You can fill a dictionary with the words Corvette owners have used to describe "America's Only True Sports Car."

When that dictionary gets to "therapeutic," you'll likely see Perry Orshan's modified '60 Vette there. "It's very therapeutic," he says. "I'll be in a bad mood or all stressed out, then I'll get in the car and take a ride in it. When I come back, all the stress is gone, and my wife likes the positive mood change. Maybe I should sell rides in it or something!"

It's also a trip back in time, and a tribute to another '60 Corvette that was once in his family. "My brother had a brand-new '60 fuelie in Roman Red," Orshan recalls. "We just had a ball with it, then took it off the street and raced it." With a built-to-run-hard 327, a 5.86-geared Olds rearend, and M&H Racemaster "pie crust" rear slicks, that C1 was a C/Modified Sports class-record holder at the old Westhampton Dragway on Long Island, running a best of 11.56 seconds at 118.23 mph in the quarter-mile.

"Later, we went different directions," Orshan says. "We got rid of the car and went into Fuel Dragsters, but I was always into Corvettes."

Fast forward to 2004. One of Orshan's best friends (one whose green '61 Corvette you've seen in this magazine's pages) called him up. "Butch White had a buddy who had this car in his garage, and he was looking to sell it. Butch called and asked if I was interested." Orshan didn't need any additional prompting.

Though the '60 in that garage stirred up some memories of that shifted-at-9,000-rpm Roman Red screamer of yesteryear, it was far from a driver. As Orshan recalls, "It was in pretty rough shape."

But not too far gone, and Orshan had plenty of help available nearby. "The bodywork was done by Fred Ciccarelli at The Paint Shop and Body Works, in Ledgewood, New Jersey," he says. "Fred's done several cars that have been in VETTE [including Lito Shepard's'06 Z06, which was our Oct. '12 cover car—Ed.]." Orshan adds that it was thanks to White that he and Ciccarelli came together to plan the '60's body renovation, as well as its eye- grabbing three-stage '07 Corvette Monterey Red finish.

Under the hood went a top-quality crate engine that Orshan got a real deal on. "I was going to build an engine myself, but I hadn't built one in many, many years," he remembers. "I got a phone call from somebody who knew somebody who had purchased this 383 Extreme crate engine from Smeding Performance, but he'd lost his job and needed to sell it."

That crate-fresh stroker small-block—good for 450 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque—was loaded by Smeding with top-quality parts like a new four-bolt-main GM Performance Parts block, a forged-steel crankshaft, 10:1 hypereutectic-aluminum pistons, forged-steel rods, a custom-grind hydraulic roller cam, and Edelbrock aluminum heads. "The guy gave it to me at such a terrific price that I couldn't say no." Orshan says. "I couldn't have built it for anywhere near that." He adds that the 383 will be tested at the dragstrip in the near future.

Once completed, Orshan's '60 was more than just a memory refresher and a rolling therapy session. "It really draws a crowd, no matter where it is," he says. One example came at the 50th Anniversary Reunion of 1960 Corvettes at Carlisle a few years back, which Orshan and his C1 were invited to attend. "There were 20 beautiful cars under that tent," he recalls. "There were survivors, there were restorations, but mine was the only one that had really been modified. My car created the biggest stir under that tent, out of all the cars that were there."

Orshan is quick to point out what he feels is his '60's most attractive feature: "It's that Monterey Red finish, and the quality of the paintjob that Fred did. It catches your eye and draws you to it. I absolutely love it."

If you're inspired to bring back your old Corvette memories by creating an updated one, Orshan's got some sound advice: Be patient. "Stay with it, and go into it with the mind-set that it's going to be a ‘money pit'—and I don't mean that in a negative way," he says. "If you're not willing to put in the time, the patience and the money—because they're always way, way over budget—you're setting yourself up for failure, and a difficult time."

And you won't end up with a 450hp stress-reliever and "Therapy Vette" like Orshan's.

Spec Sheet
1960 Chevy Corvette
Owner Perry Orshan; Ridgewood, NJ
Block GMPP cast iron with four-bolt mains
Displacement 383 ci
Heads Edelbrock aluminum
Valves 2.02/1.60-in stainless steel
Camshaft Custom-grind hydraulic roller
Pistons Hypereutectic aluminum
Compression Ratio 10:1
Crankshaft Forged-steel "stroker"
Carburetors Twin Edelbrock 500-cfm four-barrels
Intake Edelbrock Air Gap dual-plane
Ignition MSD electronic
Exhaust Hooker Competition headers and a custom 2½-in exhaust system
Transmission Borg-Warner Super T-10 four-speed
Clutch Centerforce Dual Friction
Rearend GM 12-Bolt with Positraction and 4.10 rear gears
Suspension Stock coil springs, wishbones, and unequal-length A-arms with tubular shocks (front); modified-stock parallel leaf springs with tubular shocks (rear)
Brakes Front disc/rear drum
Wheels Ansen Sprint cast aluminum; 15x6-in front, 15x8½-in rear
Tires Dunlop GT Qualifier radial; 215/70R15 front, 245/60R15 rear
Current Mileage Approximately 58,000