SOME IMPRESSIONS LAST A LIFETIME
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SOME IMPRESSIONS LAST A LIFETIME

The Inspiration for this Build Occurred Back in 1952

Article and photos by Joe Greeves

 

Marty Eisner, from The Villages in Florida, is a life long automotive enthusiast, building his first complete car at the tender age of 13. It set the tone for the estimated 40 custom vehicles he’s created over the years. His latest, this 1992 Corvette, is a tribute to the original Corvette concept wagon he saw at the GM Autorama in the Waldorf Astoria way back in 1952. Although Corvette never expanded on the wagon design, Marty decided to correct GM’s mistake. He always liked the distinctive look of the 1953 Corvette, especially the tiny winglets on the taillights and the toothy grille. When he had an opportunity last year to buy a C4 Corvette, he decided to act on the 66-year-old image, still fresh in his mind. 

Marty’s degree in mechanical engineering simplified the process when it came time to lay out the design. His good friend, James Reigada has worked with him in the past and was up to the task. Marty started with a 1992 Corvette donor car with minor front end damage, a poor interior, but a fairly good motor. He purchased 1953 Corvette front and rear ends, then laid out the plan to accomplish the design. Once the concept was established, lots of adjustments were made to ensure precise cut lines and pleasing design flow. 

The station wagon look is clearly the most distinctive styling change. To accomplish it, Marty began by creating a wooden buck so that the fitment matched the slope of the roof. Then he designed the rear window and the tapering side windows to compliment the roof and fender line. When everything matched, the buck became the basis for the fiberglass shell. Once the hatch was complete, it was hinged to the original B-pillar, giving the Corvette a distinctive profile as well as some genuinely usable storage space in the rear. Additional body mods began with the car’s T-Top, eliminating the original chrome outlines to keep the lines smooth. The ’53 tail was sliced, diced, and grafted to the ’92 rear, paying close attention to cut lines and proportions. The ’92 tilt front end received similar treatment, fitted with the 1953 toothy grille and wire-covered headlights. Hand fabricated bumpers that are close facsimiles of the early originals were installed front and rear. Rather than the molded side view mirrors that came with the ’92, Marty opted for vintage versions more in keeping with the style of the ’53. Door handles were shaved and operate with the same remote that pops the rear hatch. There is a secondary way to open the hatch with a cable accessed through the centrally mounted gas filler door. Wrapped in 40-series Michelin rubber, the stylish 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells and were a package deal from Tire Rack. Clearly designed to attract attention from a hundred yards away, the beautiful exterior color is Lamborghini Tangerine, sprayed by James Reigada and accented with subtle fine line graphics by Florida’s premier airbrush artist, Chris Cruz.

Once the exterior was complete, Marty turned his attention to the interior layout, working with the upholstery team at L&S Auto Trim in Gainesville, Florida. He met with them, went over some ideas and they made four patterns as test pieces. Once the design decisions were approved, they gave him an appointment and told the job would take five weeks. (They were ahead of schedule!) Blending shades of brown and beige leather with a reddish-brown cast to the carpet, the interior is accented with custom wood trim. A Blaupunkt Detroit 100 car stereo receiver with remote control and removable faceplate fills the cab with music. L&S created the beautifully designed door panels that conceal 6.5-inch component sets, fabricating matching panels in the rear hatch that conceal the second pair of component sets. On the dash, the Speed Hut Legacy white face gauge panel was custom made with wood that matches the steering wheel rim. A subtle note that most fail to recognize is the modified frame rail. Corvettes are notoriously difficult to enter and exit. A back injury led Marty to modify the rails on his car, making it much easier to access. Hidden reinforcements to the chassis ensure rigidity.  

The motor is the LT1 that came with the donor car but it was completely rebuilt to ensure reliability. Marty estimates it produces somewhere north of 425hp. Lots of stainless steel and paint details make it shine. The exhaust was modified with custom rectangular exhaust tips in the rear. Marty says the build went together very nicely, taking about 14 months from start to finish. His goal throughout his multiple builds over the years is to attract the attention of the younger generation. He picks bright colors and creates unique rides, hoping they’ll say ‘I’d like a car like that!’ It’s the best way to bring them into the car hobby and keep it from fading away. 

 

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01/16/2019 (01/16/2019)
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The Villiages
Florida, United States
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