Photography by Dave Cruikshank
It’s hard to make a C3 Corvette better. On the other hand, it’s really easy to screw one up or do a rethink that doesn’t hold up over the years.
That’s why we were really keen to see the debut of a 1972 Corvette named “Menace,” at SEMA 2017. Teaser pics were all over the internet and hinted at a radical, yet subtle take on modernizing a C3 ‘Vette. We wondered if it would all work “in the flesh…”
As we walked up to the car at Covercraft’s display, you could tell that it was stand out. Kitted up in matte carbon fiber, Mercedes gray paint and gold accents, it had that certain intangible quality that really good builds have, i.e., it’s clearly a custom car, the alterations are visible, but there’s an elusive element that make the whole more than the sum of the parts.
And what a collection of parts it is. This ‘Vette has custom fender grilles, fairings behind the headrests, HR Geiger like headlight and hood treatment and a retractable spoiler, all rolling on big wheels and rubber.
Built by Heartland Customs out of Purcell, Oklahoma, it was emceed by guru Jeff Page, a big brawny guy with an obvious passion for his craft.
According to Jeff, the car was commissioned by a gentleman from the Netherlands and the goal was to bring a C3 into the 21st century, with modern amenities and European flair to boot.
Essentially running a supercharged LS7, it’s been thoroughly breathed on with forged internals– and other goodies–and pumps out 860hp with 825 ft-lbs of torque. More than enough get you to the grocery store, in hurry. This monster mill is hooked up to Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed manual transmission transferring the mega-power to the pavement.
The chassis and suspension use no off-the-shelf C4/5/6 pieces. Instead, Page worked closely with the Roadster Shop to create a modern C3 chassis from scratch. Page told us the bottom line for this chassis was that, ” We didnt want it to look cool and drive like a log wagon. We wanted it If you got out of a modern German car, this C3 would make the Fatherland’s best seem archaic.”
The car rides on a killer set of S-series, HRE wheels, 20x8s up front and 20x12s out back with 345 Michelin Pilots SuperSports all the way around.
The interior is a work of art. The only part of the build that wasn’t handled in-house, Sculpt Garage, out of Texas really hit it out of the park with this cabin. The old aircraft style C3 interior is a ergonomic nightmare, and Page wanted to really up the ante. The result is a killer rethink on par with any modern new car interior you can think of.
The body is a kalidecope of “slight of hand” customizing combined with bold, broad strokes. Be sure and check out the fairings behind the seats, the updated fender gills, hood scoop, bumpers, headlights and taillights. CAD/CAM machining as well as 3D printing were combined to create this ‘Vettes new, boutique threads.
All absolutely killer in person. Kudos to Heartland Customs, Roadster Shop and Sculpt Garage for this beauty of a build. With SEMA in full bloom, Mr. Page agreed that after this big show in Las Vegas blows over, we’ll circle back and do a deeper dive on this build. Stay tuned to Corvette Online.