427 Stingray, Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

When we visited Starlight Restorations a few weeks back, we were struck by how impressive Ims and his Starlight Restorations team were. They had five Corvettes in various stages of construction. Though they build and work on anything hot (they had an original Camaro Pace Car and a ’33 Ford on hand), Ims’ passion and expertise lie in all things Corvette. He’s one of the best there is at bringing them to concours-winning levels.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve427 Stingray, Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve427 Stingray, Corvette, Fuel Curve

You know the drill on cars like this – the judges have to see the correct stamps, codes and every minute detail to the lug nuts and make sure its all factory correct. Lou’s Corvette is that and then some with a wall full of blue ribbons to prove it.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

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.

427 Stingray Corvette, Fuel Curve

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!

Senior Editor, Digital Media

With three decades of automotive journalism under his belt, John Drummond serves as Senior Editor – Digital Media for Fuel Curve and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association where he has worked since 1990. Drummond got his start in motorsports reporting by making a fake press pass to gain starting line access. The ruse worked and he began covering auto races as far back as 1986 in Northern California, eventually getting his stories published worldwide. He has owned and driven everything from a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to a ridiculously modded Subaru WRX as well as a string of Mercedes AMG’s, most of which had the warranties voided the day after leaving the dealership.

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