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'82 Chevrolet Corvette Pro Modified


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A while ago I posted a topic where I was asking how should I build a Pro Mod car body, as they are far from original bodies. I got excellent responses, and here I am starting my first true Pro Modified build. My plan is to build a car that could actually race and that would be NHRA Legal. This is actually practising for my next Pro Modified Drag Car that will be a '60 Impala.

I haven't done much progress yet, but I wanted to post this thread here already and do this as a Step By Step build simply because then the Pro Mod guys on this forum can point out if I make mistakes easily before it's too late to fix them. And when this build is completed some day (It will take a lot of time), hopefully this thread can help other people building their Pro Mods, too. If not, then this thread can be named "How Not To Build A Pro Mod" :D .

So I hope that everyone will point out my mistakes and give advice when I'm in trouble... Constructive criticism is highly appreciated here!

Anyway the car I'm building will be '82 Chevy Corvette that I got in a trade a few years ago. It was mainly unstarted, but the previous owner had made some room for wider Drag Slicks by cutting the chassis. At first this was going to be an Outlaw Street car, but because of the poor quality of this kit I decided to make a Pro Mod of it.

So this is the kit:

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As an inspiration I will be using a Corvette Pro Mod from Finland, driven by Marko Lantto.

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I don't have any measurements or anything like that from his car, but luckily there are pictures in the internet that I can use, and they will sure be helpful in this project.

I started by taking a couple of measurements. In Pro Modified, the car's wheelbase must be between 104 and 115 inches. The original wheelbase on '82 Corvette is 98 inches, so it needs to be stretched a little. I will be using Good Year Frontrunner tires on this one, and with them I can make the wheel openings a bit smaller in the front. By moving the front wheels a bit further away, I measured that my model had 100,8 inch wheelbase. When the front tire was in its' regular place, the wheelbase was exactly 98 inches. I'm going to stretch my wheelbase with 5 inches, which means that in scale I will stretch the body 0.20 inches.

Here are a couple of pics of the original body.

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The firewall was molded to the body as one piece, so it had to go first. With my razor saw, I cut it away and then I glued the hood shut, as Pro Mods have one piece nose.

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Today I decided to cut the front end off to wait for stretching. I used Dymo-tape as a quide and used my razor saw again.

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This picture shows how much the wheelbase must be stretched.

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I will use a Supercharged Hemi on my build. And I have a question regarding that... What engine you suggest? I have a Top Fuel Hemi that could be modified into Pro Mod Hemi with a little work. I have a Blower and the injector hat already. Another choice would be Ross Gibson engine, but I've seen many opinions on their quality. Are they worth their price, as to me they seem a bit expensive even though I've never built one?

I want to thank everyone who has posted their Pro Modified builds in here... I've been reading those threads really actively. ;)

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This is an awesome concept for a build.

I feel the Ross gibson engines are over priced. Use the engine you have. You can turn it into a pro mod engine pretty easily.

Looking forward to seeing more of this build!!!!

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I'm usually not overly interested in drag cars ( they're SO complicated technically to me) , but this caught my eye. Hoping to learn a bit about how these bad boys are built. Already learning a lot from other guys' builds, so just have some fun, I'll just watch.

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Thanks so much for the kind words and interest :) !

Stan: It's nice to have people who like to follow my projects! Big thanks for that. I've been following your builds really actively, too and they are fantastic. I like seeing something different, and your Capri and Corolla definitely fit into that category. B)

Carl: Thanks! We'll see how this turns out...

Ron & Jason: Yep, I guess I will use the engine that I have. I will need some aftermarket parts for it, but looks like Ted has pretty much everything I need. I must make an order really soon to get a couple of parts, for my other builds too. Thank You both!

Glenn: That's an excellent picture :lol: ! Really, I'm not sure if Hemi fits in a Chevy (Yep, I'm a Chevy guy myself) but I guess it's a must... Thanks!

Wayne: It's true that these are quite complicated, there's so much stuff to be scratchbuilt and / or kitbashed. Even nowadays those Stock Eliminator cars are way more complicated than many people think, but of course a Pro Mod car is a lot more complicated than a Stocker... Thanks for the interest!

Alan: Heh, I actually have a Dremel :D . But with that razor saw the cuts are much more straight and I don't lose so much material. Then it's easier to glue those parts back together. Thanx!

Thanks Ray! I'm glad you found it interesting.

Aaron: Thanks, I definitely hope it'll turn out okay. But there's really lots of things to scratchbuild. Hopefully I can turn it out good.

Well here's a little update. After cutting the front end in two pieces, I glued small bits of styrene inside the body and I put 0.20 inch marks on them. Now I could glue the front end back on, and the wheelbase should be correct now. I'm not sure if this description makes completely sense, but I'm pretty sure that the pictures will be worth thousand words on this one. Next step will be filling the gap with styrene.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A Minor Update for this one, too. It's the same story as with my '55 Chevy that I've had zero time for modeling in a while. Luckily today I was able to make a little progress with this. Not that much, but as I'm doing this as a Step By Step thread, I think this might be worth posting anyway. So I filled the gap on the nose with sheet styrene. I used two different styrenes: Thicker one where it doesn't need to be bent that much and where I had to bend the styrene, I used thinner material. It was actually really easy to fill the gap, but it's still in rough stages. When I can get a bit more time to work with this, I'll rough sand it and then continue with other body modifications... Stay Tuned.

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As usual, good ideas/comments/suggestions/constructive criticism is welcomed. Remember I have no experience in building Pro Modifieds.

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Thanks fellows! I appreciate your kind comments a lot!

Well, no more progress on this one. I have had very little time to build anything so all I have been doing is planning on where to cut next. :D Probably I will continue with the nose when I have time.... Stay tuned.

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Thanks Ira! It means a lot when coming from a "Master Cutter" like you :) .

Well, nothing much done today. Only a little sanding on the front end. But what I did was planning on what should I do next, and I do have a question for the Pro Mod guys.

The NHRA says that the front overhang should be 45 inches, but if the actual front overhang is shorter, an NHRA approved nose extension piece can be used. I'd like to use that rather than extending the front overhang, but I'm not sure how does that extension piece look like. Is it this "Fin" that is installed in the bumper?

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My front overhang is 38" in this Corvette, so I need a 7" extension piece.

I was also measuring the body width. Front end must be narrowed quite a bit, but the rear end is very close to the NHRA measurements. Anyway if someone could answer on the question, I'd highly appreciate it.

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As far as I know that's what NHRA allows for cars that need it, most pro mod bodies are cast with the front end extended and the top layed back kicking out the bottom, here's another photo of the "fin." Also the '57 you can see the nose tilted back with the bottom kicked out to somewhat extend the nose

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Edited by Dragfreak
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Thanks Jason! That's just the information I wanted to hear, as I don't want to extend the nose by stretching it in front of the front tires. I think that would make the body look silly. The "fin" should be much better looking solution. Also I've always wondered why some Pro Mods have that on the front bumber. Now I know, thanks!

Thanks Darryl! Detailing these Pro Mods will be a challenge. I hope I can do it and turn it out as good as I'd like. I'm more worried about getting the body and chassis right, though. I mean I've never done this massive body modifications, nor have I scratchbuilt a frame from plastic. But yeah, hopefully it turns out good. :D

Thanks Dan! I appreciate it... Here's a little update. :)

Today I started working with the front tire openings on the body. The Frontrunners looked way too small on the original wheel openings, so I did what has been done to many Pro Mod bodies and I decided to make the wheel openings a bit shorter. Of course the first thing to do was a little mock up with the tires I'll be using. I'm not going to use those wheels, they're for mock up only.

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Then I marked on the body where should I cut so I took out my razor saw and cut out the rear part of the front wheel opening. Then I mocked up the front tire on place again and marked on the part I had just cut out from the body, how much the wheel opening must be shortened and shortened it a little.

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Then I did the same thing for the other side, and glued the parts back on. Now the wheel openings are much better and the front tire looks good in those openings. I did a little mistake on the co-driver's side so I had to add a little styrene between the body and the part that I glued back on.

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As you can see, it's still very rough, but once I get it sanded smooth and when I put some more liquid glue to smooth it out, it should look really good. Hopefully I will have more pics soon.

Next I must fill the gap and continue sanding the body. I must narrow that thing as well some day. :)

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