That’s right, Street Shop also offers their mandrel formed rectangular tube chassis for the C1, C2, & C3 Corvettes utilizing the most up to date suspension system available in the automotive market today. You can have the same technology that powers the awesome ZR1 and C6 Z06 under your 1953-1982 Corvette.
Street Shop has specifically designed the chassis so that it can be configured in two ways:
- Street Shop’s preferred approach is to use an open driveshaft configuration with a forward mounted transmission. 4 speed, TKO 5 speed, or auto all work fine. Couple this with a proven variation of the Dana 44 differential and you have an unbeatable combination with flexibility, performance, and great looks. Furthermore, this option only requires floor modifications for the storage area behind the seats. Nothing in the passenger compartment is touched! (See pictures below labeled "c6 Chassis Without Torque Tube")
- As an alternative we can incorporate the C5 transaxle and torque tube assembly although this is not our preferred approach. This provides the “perfect” front-to-rear weight distribution, but at a cost, the transaxle will require significant floor pan, tunnel, and seat modifications. (See pictures below labeled "c5 Chassis With Torque Tube")
Performance vehicles are greatly defined by the suspension systems they use. While many OEM variations exist for “Average” production cars, most people still associate a “4-link rear” or even a “strut frontend” as being drag racing oriented terms. Hi performance, track specific, purpose built race cars even share production components with their street legal brethren. For example, the triangulated 4 link rear was made popular on the early Chevelles. Independent rear suspension was made popular in the US primarily by the Corvette. The common unequal length arm on the front suspension setups on most cars actually started appearing on passenger cars in the mid 1950s.
No matter what the terminology or basic design elements, all suspension systems have one common function: wheel control. Vehicular dynamics depend on it. Drag racing cars want the front wheels to be straight up; no camber and lots of caster! Road cars prefer a good camber gain curve and less caster for better cornering. Every OEM manufacturer has their own variation of all the basic suspension combinations.
Which setup is best? Intended application is the first question to be asked. Many vehicle specific questions will follow, but the final answer can still depend somewhat on personal preference or some other outside requirement that pushes us to make compromises. That is the exact issue we face in our pusuit of improving the performance of the early Corvette. Right or wrong, we have chosen to stay true to the Corvette’s heritage and legacy, while incorporating the more modern Corvette suspension under the old Corvettes.
C4, C5, and C6 have their own benefits and disadvantages. For example, the 1984-1996 suspension packages allow for an excellent fit under the stock floor pans with little or no modifications. We can also fit vintage style wheels and high performance brakes while maintining the classic look of the old Corvette. The c4 can, however, have somewhat of a choppy ride. Rear cradle design and transaxle mounting points make the 1997-2004 suspensions attractive in a retrofit scenario. These components lend themselves easily to the modifications required for the more narrow track widths of the older cars. 2005-current Corvette suspension provides more adjustability, the best production brakes, and still provides the best ride characteristics
Costs aside, the c6 has some great advantages for wheel choices, tire sizes, ride, handling, big brakes etc, but it has the drawback of floorpan modification. If you want ultimate performance, but you do not want to sacrifice your original car, then c4 suspension is your best Choice. If cost is the priority, then perhaps C5. The final decision lies in the weighting placed on each compromise.
Bottom Line, when starting your corvette project, spend some time and decide what you want from your old Corvette, then call Street Shop for the best combination of performance and technology for you!