Arguably, the two cars that restorers frown upon modifying are Tri-Five Chevys and the Corvette. But back in the 1950s the Corvette was just a fresh, innovative, stylish, sporty car made out of a new futuristic material called fiberglass. It didn't take long before the hot rod and custom crowd started modifying these high-end cars to suit their needs, whether it be for the drags or for show. The wildest of these was Ron Aguirre's ground-breaking bubbletopped and juiced 1956 Corvette, the "X-Sonic." But more par for the course of these custom Vettes were examples like Long Beach Renegades club member Darol Jorgensen's 1957 model. We'd classify his second version of the car as a "mild custom," with an owner-applied candy apple red paintjob with wild gold Watson flames. It would be cool to see a comeback of these stylish Vettes, but today's high value collector market will probably hinder many possibilities.
Under the hood, a Chevy V-8 features a dual-quad setup and finned accessory valve covers. The front fender scoops have trim teeth added, and a 1958 Ford donated the front grille mesh and quad headlights. Front fenders have been extended. Glitter was used as an accent on the dash and hubcaps, which resulted in a new trend. 1955 Oldsmobile taillights and Buick portholes were added to the rear fenders. A 1958 Chevy Impala roof scoop was centered above the back window and 1955 Dodge Lancer hubcaps and chrome lakes pipes finish off the "look." Photos by Pat Broiler/Petersen Archive.