Like Clockwork: Charlie Sorse’s Wild Clockwork Orange 1959 Corvette

Pulling a classic car out of a barn and bringing it back to life happens all the time, but it’s not too often you find a car that has a big backstory to it. Charlie Sorse happened to find a 1959 Corvette in a barn that spent its life at the race track the known as “Clockwork Orange”. With the help of Brad Getz at Vintage Modified, this first-generation Corvette was revived and is back on the streets and track again.

Sorse’s Corvette had always gone by the name Clockwork Orange when the original owner purchased the car and began to modify it. The Corvette had always been raced on the street and strip in southeastern New York until a crash took it out of commission. For the next 40 years, the car sat in a barn wasting away until it was found and brought to Vintage Modified by Sorse.

“When Charlie brought the car to us it was in pretty bad shape. You could tell the car had been sitting in a barn for a long time and it was going to take a lot of work to get it fixed. Originally Charlie wanted the car done in just six weeks, but with the amount of work that needed to be done it just wasn’t going to happen. We were able to get the car back to Charlie after about 11 weeks and he was very pleased with the results,” Getz says.

Vintage Modified split the work up for the car and started doing the body and trim work right away. The 540 cubic-inch engine was built by Craiger Racing Engines and had an 8-71 blower added to provide the boost. The TH400 transmission was built by Bonanti Transmission and it sends the big Chevy power back to a Currie Enterprises 9-inch rearend. Vito Antonicelli Race Cars fabricated the roll cage and other chassis items.

After the car was complete Sorse wasted no time putting it back on the road and driving it as much as possible. The car sees plenty of time going to local car shows and will be going to the track for some eighth-mile racing, as well. The team at Vintage Modified did an outstanding job saving a car that most would have used for parts and turned it back into a wild street/strip car that has plenty of go to match all of its show.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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