Backing up the reinvigorated rat motor is a McLeod flywheel and dual-disc clutch assembly, and Donald replaced the original M21 Muncie with a Richmond Super T10 four-speed. After reuniting the big-block and chassis, he set-up a fuel system using a pair of 140-gph Mallory electric pumps with a return-style pressure regulator. The exhaust needs are handled by a set of ceramic-coated Hooker headers linked to a custom-fabbed 2 1/2-inch, mandrel-bent set of pipes, and the noise level is held down to quasi-legal levels with a pair of Flowmaster three-chamber mufflers. To keep the beast cool, Donald opted for a Be Cool aluminum radiator, aided by dual 2,200-cfm electric fans and affixed an Edelbrock Victor Series aluminum water pump to the front of the big-block.

Concurrently, Donald had the ratty body in the shop at American Custom Industries in Sylvania, Ohio. Like most of us, he'd always thought of ACI as a purveyor of stock and custom Corvette body panels until he saw a Vette that had been treated to an ACI rehab session. The talented crew at ACI handled the relatively minor sheetmetal structural repairs, worked over the old 'glass until it was better than new, then swathed the refurbished shell in multiple layers of clear-coated Marlboro Red.

With the chassis, powertrain, and body united, Donald was on the homestretch. He restored the black deluxe interior with a couple exceptions. Tucked away behind the seats is the bottle for a 90hp "fogger" nitrous system, just in case the thunderous big-block doesn't provide thrills enough. And as Donald told us, "Man does not live by horsepower alone!" So to supplement the deep melodies emanating from the Flowmasters, there's also a custom audio system that includes a Kenwood in-dash stereo with 10-disc CD controller, a 200-watt/four-channel amp, 200-watt mono-subwoofer amp, and eight speakers (six Infinity Kappa 4x6 plates and a pair of 8-inch kickers).

For a final, contemporary yet classic look, Donald fitted his convertible with Cragar S/S 61 Series wheels-but 17 inchers instead of the 15-inch diameter original wheels. The fronts are OE width (8 inches) while the rears measure 9 inches across, and all four utilize 4.5-inch backspacing. The tires are equally modern-BFGoodrich G-Force KDs with 245/45s on the nose and bigger 275/40s at the aft end.

What started off as a barely drivable pile with potential has evolved-thanks to a massive infusion of time, labor, and carefully selected parts-into a superbly crafted restification. Donald Delmar's '70 Stingray pays tribute to the vision of its creators. It's fast and flashy, oozes attitude, and manages to be classic, classy, and contemporary. It really is picture perfect.