1963 Chevrolet Corvette “Asteroid”
Built by: Don Ferrara, Bob Nordskog and George Barris of Barris Kustoms
Configuration: Longitudinal front engine
Displacement: 5.77L/352 cu. in.
Horsepower: 400 at 6,500 RPM
Torque: 430 ft/lbs
Max RPM: 6,500 RPM
Transmission: 4-speed manual
A Little History
This second-generation Corvette is also known as a Corvette Sting Ray, It was purchased in 1962 by Bob Nordskog. Nordskog was a mechanical engineer by trade, and a renowned mid-century speed boat racer too. When the second generation Corvettes came out, Nordskog immediately ordered a Stingray in primer only, and the car was then delivered to Barris Kustoms to get custom body work by auto customizer George Barris himself. Barris created the copper color scheme of the Asteroid and original body, but after few years, Nordskog repainted it to match his fleet of race boats. The Asteroid won the top awards for a show car at the Long Beach Motorama 1963 and the 1963 Mickey Thompson Auto, Speed & Boat Show. And was widely published in hot rod magazines and custom of the time.
A fresh redesign from Chevrolet and Barris was this new C2 Corvette already and a radical transformation has been made and with an extended nose conce has been redesigned car, positioned behind the bladed grille had headlights positioned, behind the front wheels are custom headers exiting, the rear split window has been removed, the rear tail panel stuffed and also the rear wheel opened wells so that big wheels and fat tires accommodate.
Two personalities with two different configurations had the Asteroid that could be changed within some minutes. No argument, it is one of the most unique and strip cars of its era.
Out of this world was the paint job and in a heavy metallic copper finish was painted that in the sunlight you would blind. Since it looked like it was on fire, was a help that gave the car the name “Asteroid” and because it was moving 1000 mph sitting still.
For street duty were used Dayton wire wheels and for track duty were used American Mags with race tires.
As wild as the exterior design was and the interior design that was done by Don Ferrara of San Pedro, California. In a pearl white Naugahyde was finished, to match the exterior paint was complimented with copper accent.
With dual personalities this Corvette was build and it was racing down the quarter – mile because it was as fierce at the car shows. By a 353 cubic inch motor was powered with compression 14:1 and through six chrome Stromburg 10\ carburetors was fed. Either painted gold metallic or chrome plated was everything under the hood and for an already over – the – top – car was the topper.
Over 50 years ago the Asteroid Corvette disappeared from the public eye. It was created, transformed, retransformed over a span of 5 decades and then this out – of – this – world Vette was restored back to its original glory, finally for us.
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