NEXT week at SEMA Show will see the debut of a spectacular hot rod that Peter Fitzpatrick and some of the Australia’s best car-crafters have been beavering away on for the past few years. The car is a ‘35 Chevrolet Sport Coupe and the owner is Kees Weel of PWR fame.
We’ll keep the final colour of the ’35 under wrap until the covers come off in Las Vegas, but we can reveal lots of other trick details for the first time.
The car itself is a factory right-hand-drive deal, built for Argentina. We don’t know how it got to Australia, but we do know that Kees spied it at a wrecking yard in Gunnedah in the early 2000s.
The car sat for a while, until Kees asked Fitzy to project-manage the build of the car at MotorEX in 2014. The plan was to sit the car over 2006 Corvette chassis and running gear, creating a unique ride with classic looks and sports car performance.
The build involved some of the best in the business, including Pro Flo Performance, Trevor Davis Auto Refinishers and Mick’s Custom Interiors. PWR weighed in with a stack of CNC machined billet goodies built to Fitzy’s designs. We’ll take you through some of the details in the build images below and then present you with the finished project next week!
The car’s profile hasn’t been changed too drastically, but the roof did come down 50mm and was reshaped to flow more smoothly into the deck lid. The quarter windows were also deleted and electric windows fitted.
The low and squat stance is courtesy of the C6 Corvette underpinnings, which widens the track considerably. The fenders were remade in aluminium to cover the 245/40 and 275/40 rubber on 18x8 and 18x10 rims.
The headlight buckets and stalk were custom-machined by Ryan at PWR.
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The wheels, including the hubcaps, were machined by Ryan and the team at PWR on the company’s five-axis CNC machine to mimic the original artillery-style wheels. The centres were painstakingly masked up and painted in body colour.
The entire grille took 68 hours on the CNC to machine over the course of three weekends so as not to interrupt PWR’s main business. It would have been easier to delete the badge, but Fitzy insisted they recreate that as well.
The bootlid was also redesigned to create a much larger opening and then remade in steel.
The chassis was designed off the original and modified by Pro Flow to accommodate the C6 Corvette suspension and driveline.
The engine is the 6.0L LS2 that came out of the same Corvette that gave up its suspension. It only had 5000 miles on the clock, so all it needed was a makeover and a lumpy cam. The triple Rochester 2G carbs are actually EFI throttlebodies from Autotrend EFI.
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The stunning CNC-machined intake is from Custom Plenum Creations in Wollongong and features the three-leafed clover logo of Fitzpatrick Speed Works. The oil fill tube is a throwback to the very earliest of small-block Chevs.
The rocker covers were machined by PWR to look like old tin covers. The block-letter Chevrolet logo was matched to hubcaps.
Corvettes runs a transaxle, which moves the transmission to the rear of the car for near-perfect 50-50 weight balance. It also has the added benefit of freeing up space in the passenger footwell.