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My 69 Corvette Customized in 1972! I Still Drive it Today!

Kevin Livering

This is my 69 Corvette that was customized in 1972, which I have owned the Corvette since 1980 (since I was a Junior in High School). I am now 54 years old. I fell in love with this Corvette the first time I laid my eyes on it as a teenage while cruising the local circuit! Surprisingly, I traded a white 1973 Monte Carlo title for title for the car!! When I picked up the Vette, it was sitting in a field covered in mud. It was drive-able, but had some obvious mechanical challenges. The paint and interior were far from perfect, but stilled looked good.

After some research, I discovered that the car had been customized about 20 miles from my hometown. Fortunately, before he passed, I was able to meet the gentleman that was responsible for the customization. I had already owned the car for 25 years before the meeting. When I pulled up, his eyes glimmered and it was obvious that he was reminiscing of days gone by. He informed me that many people told him that they had seen the car at local cruises, but he never seen the car since he had completed the customization.

He proceeded to share the details about the history of the Vette. He stated that the car had been customized in 1972 at a cost of $12,000! From the factory, the car was a bland, Army green color. During the customization, a pressed L88 hood was added with radical fender flares. The car was painted with a silver under base and multiple coats of a heavy custom metal flake green paint were applied. The “ribbons” and designs are all candy colors. No decals. The car was finished with 25+ coats of clear lacquer. The interior is green crushed velvet and button tuffed. The carpet is shag! Yes……shag.

The car does not have the original motor. After having the car for 20 years, I had the motor rebuilt. It was out of a 72 Impala. It now has a 350 that is bored .30 over, 10:1 pistons, 2.02 aluminum heads, an Edelbrock intake with a 650 double pumper, a Muncie 4 speed tranny and Hooker headers to show tubes. The drive train and suspension have also been updated and the 3:83 gears have been changed to 4:11. The car also has stainless steel brakes all around. My lovely wife Sherry is responsible for the Cragers and tires and the gear drive timing chain that provides that cool super charger sound!

Attached are two old photos that were shared with me when the car was in a World of Wheels show in 1972 and another show in 1975. This car has been a “survivor”of the wild 70’s custom era. Although I took a lot of criticism in the mid to late 90’s from the “numbers matching” folks, I have done my best to preserve the car without making any changes to the amazing work that was done in 1972. I never allowed the pressure to influence my love for the craftsmanship and work that was put into this car.

Although the paint is cracking and showing signs of age, it still looks relatively good! I have found that most people either like it or they hate it. They usually let me know either way! No matter where I go, there is someone that has a story about the car and knows the car from years gone by. I love hearing the stories and all the nostalgia. It makes me happy when I can bring a smile to peoples faces. Although I am not sure why, the car has gotten quite a bit of attention over the past few years. It has been featured on several websites and featured in Traditional Rod and Kulture and Vette Vues magazines.

After all these years, I find the attention crazy but fun!

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