Bill Edmondson's 1967 Corvette
(from Volume 21, Issue 246)


You don’t often find an “original owner” car these days. If you do it’s usually the little old lady’s four door sedan that she drove to church on Sundays. And it’s not usually a car you’d sell your soul for. Most times it’s the one we “should have kept” or the “one that we let go” - if only we knew.

But this months cover car is exactly that. An “original owner” car. Bill purchased his 1967 Corvette brand new in, well, 1967 of course. He was not interested in the usual creature comforts. The car was purchased without A/C, without power windows, without power steering, without, without, without. Bill was always a go-fast guy, so all of these features held no interest to him. The only thing he wanted was a fast Vette with a 4-speed and a 3.36 rear end. Yet unlike many of us he had the foresight to hang on to his car all these years. But of course this ain’t no four door sedan.

When he bought the car he was like any other owner of a new car, he kept it nice and took really good care of it. But it was no garage queen. He enjoyed it and drove it. In fact shortly after he bought the car he began racing it in England, Arkansas. He ran in the EPSP class back when they used flag men to start the race. As the years went by he began modifying it with the usual upgrades. He added racing seats, a Hurst shifter, open side pipes, the stinger hood, and an Edelbrock intake and a Holley carb, just to name a few. Even 10 years later he was still at it by running the car at Sebring, Florida. That’s when it got (gasp) it’s wheel wells cut to radiuses to accommodate the big racing tires, since that was the way you did it in those days. Big tires front and rear sticking out from under the car. You know the look. It’s the same thing we did to our street cars to emulate these race guys on the track....oh the street tire N-50’s from Mickey Thompson, I remember them well.

Once the car was “retired” from the track Bill kept the roll bar, the side pipes, and the other race inspired upgrades - including the cut wheel wells, although with more civilized tires. Bill had visited Kidd Darrins in 2002 to have them redo a new dash panel and gauge cluster for the car. While he was there he saw a 1965 Corvette that they were working on. They had actually designed new rear quarter panels that were stock looking but were about 1.5” wider than the originals. The look was the perfect solution for his car. And that was only the beginning.

Bill took some time to think about all he wanted to do to his old race warrior Corvette. He returned to Kidd Darrins with the idea of repairing the cut out rear wheel wells and repainting the car. But ultimately that was not where it ended. Bill commissioned Kidd Darrins to design and build a set of front fenders to replace the stock ones that had been cut for the racing tires. These were designed and built an inch wider to match the look of the new wider rear quarters. It was a subtle mod but it was enough to give the car a nice beefier look with additional tire clearance in the rear and steering clearance in the front. This would be a necessary feature now that he would be running tires up front that were wider than the skinny 15-inch stock ones the car came with in 1967. Additionally, this would allow Bill to lower the front of the car without steering issues regarding tire to fender clearance.

Once the new wider quarter panels and front fenders were installed more cool ideas were hatched between Bill and Kidd Darrins. Bill decided he now wanted a more civilized car. So the roll bar was removed. Side pipes were removed in favor of a stainless dimpled exhaust system. A custom “V” shaped aluminum center exhaust port was fabricated at the rear to echo the “vee” shaped roof line of the car. Giving the Vette a lower cleaner look, Kidd Darrins fabricated a new set of steel rocker panels with a custom flush mount chrome accent molding. These were installed where the old side pipes used to live. Up front Bill never liked the front bumpers so he wanted to run the car without them. Kidd Darrins designed a new custom grill bar, as well as a new three piece front spoiler for the car. The wider front fenders were given a new style side vent with a custom fabricated aluminum accent molding (chrome plated).

Bill had the mechanicals all worked out from the racing days. Under the hood was his forth engine; a carbureted LT1 with the 4-speed still in place as he ordered it. The car was dialed in so the work was all centered around the cosmetics.

The interior was the last stop. Kidd Darrins redesigned the entire inside of the car. A completely new console was designed as well as door panels and a very cool gauge cluster sitting atop the center of the dash. The seats were reconstructed in foam and covered in a nice two-tone color scheme, with a silver “stinger” on the headrest area to echo the stinger hood on the car. The dash was removed, recovered, and double top stitched for a very upscale look. Even the headliner was reworked to remove the sun-visors and install a custom brushed/polished insert overhead and covered in matching vinyl.

All the ill fitting panels were addressed, body blocked and then finished in Arctic Ice Green with the stinger on the hood done in a frost silver. A set of 17-inch Rocket wheels complete the really cool look of this 1967 Corvette makeover.

This Corvette looks and sounds amazing. When the key is turned and the LT1 jumps to life you know it’s a “runner”. When you see this car in person you realize the mods and finish on the car make it a very special 1967 Corvette. Truly this Vette is as much a winner on the street today as it was on the track back in the day! CN