Ladies and Gents, the following is my recent ‘Good News’, ‘Bad News’, story regarding my 1968 Restomod Corvette. Firstly, the good news…
The Ontario Chapter of the NCRS held its 1st Judging Event for Stock & Modified Corvettes in 5 years at the Warplane Heritage Museum in Mount Hope (Hamilton Airport). This was actually the 1st time for the new modified division event judging. My 1968 modified corvette was judged in 5 categories; Operations, Interior, Exterior, Chassis and Mechanical. Each group of judges consisted of 4 individuals tasked to review and test all areas of their specified category. The principle behind this judging is that the function and look must be as good as or better than the original.
Yes, the ‘Good News’ is that I was awarded the top level National Corvette Restorers Society Concours Modified Division 427 Award – Regional.
But that was not the happy ending to the story….
Now, the ‘Bad News’:
During the operational check of the cigarette lighter, it would not pop back out and became too hot to physically pull out. This resulted in what would be similar to an electrical ‘short circuit’. So the wire would continue to heat up until the ‘cigarette lighter fuse’ blew or the battery was disconnected – the fuse did blow and I was able to use the quick disconnect at the battery. However, the hot wire (electrical power supply) did burn and melted most of its insulation. In this case, a 20 amp fuse carries allot of current – definitely enough to cook a wire. After returning home, the level of work to sort and rectify this problem was well beyond what I initially thought. It was essential that I trace the suspect wire back from the cigarette lighter all the way to the electrical wiring harness and beyond to find an area where the wire retained its solid insulation. My plan then was to run a new wire to the cigarette lighter in order to use it only as a USB charger. After 15 days of back breaking work behind the centre instrument gauge cluster, the driver’s side instrument panel and the centre console, I have removed the damaged wire and rerun a new wire.
I have also elected to change the original 20 amp fuse to a 10 amp, as there will be no longer a need for a cigarette lighter electrical draw. I have also repaired a ‘fusible link’ that had burnt (done its job) and I believe that it is part of the windshield wiper system. In 1968 there were 3 ‘fusible links’. One is associated with the starter relay, the other is associated with the horn relay and this one is located next to the wiper motor.
Systems, including all instrument back lighting and vacuum hoses were checked operational before I replaced all the panels. After a number of test drives and operational checks, my 1968 restomod has returned to pre-judging condition. I have a new-found respect for those who undertake refurbishing/restomod challenges.