Corvette club of South Australia Inc.


Like most boys, I always dreamed of owning a Corvette. That dream came true for me on December 22nd, 2006, my 48th Birthday, when I took delivery of a white 1987 C4 coupe. Lyn & my parents helped & supported me in achieving my dream. I purchased the car from Small Car Centre Adelaide. Gavin Pillar who sold me the car said I needed to join the Corvette Club & signed me up on that very day (best thing ever). The car had been imported to Adelaide & converted to RHD by Peter who owns Corvette Adelaide. This was for his own personal use originally.

By the time I bought the car, it was in fairly average condition, but it was what I could afford at the time. As I saved money, from doing weekend painting work, I started to improve the car in order of importance. First was the motor missing & pinging, leaking radiator, worn wheel bearings & so it goes on. I hated spending money on things you can't see, so I decided on a little bit of "Bling". I polished the 16" wheels, had a mural airbrushed on the roof panel & installed new carpet. Later came the 17"ZR rims with 335 rears & some more graphics along with a bonnet bulge. After a trip to America, I came home with lots of shiny stuff for under the bonnet & a wood & leather steering wheel.

The more I drove it the more tired the engine became; and the name "Rebel" I gave it was because whenever I bought something for the engine, it usually had to be modified, because nothing seemed to fit, even though it was just a 1987 350 chev motor. In November 2020, after returning from a 9 day trip with the club to Whyalla & Port Lincoln this was all about to change. One morning it would not start, so down to the garage again. This was becoming it's 2nd home over the years. It had been leaking coolant but I could not work out where it was coming from….A cracked cylinder head, filling the bores, stripped the flywheel & seized the starter motor. In the past I had always been reluctant to pull the engine because I had seen & heard all the heartbreaking stories. But now I had no choice. So after some discussions with my wife & surfing the net, we both decided that if we were keeping the car, lets do it right. OK………. Out came the motor, the brief was to chuck everything internally & start fresh. I decided to stay with the existing block as all external bits were to go back & hopefully work. Well that was the idea.

Cylinder heads were sent out, repaired & modified. The block was also sent out, bored & had everything done that could be, & then some. It was during this process we discovered the engine had been changed. After a lot of phone calls, we found out my car had been fitted with a 1992 Vortec engine from a Sierra truck. No Frigging wonder nothing used to fit the motor! This became apparent when we ordered the cam shaft. The one for a 1987 Corvette would not fit. Because I had wanted a big cam, I had to send to USA to get one made to specification. I chose a street / strip Big Thumper cam. Also due to constant problems with the radiator corroding & never being able to repair aluminium, we decided to go to RedBack in QLD to get a radiator custom built to fit my corvette, with brass tanks & larger copper cores.

When I finally got the car back & we started it, I thought, S..T. What have I done, the motor was so lumpy it was going to be a mongrel to drive. It was a pain having to play with the throttle at the lights to keep catching it from stalling. After some research & more money, we contacted America to get the details for the ECU. The ECU was then removed & rechipped & remapped. The only oil leak now coming from the gearbox, I decided, bugger, it's only money. So I had the transmission completely rebuilt, had a shift kit installed & hi stall torque converter fitted. The car is now an absolute joy to drive.

So now, having rebuilt the engine, gearbox, steering, suspension, exhaust I'm hoping that is the end of the spending & it is now time to enjoy.

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