‘Coachbuilt’ custom Corvette

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The unique custom creation is a modern rendition of a classic form

Custom car builders have long been inspired to emulate the grand styles and classic curves of the great French coachbuilders of the 1930s through the ’50s. The late Boyd Coddington notably built such Figoni et Falaschi-infused creations as “Whatthehaye” and “The French Connection.”

The Pick of the Day is an effort by an ambitious owner to create such an evocative modern custom from a 1998 Chevrolet Corvette. Now named Bella Elan, it is most distinctive and looks successfully rendered, at least as it appears in the photos with the ad on ClassicCars.com.

The retro rod looks expertly built

The coupe is actually a wholly original and unique car that utilizes components from a number of production cars, according to the Lakeland, Florida, dealer advertising the custom Corvette. And it “drives like a factory-built car,” the dealer adds.

“Titled as a 1998 Corvette, over 6,000 hours were spent building the owner’s dream of a French Deco-style dream car,” the listing says. “Starting with a rust-free West Coast Corvette, the front and rear subframes were mounted to a new box frame with X support. The cab is a 2001 Audi TT Coupe and the fenders are 1937 Chevy.

“Expert craftsmanship on all aspects of this build. High-quality bodywork including engine and trunk compartments. 1959 Corvette tail lights.”

The luxury interior has been fitted with teak accents

The paint is Gold Metallic and the interior is charcoal leather with teak wood accents, with custom dashboard gauges, full power features and an upscale audio system, and cooled by a Vintage Air. There also are teak running boards shown in the photos with the ad.

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Powered by a fresh Corvette LS-1 engine and rebuilt automatic transmission, the car has been driven only 1,800 miles since completion, the dealer says.

While so many of these retro builds are cartoonishly over the top, this one looks like it was done by someone with good taste and expert skills, and designed with good proportions, a well-integrated style and nice details. It would be a real show stopper on cruise night.

The price tag on the one-of-a-kind car is $79,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

1 COMMENT

  1. Is your uniquely beautiful 1998 custom still for sale? If so please text (714)504-8395 or e mail me. Thank you, Mark

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