Scotty took Thumper to an upholstery shop for custom door panels with flame work and new carpeting, but that turned into a fiasco. When Scotty came back to collect the Vette, the shop was still not finished and time was of the essence. "By the time they were finished, the door panels weighed 20 pounds and looked thick, and the carpeting was not done as directed," reports Scotty. "On a rainy weekend, the door panels started to come undone and I was mad about the carpets. So I ripped everything out of the car and reworked it all myself!"
The entire interior is upholstered in black tweed and velour. Scotty handcrafted his own custom door panels with raised flames, as well as covering the T-top headliners with matching flame work. The dash and all paneling are covered by tweed. A pair of high-output amps are mounted on the back wall of the rear storage area-powering a pair of two-way speakers in the dash, two three-ways in the kick panels, and a pair of killer subwoofers mounted in the storage compartments behind the seats. Scotty rewired the entire car, adding a master cutoff switch on the floor of the rear between the subs. A purposeful, leather-wrapped custom steering wheel tops off the not-quite business-as-usual cockpit.
The exterior of the '78 was in respectable condition before the project began, already wearing a full line of Ecklers ground effects, including side skirts, a front air dam, and rear bumper with a lip spoiler. It also sports Ecklers bubble taillights. But, when Thumper came to be, "presentable," it was no longer good enough! A custom hood was required to provide more clearance space for the big-block, and since there isn't a wide variety of aftermarket hoods available, Scotty decided to build his own.
They crafted a functional, 3.5-inch raised cowl-induction hood, which sucks air in from the back through a pair of customized K&N filters and feeds it directly into the Holley carb. Once the hood was created, Scotty molded the Ecklers ground effects to the body, and he spent hours block-sanding the whole car. Gilbert at Finish Master stirred up a custom bright red PPG paint for Thumper, and Scotty shot the Vette with PPG DBU base and PPG 2042 clear before color-sanding and buffing it to a brilliant gleam. A set of billet 17x8 and 17x9.5-inch Boyd Coddington rims finish off Thumper's eye-grabbing appearance.
Dr. Richards' race-prepped street machine just radiates attitude and presence. Even though Thumper is discreetly quiet, there is no missing the fact that this Shark is not to be messed with. Few boy-racers in their Hondas or Mustangs will ever quibble about Thumper's right to be Top Dog on the streets of Lubbock, and boy will they be sorry if they do! This Thumper is certainly not cute and cuddly like Disney's cartoon character, but the sheer, wretched excess of the '78 gives us some serious warm-fuzzies!