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November 2000-------- The interior is on the re-do list. I'd like to change the seat covers to leather and install new carpeting. The Hurst Comp+ shifter was another non-stock item that I liked. I have a new one awaiting installation in my garage. In the winter of 2001, the shift jammed up so I took that as a hint to replace the shifter. I have no idea how long the Hurst has been in the car. When I bought our '70, there were no seat belts! My guess is that one of the previous owners saw no need for them. The lap belts you see are the ones I added in 2001 but eventually I'd like to switch to a 5 point racing harness.
These are the base C5 seats. I got them out of a low mile 2003. The are full power but to install I removed all electricals and the C5 frame.
I originally planned to have my C3 seats redone in leather, but after pricing around decided against. I got price estimates from a low of $1,000 to a high of $1,700 to have my original seat recovered. These mint C5 seats cost me about half that.
I took the frame rails from the C3 seats and bolted them to the C5 seats. The tricky part is getting new holes drilled in the floor pan of the car. There isn't a lot of room to work. The front holes seemed to line up better with the existing holes than the rear.
I haven't even thought about using the electric seat function on the C5 seats. There isn't a lot of room for the C5 seats to travel anyway. There are only a few inches of forward movement before the seat runs into the side of the console.
It is a little tighter getting in and out but I'm going to change the steering wheel to a 14" one anyway so that should help. I think with the C5 seats you sit about 1" higher that the C3 seats. I have T-tops and I still have about 2" of head room. I'm 6'4" with a short torso and long legs. I think that's the key in whether the C5 seats will work for you. Those that have a long torso have a more difficult time with head room than guys like me where all my height is in my legs.
Shark Bar®? So What Exactly IS a Shark Bar®?
The Shark Bar® is a 5-pt harness bar that bolts into '68 thru '82 Corvette coupes & convertibles. It attaches to the factory seat belt anchors and or Sub-frame.
The function of the Shark Bar® is to keep its occupants securely in place while auto crossing or road racing. The bar aligns the belts to the proper angles and keeps the OEM seat belts functional. None of the Shark Bars® will block access to the rear compartments or limit backward seat adjustment. It also allows room for storage of the T-Tops. The anti-submarine (crotch) bracket is available with a mount for an Amerex fire extinguisher.
The Shark Bar® requires a 3" aftermarket 5-point (individual style) belts. All Shark Bars® are powder-coated gloss black. A billet Shark Bar camera mount is available and will fit on harness bars. All Shark Bars® come with a detailed installation manual.
The Shark Bar® Series 3 for '68-'69 coups & '68-75 convertibles will be in production very soon. Speed Direct sells all our Shark Bar® Series and they are a Supporting vender. www.Speeddirrect.com
My interior still needs a little work. I replaced the seats with 2003 C5 seats and actually just the carpeting will need replaced now.
This is the first step for the interior. My seat belts were long gone and all that remained were the shoulder belts. I wanted to use some type of racing harness and saw the Sharkbar® from Vetteworksonline.com as a way to anchor the belts without cutting any holes in the car. I spoke with Dan on the phone when I ordered and he seems to be knowledgable. Highly recommended.
To install the Shark Bar®, the rear window trim, upper trim and all the side trim panels must be removed. That was no problem. I do have a pop-out rear window too that I acquired via Ebay that I plan to at least make provisions for.
As you can tell from the pictures the interior is pretty "ratty." Carpeting & everything is all original 35 year old stuff. The foam in the seats is turning to powder.
The bar and all the harware are first rate. Everything is black powder coated and has a nice finish. The bar was very, very, very easy to install. Unscrew and unbolt and then bolt in the bar....a snap.
I had to remove this little bolt pictured above to clear the bracket.
These are the two side holes, already in the body, that are used to mount the side-brackets. No drilling involved.
Picture of the side bracket mounted.
Stabilizer rod is attached between the side mounting bracket and the large bar. Installation is complete.
The racing harness is secured by wrapping around the Shark Bar.
I chose to use the 3 inch racing harness from Impact Racing. This is the new company started by Bill Simpson of Simpson racing harness fame. These are the cam-lock design.
I had to wait a while for this but Dan at Vettworksonline.com came through. It's a billet aluminum camera mount that fit the Shark Bar® perfectly.
August 2000------------Here's the slightly massaged NOM 350-350 V8. Wish I had a picture of the engine before I started. Just about everything that could be replaced needed to be replaced. My primary focus after purchasing this Corvette, was to repair it to a condition where it would be somewhat reliable. For the first month or so of ownership, it was a risk to take the Vette out for a little spin. Something would inevitably break or fail. The timing was all screwed up, the distributor innards rusty, malfunctioning centrifugal advance, rusted solid vacuum advance....I think you get the picture. Mindy thought I'd NEVER have this car running. One of the most recent additions to the engine bay was the aluminum coolant overflow tank. These tanks are quite pricey, but provide a distinctive look to the compartment. From what I could ascertain, the heater hoses were somehow routed through this tank. Since my heater hoses are block off, I simply capped the appropriate ends on the tank. As you can see, near the fire wall I have a real mess of disconnected vacuum hoses and cut-off or disconnected electrical connections. The valve covers are next to be replaced. They are old, dented and rusty. I'm thinking about using '70 LT-1 covers.
Here's a copy of a Road & Track road test of a 327-350HP Vette. I find these road tests interesting and a reminder of the Corvette's history.
Visitors Since May 2000