American’s Sports Car has had its ups and downs, but it’s always been a looker. Even in the Malaise-era 1970s, Corvettes looked super-zoomy even when their engines couldn’t hold a candle to some of the fire-breathers from several years before.
Perhaps it’s these Corvettes that best lend themselves to the “sin” of modifications — take this 1977 Corvette as an example. If I were a Corvette in 1977, I’d be absolutely jealous that a four-seater like a black and gold Firebird Trans Am was stealing the limelight. What to do? Make clear in no uncertain terms that the Corvette is as American as apple pie, baseball and Mom (though my mom was born and raised overseas, she’s an American citizen, so hopefully that counts).
Starting with a fancy paint job is the most conspicuous way to demonstrate this essence. Using an automobile as a canvas for a patriotic mural is somewhat like leopard prints — few can pull it off, but this Corvette pulls it off in spades. Next, the engine bay needs to be worked on so the Corvette can have the kind of power it’s supposed to. Electronic fuel injection has been added, plus a cold-air intake, chromed accessories and the obligatory headers and braided hoses. It’s all very neat and tidy, and it works.
With air conditioning, power windows and other niceties, you’ll be the hit of any Independence Day parade though, at this very moment, it was a hit with Jalopy Jeff, who caught this “Patriot” at Barrett-Jackson’s Houston event in October 2022.