It's what Corvettes are for, folks, and by the time Durham was finished going through as many gears as we could safely access on a public road, he and I were both laughing like a couple of schoolboys. It's true: The worst day with your Corvette is better than . . . well, most other things.

While the Nu Vintage '67 wasn't the first fire-breathing midyear into whose seats I'd dropped, there was a profound difference between it and the others. Where most early Vettes have a tenuous, wandering feel-the sensation of just barely being on top of something raw and powerful, but only nominally in control of it-from the passenger's seat the Nu Vintage car felt solid, as though it were well and truly connected to the ground. In the place of the chassis flex you would expect, it felt flat, firm and responsive. Power delivery was instantaneous and seemingly endless, while braking was controllable and certain.

In short, the car delivered everything you would expect from a Corvette made in the past 10 years. This is the paradigm shift that Nu Vintage represents. The resto crowd carries the tremendous burden of keeping our history alive, while also ensuring there's enough of a market to keep factory-spec Vette parts in production. But that's not for all Corvettes, and it's not for all Corvette owners. Some cars are simply too far gone-too damaged, customized, or just plain deteriorated-to be candidates for a code-correct rebuild, and many Vette owners don't want to incur the risk of using a pristine showpiece as a daily driver.

The Nu Vintage approach, meanwhile, represents a respectful way to bring older-generation Corvettes up to modern performance levels, ensuring that the can not only can be owned, but also enjoyed, well into the future.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to see their LS7-powered '65.

Car '67 Corvette Sting Ray
Owner Jim Durham, Nu Vintage Corvettes
Block Stock LS2 aluminum
Pistons Stock LS2 cast aluminum
Rods Stock LS2 powdered-metal steel
Displacement 364 ci
Compression Ratio 10.9:1
Heads Stock LS2 aluminum
Valves Stock 2.00/1.55
Camshaft Stock LS2 hydraulic roller; 0.500/0.500-in.
lift, 200/203-deg. duration at 0.050
Rocker Arms Stock LS2, 1.7 ratio
Crankshaft Stock nodular iron
Intake Manifold Stock LS2 composite
Ignition Stock LS2 coil-on-plug
Exhaust System Custom 2.5-in. with Magnaflow mufflers
Transmission Tremec 5-speed manual
Clutch Stock LS2
Chassis Street Shop custom
Steering Rack-and-pinion, 16:1 ratio
Front Suspension '96 Corvette with poly bushings, adjustable
Aldan American coilovers set to 400 pounds
Rear Suspension '96 Corvette with poly bushings, adjustable
Aldan American coilovers set to 300 pounds
Rear End Dana 44 with 3.45 gears
Front Brakes ZR-1/J55 (13-in. disc, 2-piston caliper)
Rear Brakes ZR-1/J55 (12-in. disc, 1-piston caliper)
Wheels 17 x 9.5-in. American Racing Torq Thrust
Tires Sumitomo 255/45-17
Weight Approx. 2,850 pounds
Current Mileage None (new)
Miles Driven Weekly N/A
Nu Vintage Corvettes
233 Round Top Dr.
Dept. VM
AL  35749
Wood's Body Shop
Street Shop, Inc.
2270 Hwy. 31 S.
Dept. VM
AL  35611