The stock fuel injectors get the job done, as does the original LS7 ignition system, but it was up to Ed Hutchings to tune the engine to its maximum capability on a chassis dyno. The results of his efforts were 596 hp and 522 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels, meaning Cleary's LS7 is making more than 700 hp at the flywheel--with no power adder! Incredibly, this potent combination is good for as much as 27 mpg on the highway, though Cleary admits the figure is dependent on the amount of throttle input provided. At any speed, the '67 has a surprisingly mellow exhaust note, even though it features a set of stainless-steel headers with equal-length 1-7/8-inch primaries. These lead to a length of 3-inch piping capped with stainless Flowmaster 50 Series mufflers. The LS7 stays cool with a DeWitts custom aluminum radiator fitted with dual Spal electric fans.

Cleary's Corvette definitely makes massive power and handles like a new Vette, but let's not forget about the flawless aesthetics found both inside and out. The car started with very little of the body intact, so K&L Enterprises in Martinsburg, West Virginia, had its hands full. The crew at K&L installed the Sermersheim jig-assembled nose and fabricated a radiator support to make room for the carbon-fiber intake ductwork. They also designed and built a new hood-hinge system, so the hood would lift up and out, instead of down and inside the engine bay. From there, it was a matter of straightening and aligning the body panels in preparation for a coating of black paint with a titanium stinger stripe. After the Dupont basecoat/clearcoat materials were allowed to cure, the guys at K&L sanded and buffed the fresh finish to perfection.

Inside is a stylish interior by David Wells Custom Upholstery, using C5 sport seats and stock-type door panels. The dash is mostly OEM by design, but the original gauges have been tossed in favor of Auto Meter Pro-Comp units, which are the perfect size for the C2 dash insert. Auxiliary gauges and warning lights reside in the center of the dash, where the heater controls and radio once lived. The controls for the Vintage Air A/C and stereo system are hidden from plain sight, but it's still easy for Cleary to adjust the creature comforts to his liking.

Overall, the car doesn't skimp in any aspect; it simply does everything well. It handles corners with ease, it blazes a trail down the quarter-mile, and it offers plenty of comfort. So far, Cleary has been very successful on the dragstrip, posting a best of 10.77 seconds at 132 mph on hard street radials at the 2011 Holley LS Fest, held in Bowling Green, Kentucky. That's where we met Cleary, and that's where he put his flawlessly assembled Corvette to the test in a number of activities. Perhaps not surprisingly, it handled each task with aplomb and lived through all the abuse. Great looks and big-time power with performance to back it up--what more could a Corvette lover ask for?


SPECSHEET



'67 CONVERTIBLE



OWNER
  • Jeff Cleary; Chesapeake, VA
BLOCK
  • Stock aluminum
DISPLACEMENT
  • 427 ci
COMPRESSION RATIO
  • 11.0:1
HEADS
  • Stock with PSI valve- springs
VALVES
  • Stock 2.200 tita- nium/1.610 sodium filled
CAMSHAFT
  • Katech Torquer
ROCKER ARMS
  • Stock 1.8 ratio
PISTONS
  • Stock hypereutectic aluminum
CRANKSHAFT
  • Stock forged steel
RODS
  • Stock forged titanium
INTAKEMANIFOLD
  • CustomMarcella sheetmetal
FUEL PUMP
  • Walbro in-tank
IGNITION
  • Stock coil-on-plug
EXHAUST SYSTEM
  • Stainless 1-7/8-in headers with 3-in piping and flowmaster mufflers
TRANSMISSION
  • Rockland Standard Gear T56
CLUTCH
  • Exedy twin Disc
DRIVESHAFT
  • Denny's 3-in chromemoly
FRONT SUSPENSION
  • C5 with QA1 coilovers
REAR SUSPENSION
  • C4 with VBP adjustable links
REAREND
  • Dana 44 with 3.90 gears
FRONT BRAKES
  • Baer Extreme 6s
REAR BRAKES WHEELS
  • Baer Extreme 6s
FRONT TIRES
  • Nitto 555, 275/35R18
REAR TIRES
  • Nitto 555, 275/35R18
FUEL OCTANE
  • 93
WEIGHT
  • 3,060 lbs