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brent319 06-10-2011 02:55 PM

76 project
hi all. I got my first (and last) corvette last week and am pretty excited. It is a '76 that once belonged to Bob Wallace at 'vette magazine many years ago as a project car. I think it was probably one of the first LS1 swaps at the time. The car got a crate LS1 and 4L60E and Bowtie Overdrives did a lot of the work on making it fit, but the project was never finished and the car was passed around until it wound up at Custom Image Corvettes and eventually with me.
How this all came about was really strange story. I will TRY to keep it short.. but here goes.
About a year ago my wife said we should get a "fun" car in a couple of years. I have always admired the lines of C3 'Vettes since I was a kid, but did not (and compared to most of you.. still don't) know that much about them so I hit the internet each day reading all I could. I became interested in a LS swap so I hit the forums to gather info. I noticed that this one guy kept answering everyone's questions and really knew this stuff. He even had parts. I wished I could find somebody like that in Iowa. Yea, right. Iowa. Then one day I clicked on that guy's profile and found that he not only lived in iowa, but he lived around the corner from me. "it's a small world after all...."
So I walked over to his house and introduced myself. There was Kaos in his garage. Man, I was blown away by that car. I had seen it on the internet all the time and even mailed Chris McDonald to tell him how much I loved that thing. Then a few weeks later when I figured out who Josh was I realized that exact car was around the corner from me. "It's a small, small world"
Josh and I talked and I was impressed with not only his knowledge of cars, but how happy he was to stop what he was doing and talk to me. We kept in touch and then a few months ago I started my "internship" with him. I went over there with the intention of sweeping floors and fetching wrenches, but Josh is a great teacher and has given me years of insight in a few short months. It started with "fiberglass 101" and has continued from there.
Somewhere along the line I got sucked up by all of the fun and wound up buying the '76.
We are working on getting it on the road and will be able to hit it a lot harder soon. Right now priority 1 is to get Kaos back to Rob, and getting flares out to folks.
On to the build so far...
I got the vacuum parts stripped off of the lights. Being from Iowa I can't believe how little rust there is on this car! We will do an electric conversion on the lights down the road. by brent hagist, on Flickr
Josh and Adam got the wires all hooked back up and I replaced some of the sensors. After working through the night, it was almost ready to run, but the sun was about to rise and I had to rush out and go to work. I stopped by after work and got to start it up. There are no seats or carpet inside the car, so sitting on the floor with open headers was a pretty rumbly experience for me.:laughing: Here's video of my first running of the LS1:
I brought home the interior parts and cleaned them up. They were pretty ugly looking when I got them there, but once 10 years of dirt was washed off they looked pretty good. by brent hagist, on Flickr
Josh is working on modifying my water pump and when he can get that done, the radiator will go in and we can run it a bit more before we tear it all out, clean things up, and stuff some new goodies on this old shark.
So far it has been a LOT of work. I am glad I did the "internship" so I had some idea of what I was in for. It ain't like Overhaulin where it gets done in an hour. But it has also been a lot of fun along the way. Here is a video my wife is not so proud of:
Hopefully more to come soon
EDIT: Fixed broken links.

1vett4me 06-10-2011 03:30 PM

sounds interesting can you edit and fix your links?

riggs 74 06-10-2011 04:26 PM

Man did you stumble into a fantastic situation. You are so lucky to live so close to Custom Image and have Josh pamper your new found ride, I would love to be in your shoes. If I lived closer, he would probably already have mine there, but I don't and will have to find the time to build my ride, myself.

I'm sure you will have one bad ass ride, once you have finished it, and you will have an experience working with Josh and Custom Image that most of us only dream of.

Can't wait for the updates.


Marks76ray 06-10-2011 04:35 PM

Wish I had someone to come by and learn with me on my vette!:lookinup: I have 2 sons that will help me if I ask but they have other things going on and are not into the vette.:huh: guess it involves WORK. Not that they are lazy they just are not into it.

Keep up the good work looks like you have a handle on it. Also noticed you have been a member sense sept. 2010 and just 4 posts:huh: Josh is going to have to work on that with you.
:cheers: Mark

Kaos 06-10-2011 04:36 PM

Hey Brent...welcome the Corvette family. It was a pleasure to meet you as well when I was there in Iowa.

I am very much looking forward to seeing your vette and many other vettes with some awesome flares on them.

Thanks for the help you have been doing on Kaoss :thumbsup:

brent319 06-10-2011 05:10 PM

Yea, I have been lurking around here for quite a while reading every post in the C3 section and some in the others. This place has been great! Since I have been here to learn, I have not had much to contribute, but appreciate all the info. I have gained from it. It was here that I figured out I wanted a LS1. That would have NEVER happened if I had not figured out (also on here) that the guy that could make it happen for me lives a block away. So thanks to all of you guys (and gals) and also DC. Also Al Gore for inventing the internet :laughing:
Rob: It was great to get to meet you also. Last summer I was admiring pictures of your car in Florida. After dinner I will go help josh work on it in Iowa. How cool is that? As far as thanking me: Without you, I would have had a pretty cool 'vette. Instead I will have a 'vette with bad ass flares and wheels. So thank you!

Dan85Vette 06-10-2011 06:58 PM

Very cool story, look forward to watching the progress.

Double_Take 06-13-2011 08:29 AM

Awesome story and welcome to the site (A year late)! :cheers:

brent319 06-17-2011 01:13 PM

Not too much to report. Things are pretty busy at custom image trying to get Kaos out the door and also trying to get parts sent to folks. When I can, I have been stripping parts off of the 76 and bringing them home to clean and paint during down times.
I pulled my first steering column yesterday, and got the steering box loose. When they did the original swap about 10 years ago they did not have the parts for the conversion available that we do now. They fabricated a motor mount that straddles the steering box. I guess it will come out somehow, but I ran out of time figuring out how. I hope to get to that today. There are pictures in the original article here:
I am going to try to get the vega wheel pulled off this weekend and get the column painted as well as the bell housing. The body mount bolts are soaking so the body may come off next week.
There should be a huge box coming from VB&P next week.
Stay tuned. When time is freed up, I hope things will be moving quickly.

Kaos 06-17-2011 01:25 PM

Hey Brent...that Lakewood bellhousing and block saver plate look very familiar :thumbsup: Glad to see they are going to a good new home including the trans for which I know you will enjoy especially after I just had it completely rebuilt and the gears lightened in it. Keep us posted on your updates and thanks for lending a hand on Kaos.

brent319 06-18-2011 06:07 AM

long day..
My alarm went off at 04:30 yesterday so I could go to work. I was still over at Custom Image this morning when it went off at 04:30 today. That seems to be happening more and more and when it does Josh and I yell "TIME TO GET UP!"
I pulled more stuff off of my car. I got a front crossmember pulled so we can pull the body soon.
I gutted the interior some more and got the brake pedal and booster loose getting ready for the six speed conversion.
I was thinking about all of the new stuff that is going under the car and realized that about the only thing left under there that was not going to be new is the brakes. I was looking through the VB&P catalogue (my new favorite place) which was sitting on a red blanket. I was looking at one of the pages and then thought "wow, what a bad-ass car... wait a minute" I lifted up the blanket and took this photo and thought "is this cool or what?"
Later I was thinking about how the back will look when it gets Kaos flares and Kaos wheels. Some lucky guy is about to get some flares shipped to him, but I borrowed one for a minute and hung it on my car. It looked kind of silly with the stock wheels, so I borrowed a Kaos wheel and stuck it on there.
HELL YEA! That's my car! :partyon:
I couldn't really get a good photo of it, but it looks sick. It is not in its final stance by any means, and the stock suspension is still under there so the camber is way off, but Josh approved :-)
It will be a little while before we can get around to actually putting mine on, but I can't wait.

riggs 74 06-18-2011 10:57 AM

Damn Brent, those flares look killer on there. The quality of the flares looks out
standing, I have to say, your killing me now, I was pushing back the paint and
body work on my ride, but now after seeing another set of Kaoss/Misstress
flares, I am itching to get a set on mine.

I really think your going to have one Bad Azz ride when your done.


Kaos 06-18-2011 11:15 AM


Originally Posted by brent319 (Post 1893254)
I lifted up the blanket and took this photo and thought "is this cool or what?"

It looked kind of silly with the stock wheels, so I borrowed a Kaos wheel and stuck it on there.
HELL YEA! That's my car! :partyon:

Wow!!! Kaos flares really do look awesome on another vette. Can't wait to see more vettes with some bad a$$ flares running around.

Its awesome how the wheels & trans from Kaos/Killer are going to your soon to be awesome ride. That flare looks like it already fits perfectly.

brent319 06-18-2011 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by Kaos (Post 1893309)
Its awesome how the wheels & trans from Kaos/Killer are going to your soon to be awesome ride. That flare looks like it already fits perfectly.

Yea, I can't wait. There are so many strange things about this story and the wheels are another chapter. When I first started hanging around Custom Image, one of the first noobie tasks I had was to polish those wheels. I spent hours polishing them up so they would look great for you. As it turns out, I was doing it for myself and did not know it.:laughing:

brent319 06-20-2011 11:15 PM

I stopped over after dinner and got the leaf springs out and soaked the body mount bolts. Man there was a lot of crud under there.

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