With the Shark in good running order, they then focused attention on the poor Vette's body. The '78 was taken to Robinsons Brothers Body Shop right there in Dover, where Jim's friends Donald and Ronald began disassembling the fiberglass panels. They stripped the car down to its original gel coat, did all the necessary repairs, and made an '80-82 rear bumper cap blend properly onto the '78. When all the bodywork was complete, they fit a new black soft top onto a '75 convertible frame, and then installed the properly fitting and operating factory drop-top mechanism onto the former coupe. To complete the correct convertible conversion, '75 windows and a windshield top runner were also adapted. All the details from behind the doors back are from a '75, while an '82 nose cone further defines this Silver Anniversary Vette's unique style. Rolling on 15x8-inch Centerline Hellcats that wear 235 and 255/60-15 BFGoodrich radials also give it a timeless yet personal look.
Because the '78 originally rolled of the St. Louis assembly line as a Silver Anniversary Edition, Jim and the gang opted to retain the original color scheme. Robinsons Brothers sprayed the Vette with the factory two-tone Silver Anniversary paint scheme, then augmented it with some tasteful painted stripes. The added stripes, which are the same darker silver used on the Silver Anniversary's lower body, are very subtle and really enhance the shape of the Shark body.
When, at last, it came time to refurbish the Corvette's interior, they took the same approach as with the exterior. The Silver Anniversary Shark was originally sold with an oyster leather interior, and it still appears as so today. Everything short of the gauges has been replaced. A stock AC Delco stereo lies within the factory replacement dashboard, with stock front speakers and a set of Pioneers added in the rear. The replacement oyster door panels and leather-wrapped steering wheel are accented nicely by the gray pile loop carpeting, while seats from an '82 Vette look perfectly natural in the Anniversary's cockpit-disguised in their leather oyster upholstery.
Obviously, many people approve of his enhancements, as it has won a number of show awards, including the National Corvette Museum's Choice Award at Eureka Springs in 2002. Jim is very proud of how unique the Silver Anniversary convertible looks. Jim says, "Yes, I know there have been conversions made on some of the cars, but I consider mine one of a kind. With it being a true Silver Anniversary Edition, a special touch to the striping and with a '82 bumper for some extra curve and the sleek '82 seats, I think mine stands out. But it also looks natural; like it was meant to be from Chevrolet."
It's the convertible Chevrolet never offered, but should have!