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Saturday, October 10, 2015

There’s a Corvette Heart in This ’32 Chevrolet Rat Rod



Ever since its early days, the Chevrolet Corvette name has been a byword for standout sports car performance, offering a mix of big V8 engines, balanced chassis, and a track record for everyday dependability. No wonder Chevrolet has sold well over a million Corvettes.
However, come spring of 2014, the world lost a Corvette (a few if you count the infamous Corvette museum sinkhole), though only temporarily. One C5 died so that this stunning Chevrolet rat rod could be brought to life, and with a full Corvette suspension and drivetrain underneath…we reckon it was well worth it.


While its beating heart may be C5 Corvette through and through, its aged exterior is unabashedly from a ’32 Chevy sedan, with substantial modification of course. The roof has enjoyed a six-and-a-half inch chop, the back window a three inch cut, while the cowl has actually grown about three inches. Up front, a ’34 grille bears its snarling teeth, ahead of a Corvette LS1 V8. Quite the sight.
In the C5, that setup would have been good for around 345 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, give or take a few ponies. In this rat rod, the 5.7-liter V8 may offer a few more, as it breathes easy through an Edelbrock high-flow intake and blows out of custom headers and a Magnaflow short pipe exhaust. The Corvette treatment extends to sedan’s wheels, massive brakes, independent suspension, and rear-mounted six-speed transaxle, which produces close to a claimed 50:50 weight distribution.


A custom chassis was built in order to graft the chopped sedan body to the Corvette underpinnings. The side effect of that low-riding solution is that the driver is now sitting next to the car’s torque tube, with the short-throw Hurst shifter resting right on top.

 It’s a cool barebones look, exemplified by the spartan interior and simple brown leather seats, though peak under the chassis and there is a fire-suppression system tucked away.

All in all, modern rat rods have tended to become fairly formulaic. This ’32 sedan may not reinvent the wheel, but it certainly breaks the mold in a big way.