The interior received an update as well. The original speedo was re-used, but the other instruments are VDOs, recessed into the dash to look a bit more stock. The Recaro power seats, however, are easily the most noticeable interior mod. "A car that's meant to be driven requires comfortable seats," according to Pierceall, so with some minor trimming of the rear doorjambs, the high-backs were slipped in. Conveniently, they clear both the soft and hard tops.
When it came time for paint, a price-check on premium paint jobs convinced Pierceall that he should learn to do it himself. Pierceall prepped the body and laid down the eye-catching Pearl Blue in his garage, then rewired the '60 and completely reassembled it. Finishing touches include Ford electric mirrors and remote decklid release, along with a Rockford-Fosgate AM/FM/CD stereo.
However, all was not perfect immediately. The 2,900-pound '60 weighs roughly 400 pounds less than a '96 Grand Sport, making the stock GS springs much too stiff. A "soft ride" rear spring provided the ride quality that Pierceall was looking for, but the front end needed more work, which led to Dick Guldstrand's Culver City (California) shop for a handling evaluation. The solution was to yank out the GS transverse spring and replace it with a pair of custom-valved Bilstein coilovers with 350-pound springs. The result, Pierceall tell us, is a "nice, compliant ride, with great handling capabilities, minus teeth-jarring road manners."
Which is perfect for the duty this car sees. The first trip for Pierceall and his refurbished Vette was to Hot August Nights in Reno. The '60 has since logged 45,000 miles logged in its current incarnation. There've been a half-dozen or so trips to Southern California, a cross-country trip, and a "sprint" through Montana before speed limits became more strictly enforced. Speaking of speed...we're told that the '60 has topped out at 162 mph, but couldn't get any details about that particular run.
There's no problem getting Pierceall to talk about his several trips to the aforementioned Silver State Classic, where he runs in the 110-mph class. Bill relishes the chance to give his Vette a good workout, and especially enjoys the rock-walled "Narrows," the five twisty and infamous miles near the end of the 90-mile course. "My '60 can take The Narrows at 115 with no sweat," he tells us. "Maybe more, but my pucker factor needs some work."
The '60 draws a lot of attention. "You can't be self-conscious when you drive this car," he tells us. "And the attention feeds my ego. But I can live without the attention, for the simple reason that it's an absolute joy to drive. It's more than transportation, more than an old Corvette...it's the 'thing' about that old car." Sounds to us like it's a helluva fun thing, too.Bill Pierceall invites everyone to visit his website at http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/iddudidduf/index.html