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Fully Stacked: Meet This Custom 1971 Corvette Stingray (Plus Its 383 Stroker with EFI & Velocity Stacks)

(Image/OnAllCylinders)

We caught up with Frank Lowe a few weeks back at a local Cars & Coffee event after we spotted the modified C2 Stinger scoop perched atop his 1971 Corvette Stingray’s hood.

The iconic “Stinger Hood” was a one-year-only offering on 1967 Corvettes with the 427 big block—which is a shame because it looks equally at home on the later generation C3 (and Chevelles too, for that matter).

Turns out though, what was lurking underneath that custom hood was way, way cooler.

Though he admits that tuning the EFI setup was a bit tricky, Lowe says it now runs strong and is very reliable. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

Once Lowe lifted the Stinger, our eyes fell upon a glorious 383 Chevy Stroker small block topped with an octet of velocity stacks, each feeding a cylinder via a Speedmaster intake manifold and Holley EFI system.

“I’ve never seen another setup like this in person…and I’ve been to a lot of shows,” Lowe laughs.

The 383 boasts plenty of other upgrades too, including a Powermaster XS Torque Starter and Summit Racing Complete Serpentine Belt System. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

Lowe’s owned the car since 1987 and has progressively tweaked and personalized the Stingray to his own tastes.

“I’ve done everything myself, all the suspension, engine, body, everything on it,” he proudly states.

The side pipes are similar to the OE ones originally available on the early C3 Corvettes. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

For starters, Lowe’s Vette is wearing body work and a paint job done in his garage. And he goes into lengthy details on how he had to split, sand, and massage that C2 Stinger scoop to fit the profile of the C3 hood.

Early C3 Corvettes aren’t known for their creature comforts, but Lowe addressed that. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

Then Lowe shows off the cabin, which is fitted with a custom interior and a console plucked from an old Jeep Cherokee. The heavily bolstered and embroidered seats were larger than stock, so Lowe cut and lowered the floor to accommodate them.

Even the stock seats leave little headroom in the coupes. Lowering the floor allowed these custom seats to fit perfectly. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

Back outside, Lowe describes some other, more subtle modifications.

For example, C3 Corvette pop-up headlights can be tricky. So, Lowe ditched the stock vacuum-operated setup in favor of an electric headlight door kit from Detroit Speed. And Lowe explains how those can be really handy “Since they’re wired through the headlight switch, you can park and keep ’em up.” That not only looks cool, it makes the headlights themselves way easier to adjust and service.

Better still, it’s one less vacuum line to run. “The only vacuum I have is going to my brake booster,” Lowe tells us.

Here’s a better look at that hood, complete with its flush hood pins. You’ll also notice how Lowe used a later 1973+ type hood with a longer rear cowl to eliminate the finicky 1968-72 vacuum-operated wiper door. The 383 emblems on the Stinger scoop are just icing on the cake. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

Lowe’s done quite a bit of suspension work too, specifically swapping out the C3 Corvette’s rear transverse leaf spring with a clever Shark Bite Coilover Setup. The Vette also now rides on adjustable QA1 coilovers up front, along with tubular upper/lower control arms.

During the course of our chat, a crowd steadily gathered around the Stingray’s engine bay, so we bid Lowe farewell and let him talk to other interested onlookers. And judging from the throng of folks who were swirling around the car throughout the morning, Lowe had plenty of opportunities to reprise his story.

The Stingray rides on Chip Foose wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson ET Street S/S Tires. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

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2 Comments

  1. Sweet lookin Vette! The slide pipes looks Badass on it!

  2. Harold Lovett says:

    One word. AWESOME.

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