’62 might have been the last year of first generation Vettes, but this certainly doesn’t make the car any less attractive. Many of those 50 and 60-year old first gen Corvettes have rusted away or simply disappeared from the stage over the course of last few decades, but not this one. Bill Carman is a proud owner of freshly restored 1962 Corvette which he owned since 1968, after his return from Vietnam.
Things didn’t look so pink initially, though. After happy days of street racing in Bill’s hometown of Park Ridge, NJ, Corvette spun a rod bearing and became incapacitated. It was pretty hard to resist the call of Parkway/Thruway extension between New York and New Jersey, and its quarter mile drag. Bill wanted to restore the car as soon as possible, but as it happens, he also started raising a family, and Vette got kicked out of a garage at the mercy of the elements. Moreover, Bill found himself a new hobby; the motorcycles, and Vette had couple of wheels too many.
As years passed by, Bill Carman often thought about restoring the car, but spare time was always the issue. Vette in his yard attracted a lot of attention over the years, but first gen classic would remain at his side, as luck would have it. It was another stroke of luck when he heard about the Early Vette Shop in Sholola, PA from a waitress in a diner when Bill was on one of his motorcycle rides out to the Delaware Valley. He decided to give it a try, and the rest is history.
Mike Walsh and Joe Erven who run the Early Vette Shop ended up being a perfect choice for Bill’s 1962 Corvette. Car’s original engine was already the strongest option available 50 odd years ago, so they decided to restore it with the help of Saaf Engines in Rowland, PA. 327 small-block got a new solid lifter 365 hp cam, Carter AFB, and plenty of new metal parts as original fan, radiator, latches, etc were beyond repair. They did, however, manage to save the original headers, heads and intake, and refresh the original Borg Warner T-10 tranny.
Mike and Joe had to replace much more than half the engine. They ordered a whole new frame and reworked most of the body which is now painted Tuxedo Black. Front wheels are paired with 9-inch disc brakes in order for modern safety standards to be satisfied. That’s something original 1962 Corvette certainly didn’t have, but at least rear brakes are still drums. And don’t even let us start with the interior. Red Vinyl cabin is completed with corresponding carpets, dash, and the steering wheel. Take a look at it yourself.
The end result is such that Bill Carman has a lot of reasons to be in buoyant mood. It hurts only to think how close this 1962 Corvette was to remaining sentenced to yard decay. Luckily, it’s all dressed up now and ready to demonstrate all of its splendor.