Almost 50 years have passed since the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line. Since then, automotive technology has soared in its usage and sophistication, affecting not only production automobiles but the aftermarket that serves the sporting enthusiast. Perhaps no American automobile has benefited more from the aftermarket customizing industry, including both appearance and performance segments, than Corvette. Today there are an untold number incorporating every kind of enhancement from custom floor mats to full-blown performance mods aimed at creating the ultimate thrill ride aiming at the Texas Mile.
In between is a legion of tastefully personalized machines designed to enhance the Corvette ownership experience. This sharp 1965 Corvette convertible Resto Mod was the brainchild and personal driver of Ralph Eckler, the man who almost singlehandedly created the budding Corvette aftermarket industry 50 years ago. Dubbed the “Ralph Eckler Signature Corvette,” it is constructed on a new 1963-67 tube chassis by Street Shop that has been powder-coated in Blue and equipped with the full independent suspension, power steering and four-wheel disc brakes from a C4 Corvette. A C5 Z06 all-aluminum LS6 346/450 HP engine replaces the original unit, and is mated to a Tremec T-56 Magnum 6-speed transmission with a Hurst short-throw shifter.
While the body is strictly stock – and beautifully finished in glowing Nassau Blue – the car now rolls on CCW chromed aluminum billet wheels using Michelin Pilot Sport tires. A new Bright Blue Al Knoch custom interior is just the ticket, with special headrest embroidery, new hardware and electronics for the custom White-face gauges and original clock. Air conditioning and power windows are also welcome extras in this very nice one-off Corvette by Ralph Eckler.