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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 9:57 am 
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So I have no imagination. Fine. So I’m easily amused by things that I see on the interwebs. Fine. I have a 1990 Corvette that’s hit in the front and a 1993 Anniversary Edition chassis sitting here. What’s a guy to do with them? Copy what has seemed to work for others and build another toy.



So here’s the back story. Along time ago I purchased the 1990 from a friend of a friend who had recently crashed it. Even though it was his “dream car” and well built with LOTS of aftermarket parts, it still had little appeal to me. I’m not a Corvette guy, so I figured I would either part the car out or sell it as-is and try to make a few dollars. In talking with a friend who has a shop where he builds Conra, Daytona Couple, Grand Sport and GT-40 recreations, he expressed an interest in the cars. When we sat down to do some haggling over what I would get in return, I had an idea. He had a Cheetah replica chassis that I wanted and he was going to you trade me the both Corvettes for the Cheetah built as a bare rolling chassis. So, I trailer everything out to his shop and knowing the way he works, figured I wouldn’t see anything for several months at best. Well, life got in the way(new house, family illness, new shop) and several months turned into several years. Things happened and I ended up going to his shop and retrieving everything after we found the project was never going to go anywhere . Upon getting everything back to my shop, I saw how much a good car can deteriorate over time just sitting closed up outside. It was sad! Now I had some decisions to make, what to do with an old C-4 Corvette and a bare chassis? Again, I could part it out but honestly, C-4’s don’t bring any $$$. Build one of the numerous kit cars on the market using the donor parts? I already have a few kit car projects, so that’s not on the radar. My next thought is that with the current trend, there are numerous people that have built Corvette karts and seem to be having a lot of inexpensive fun, so why not explore that route? I did some pondering and calculating and figured for a couple of grand I could easily complete one, so here it goes........... It certainly will not be a quick build as life always seems to get in the way, but all I will update it as often as I can. It won’t be fancy with turbos or superchargers, just a normally aspirated toy using as much of the donor car as possible. In true “lo-cost” fashion, I will be parting out as many of the unused parts from the donor to recoup some of the initial investment.


First, clear enough space to get 2 cars in the shop and some additional space to put all of the parts that get removed from both cars.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:09 am 
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Since I have trouble leaving anything alone and like to be different, this build/hack might be a bit more than anyone has seen with other kart builds.

First the rear fenders were ripped, hammered, saw-z-all’d off the chassis along with the rear floor. This would allow more room and flexibility on where the fuel cell and battery can be located.


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Last edited by w650gb500 on August 5, 2018, 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:15 am 
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Since there was a rollcage in this chassis’s future, there was no real need for the 80’s targa band to hang around any longer. So, the “targa band” disappeared.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:17 am 
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Then the windshield frame came off since it wouldn’t work with the roll cage that I planned on building. I hadn’t planned on going any further with the deconstruction but I soon found out that the firewall and transmission tunnel were fiberglass. I wasn’t crazy about that, so some decisions needed to be made........


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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:23 am 
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I spent some time sitting next to the chassis and looking at it. I also looked online at the other Corvette kart builds to see just how far people went in tearing their chassis apart. I really wasn’t crazy about having fiberglass surrounding the engine, so I decide to remove it. Probably further than most other hacks go, but I can build a firewall and tunnel, so why not. When removing the front floor, I find out that 1/2 the floor is fiberglass and the rear 1/2 is sheetmetal. If the front floor has to be replaced, why not replace everything and build a new tunnel, floor and rear bulkhead. It’s more work, but should be a much cleaner job when completed.

It keeps getting lighter!


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Last edited by w650gb500 on August 5, 2018, 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:25 am 
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Since the chassis and rollcage will be constructed from 1.75”x0095” DOM tubing, that firewall surround/cowl/doorjamb structure looked out-of-place sitting on the perimeter frame. Now, you know that I’m not afraid to cut up something, so I broke out the spotweld drill and neatly removed the cowl. Its really only held on with 12 or so spotwelds per side and in 1/2 an hour it was done. Some grinding and all I was left with is the absolute basic frame of a C-4 Corvette or what I call the “blank canvas” for my build.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:32 am 
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HACK-ing to the extreme?
A bit much and “over the top”?
Did I ruin a perfectly good 1993 Anniversary Edition chassis?

Yes!
Yes!
And HELL YES!

But, all in the name of FUN and isn’t that the reason we do these things? Fellow hackers and builders, here is the beginnings of my Corvette Kart. Should be a fun ride.

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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:54 am 
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All of the “tear-down” took a week working an hour here and there whenever I could find some free time. Next it was off to the frame table to square/level/bolt-down the chassis and begin roll cage fabrication.

Here is where the camera on my phone(possibly the operator) messed-up and I lost a bunch of pictures. Damn!

Well, the main cage/chassis tubing fab work is done for now. I have a lot more bracing to add, but until the sheetmetal work on the firewall, floors and rear bulkhead any additional tubing would just limit access for future work.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 10:58 am 
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A few more of the chassis tubing.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2018, 11:16 am 
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To this point, I have about 2-1/2 weeks of spare time into the build. That part went quickly and was very productive(my opinion), but I have a feeling that the rest of it will be much slower until winter gets here.

I wanted to get the chassis to a rolling state in order to make it easier to move around the shop. I couldn’t do that because the engine cradle and left front spindle from the donor car were damaged in the crash.

I took a drive to Contemporary Corvettes, about two hours away, to pick up the engine cradle and left front spindle. If you haven’t dealt with them before, I would recommend them and give the transaction with them two thumbs up.

I had some free time at the end of the day and threw the rear suspension under the chassis because I wanted to see where it ends up as far as ground clearance goes. It was when I got to the front end that I recalled how much you were limited in lowering the front end of these cars because of the damn spring. Back in the Corvette Challenge days, we could get the car a little over an inch lower, but that’s not going to be enough for this build. Years later, we had an SCCA ITE, x-Challenge car that we converted to front coil overs and that set-up worked very well. I put the a-arms on and took a look at how much space was available where the stock shock mounts. 2 spaces over in the shop sits my fathers Lotus 7 which just so happens to have a set of QA-1 coilovers on it. So, I jacked it up and removed a front one to see if there was any chance it would fit on the Corvette chassis. Holding it in place, it looked like it would work. It was going to be tight, but then looking at the upper mount, it would fit better if that weren’t there. Well, I have a saw-z-all and a grinder and half an hour later, both upper mounts were removed from the chassis and ground clean. Now, holding the shock in place, you can see that a mount welded to the newly installed chassis tube is the natural place for the upper mount to go. I ran out of time for the week, but next week should be fun. I will set the chassis at static ride height(5 to 5-1/2” at the pinch weld), figure the height of the front tire, position the upper shock mount and that will tell me the compressed and extended length of the shock that will work.

That’s all the time I have for the week. This weekend I will look at coil-overs, fuel cells and battery boxes.

That’s all for now, hopefully more to come next week..............


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PostPosted: August 6, 2018, 10:11 am 
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OH HELL yea, I am going to be following this. When my new build thread gets started you will see why. Good luck and keep moving!

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PostPosted: August 6, 2018, 12:52 pm 
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Im sure you've heard of leroy. This looks like its a little more evolved than the "normal" Vette Kart. I like but im one of the ones without a Lotus 7 type build here

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PostPosted: August 6, 2018, 10:33 pm 
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Thanks. It is a bit more than your normal hack of a Corvette. All the others look like parts of them are an afterthought and I just didn’t want that. I want to build it once and without regrets. I hate finishing something, looking at the finished product and thinking how it would be better “if”(fill in the blanks).

“IF“ I had left the cowl, it wouldn’t look right. I wanted the chassis tubing tied directly to the cage.

“IF” I had left the floor intact, the seat would be bolted to something that I just didn’t feel was safe for track duty. I want the seat mounted to tubes attached to the frame and tunnel.

“IF” the targa band stayed, then the rollcage couldn’t be built as wide as I wanted. Every other caged car I’ve driven only had inches of clearance to the drivers helmet. Not this time!

It’s going to happen when done, I know it, but if it gets built with no compromises then I’ll only have myself to blame in the end. It is a “budget build” after all, so no fancy $$$ on this one.

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