a healthy 383ci small-block and topped it off with a pair of Edelbrock 500-cfm carburetors. Behind the small-block he added a reworked TH350 transmission with a 3,500-stall TCI converter that effortlessly handles full-throttle blasts from the dual-quad small-block.
To motivate the Vette, Gerry...
To motivate the Vette, Gerry assembled a 383ci small-block with 10.25:1 compression. The carburetors are 500-cfm Edelbrock units and the air cleaner is from Billet Specialties. The Chevrolet valve covers are General Motors Performance Parts.
The Vette's outward appearance is as vintage as the chassis is high-tech. This required subtle attention to detail so he contracted Lester's Automotive in Winnipeg, Canada, to handle the bodywork. The body shop team started by shaving the locks, door handles, and engine compartment area to give the car a cleaner look. Then the guys modified the rear bumper to accept custom dual-exhaust outlets. This was followed by prep from Les Krahn and then paint with PPG Soft Yellow to give the fiberglass panels their hue. Inside, Keith's Upholstery wrapped the seats and door panels with gray vinyl and fabric with an eye toward both comfort and style. Gerry decided on a full set of Auto Meter instruments for the dash locked into the factory gauge locations.
Since Gerry finished his Corvette renovation, he clocks about 5,000 miles a year traveling through Canada and the USA and has won awards at car shows. From the beginning, Gerry's curiosity drove him to build a Vette that combines style, attention to detail, and stunning performance. Sure, his automotive exploration brought him a few challenges to solve, but in the end driving such a great performing Vette made the whole journey worth it. That's the power of a classic.
Inside, Gerry had Keith's...
Inside, Gerry had Keith's Upholstery wrap the seats and door trim with gray vinyl and tweed. Then he installed Auto Meter gauges into the stock dash and topped it off with a B&M shifter.
To keep the small-block cool,...
To keep the small-block cool, Gerry installed an all-aluminum Be Cool radiator with a Spal electric fan positioned behind the core. The aluminum water pump is an Edelbrock unit.
383ci small-block, 4.030-inch bore, 3.750-inch stroke, engine by Springfield Motorsports (Anola, Manitoba, Canada), dual Edelbrock 500-cfm carburetors, Edelbrock dual-quad intake manifold, 10.25:1 compression, ARP rod bolts, Speed-Pro hydraulic roller, 0.480/0.480-inch valve lift, 230-degrees duration at 0.050 inch, Crane 1.5 roller rockers, Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads, stainless 2.02/1.60-inch valves, Pro Form damper, Moroso five-quart oil pan, Billet Specialties air cleaner, Be Cool radiator, Barry Grant fuel pump, Jet-Hot coated exhaust manifolds, Chevrolet valve covers (PN 10185064)
TH350 automatic transmission
TCI 3,500-stall converter, Strange gears
Custom chrome-moly driveshaft
9-inch posi-traction rearend, 4.1:1
Gerry fabricated his own frame...
Gerry fabricated his own frame from chrome-moly tubing and then powdercoated the entire assembly. The exhaust system is a custom mandrel-bent system combined from 3-inch and 2 ½-inch tubing.
1 ¾- and 15/8-inch round-tube custom chassis
Fabricated at Springfield Motorsports
Powdercoated chassis components
12-gallon fuel tank, Strange shocks
Mustang II rack-and-pinion steering
American Torq-Thrust II wheels
Front: 15x7, P215/R70-15
Rear: 15x10, 29x15.5-15
Firestone front tires
Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires (rear)
Lester's Automotive, Winnipeg, Canada
Paint by Les Krahn, Keith's Upholstery
Auto Meter instruments, Painless Wiring
LeCarra steering wheel