427 Stingray – Lou Notaro’s Rallye Red Dream Car
Utter the words 427 Stingray to any car guy and his eyes light up. The 427 Stingray is one of America’s most cherished beasts from the muscle car era, but the Corvette brand struck a chord with sports car enthusiasts as well. The drag-centric 60s and 70s muscle cars like hemis, GTOs and Camaros couldn’t ever match the universal appeal of a Corvette. That’s why the brand still carries so much weight even to this day.
New Jersey’s Lou Notaro had always dreamed of a big block C2 Corvette but as we all know, life gets in the way with mortgage payments, children and all the trappings of parenthood. He was introduced to Corvettes as a youngster when his uncle drove up one day in a ’69 Vette. The hook was set.
As he went through life, he owned and parted with nearly a dozen Corvettes of all vintages but a big block second gen ‘Vette had always eluded him. That is until one day when some Corvette enthusiast friends turned him on to a rumored “barn find” – a 1967 Rally Red 427 Stingray with factory air and those iconic side pipes.
Upon arrival at the “barn” – the car was there alight but it was in shambles, boxes of parts strewn all over. Though it wasn’t pretty, it was a numbers-matching carcass and drivetrain. Lou had found what he had been looking for. The ’67 was extra appealing as it was the curtain call for the second generation C2.
He took the car (and all of the spider web coated boxes of parts) to Egg Harbor, New Jersey’s Starlight Restorations. Starlight Restoration’s owner Doug Ims had made a name for himself restoring classic Corvettes and had really just started gathering steam as a new shop at the time Lou brought in the C2. Let’s put it this way – at the end of Lou’s restoration, Starlight became a household name on the Eastern Seaboard as the right spot to have your ‘Vette rebuilt, modded or tuned.
Lou’s Rally Red C2 was restored to concours specifications from the L68 Tri-power big block, the F41 suspension, the shoulder belts, side pipes Muncie M21 trans, black guts and even the Frigidair A/C compressor. This is a spot-on restoration Mr Duntov would approve himself. It was completed in 2015 and has won virtually every show its entered.
When we went out to nearby Renault Winery to shoot the car, necks were stretching to glimpse the red rocket. As we got time to sit in and look over the car, the details really came to life. The pristine lines, the stinger stripe on the hood, the black interior – everything refinished and sparking. The triangular chrome 3×2 air cleaner looked as though it was liquid mercury – so smooth and perfect. The fittings, the hoses, the wiring, the hugger orange valve covers – it was like a candy store. The rally wheels dimple free and the red stripe tires looking fresh as a daisy.
And its driven! When we came back to the shop from the Winery grounds, Doug opened up the three two-barrels offering a thunderous roar drive by. We couldn’t get enough.
We wonder which Jersey kid will get the ‘Vette bug when they see Lou’s 427 Stingray streaking by. That’s how it all starts!