Rat Pack Muscle Cars


1969 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

RPO ~ ZL-1 Replica (Resto-mod)






Her other names: Betty and  69 DIRTY RAT (forum name)
Start of rebuild Mark II… January 2005
Finished rebuild…. April 2006


" CLASSIC FABRICATIONS, Fairy Meadow, NSW, Australia 
(02) 4284 2896





" Donovan  D500 9.8 Aluminum Block
" Dart Pro1 325cc Aluminum Heads
" Moroso Street/Strip Oil Pan, Oil Pump & Pick Up
" HP Harmonic Balancer
" Internally Balanced & Professionally Blueprinted
" MSD Electronic Ignition. Pro Billet Dist, MSD-6AL
ignition control, Blaster SS Coil.
" Holley long runner intake and fuel rails
" Holley 2000cfm throttle body (more like 1400-1500cfm!),
Formally a 950cfm Demon Carb.
" ? fuel injectors
" Autronic engine management system
" Powermaster Hi-Torque Mini Starter Motor
" Powermaster Alternator 140amp (Crap…only lasted 3 years!)
" Mahle Custom Coated 10.5-1 Forged Pistons
" Comp Cams "StreetRoller" Cam & Kit
" Comp Cams 1.7 Pro Magnum Roller Rockers
" Crane (HIPPO) Extreme Duty Solid Roller Lifters
" Eagle 4340 3D Steel Rods w/L19 Rod Bolts
" Callies 4340 Dragonslayer Crank
" Billet Specialties Tru-Trak Serpentine system with A/C & Power steering
" Edelbrock high flow water pump

" Engine Dyno'd @ Factory - 712.5 HP (531KW) @ 6100RPM, 688.9 lb/ft Torque (934Nm)@ 4600RPM (date) "NOW" - Dyno'd  (16 Feb 09) 755 BHP (563KW) & 734ft/lbs (995Nm), That's 629rwhp (469rwKW).


" Tremec TKO-600 5-speed  Ratios: 2.87, 1.89, 1.28, 1.0, 0.64
" McLeod street twin Clutch
" Lakewood Clutch housing
" Stock looking custom Hurst Shifter
" Chromoly Steel Drive shaft


" Tom's Heavy duty Diff, 3.73 ratio + Tom's Heavy duty Half Shafts





" FRONT- C6 Calipers 14in slotted Rotor
" BACK - Wilwood calipers with slotted/drilled rotors (Standard size Rotors)

" Hooker Dual Side Pipes - 2 1/8 Primaries, 4 inch collector, 4 inch pipes
" Car Chemistry muffler inserts
" Extra muffler Quietening by GT Motor Sport, Kirrawee


STREET: " INTRO 18 x 10 Pentia, soft lip. 18 x 12 Pentia soft lip.
" Michelin Pilot sport 275/35ZR18 (front), Bridgestone 345/35ZR18 (rear)

TRACK: CCW 18 x 10 front, 18 x 101/2 rear. Hoosier 275/35-18 and 335/35-18

" Be Cool, USA. Aluminum
"Twin Electric fans


" Composite Monospring Front & Back (Fiberglass)
" Sway bars 1 ¼inch  front ¾ inch back
" Bilstein gas shocks
" Polyurethane bushes 
" Heavy duty Upper / Lower A-Arms, Lighter square tube
" Spreader Bar - links front shocks
" Smart Struts & Performance Camber Rod Kit
" Chromoly X bar linking chassis

" Heavy Duty off-set Trail arms

" STEEROIDS Rack & Pinion

" Debeers, Brilliant Black, White (custom color)

" Custom Seats
" Radio Delete plate
" Autometer Tach/shift light


" L-88/ZL-1 Body Flare kit
" Electrified headlight system by Chris McDonald @...  http://www.mcspeed.com/
" Electrified wiper door actuator by Motion Technologies Australia. Also info @ http://www.mcspeed.com/
" Paint by Jason @ Classic Fabrications Pty Ltd
" Engine & Chassis Strengthening, Roll bar Metal Fabrication by Classic Fabrications Pty Ltd
" Le Mans Fuel Filler Cap
" Auto Meter Gauges (behind Radio delete plate)
" Mechanical Repairs, Jeff @ GT Motorsport, Kirrawee
" Weight of car 1500kg (3300lbs)


The whole kit!



In Race Trim


CREDITS, People that went out of the way to give great service!


" Jason Cavenagh, Classic Fabrications Pty Ltd (02) 42842896 and team, Frank Memedi, Thomas Kramer and Ross (Electrical), Ronnie, Neil (copped singed hair and exhaust burn!) Jason's team has built/restored many different types of vehicles from trucks to Jags, MGs, Austin Healeys, Holden's, Fords Chevy's (including several Corvettes)

" Jeff Bryant, CRANKY MECHANIC 0418298296, Very Knowledgeable about engines & mechanicals Performance and Non Performance of all kinds! Jeff also has and sells a big range of engine plumbing parts and AC Cobra parts.

" Wayne, A1 Automotive, Sylvania (02) 95228988. Knows his Chevy Small & Big Blocks. Has Chassis Dyno.
" W F Rogers Transport (Wollongong), Wayne 0439 722 465 Car towing, with care.

" Select Towing (Kirrawee), Chris & Rick (02) 95453464 Car towing, with care.


" Moanie.B.Roberts, Financial Controller and Partner of 15 years!

" Stephen Debattista, Matt James, George Michael, Gary Lackersteen, John Yelash, Paul Boschert

" Cameron McLean

" Fred Ogden, Southern Radiators, Blakehurst.

" Steve Thomson

" Steve Busittil




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Betty was made in September 1969, first sold at Economy Chevrolet in California and registered 8th November 1970. She was originally white, 427/390hp. I have the tank sticker and is in reasonably good condition.


When I was younger I would dream of the Unbelievable 1969 427 Corvette L-88 and even better the 427 Corvette ZL-1 with its all Aluminum Big Block engine of which only 3 (2 production & 1 race car) were built, with upwards of 580-600+hp from the factory and anybody that knew of these Corvettes could walk down to the nearest Chevy dealer and order one! Remember this was 1969 when Australia's most powerful production car would have been struggling at around 250hp!


I never thought I would ever own a ZL-1 (with the 2 ZL-1 Vettes worth in the multi millions now!), well many years later I have built and finished my all time dream car! It's not an exact replica/clone car but I built it with Resto-mod in mind.

This was the first time I saw her!

My Corvette story begins when I was living in California, USA One of the first things I did after finding/renting an apartment in Santa Monica was to look for a 1969 Corvette. I found a White 1969 Big Block 427 390hp Corvette in Burbank California and bought it on the 15th May 1999 for $8000US.


The problem was though that it had the engine & interior out. The engine and interior were in the guy's garage. He informed me it was a Barn find and had been sitting in the barn since 1985! Because I knew nothing really about Corvettes at the time I asked him if he could put it together to make it road worthy.

About 3 months later the Corvette had been put back together and painted a beautiful red. It was mostly Numbers matching and never hit! I drove it home after another payment of another $8000, total $16000.

Whilst living in the U.S we (my Aussie partner) clocked up plenty of miles! My partner even took it to do our grocery shopping because we had no second vehicle yet. We even went on a road trip (with a big red suitcase on the former luggage rack) up the Pacific Coast Highway to attend the World famous 'Concours de elegance' car show in Monterey California (no I didn't enter the Vette!). After the event we traveled back through the desert back to Santa Monica.

This is where Betty was first sold. It was called "Economy Chevrolet" back in 1970


Jan 2002 I returned to Australia. I shipped the Corvette back to Sydney.
I joined N.S.W Corvettes Unlimited Car Club to meet other Corvette enthusiasts in Australia.


In 2004 I felt I needed a change. It had been over five years since first buying her. There were too many red Corvettes in Corvette club. I wanted to make a statement! After looking and researching ideas for months, I thought, "why can't I build my dream car, the Corvette ZL-1"? I even researched into buying a real ZL-1 engine and parts, but was discouraged by the $30,000US price tag just for the engine block. Also, trying to find correct parts, restore and build a correct replica from far away in Australia would have been extremely difficult. The other point against building an exact replica is that it would be too precious to drive and enjoy, I wanted to drive it. So I research performance parts instead. There were many yellow ZL-1 Corvette replicas in the U.S already, so to be different I thought why not make a replica of the White/black stripe ZL-1 Corvette except to make it opposite in color - Black/White stripe.


I had never seen anyone else do this. But I wanted something even better. I wanted to make a big bad brother of the white/black stripe Vette. I ordered an all aluminum Standard deck (to fit it under the hood) 540ci big block performance crate engine, modernized suspension, and correct style L-88 / ZL-1 race flares and cold air intake hood.


I ordered all the parts and sent the Corvette down to Jason at Classic Fabrications on January 2005. There were not too many problems with the build apart from the waiting for Parts. Jason and his team did an unbelievable job both in transforming my thoughts to reality and in the superior quality work. The ZL-1 was finished and road registered in April 2006. Just in time for our National Corvette Convention.


The 2006 National Corvette Convention was held at Penrith Panthers west of Sydney over Easter. I secured my 1st trophy for best Corvette in the 1968-72 'Personal' category and the 'Penrith Panthers Choice' award. It made all the work and wait worth while.

2006 Australian National Corvette Convention

When I'm out cruising, my Corvette is constantly pointed at by kids and adults alike. People unaware of what brand/model car it is are complimenting me. Cars swerve in and out of traffic to catch up for a look. There are many pictures taken from cell (mobile) phones as passengers contort themselves through the window to get a snap, its just amazing!

I want to be able to go down the ¼ mile at least in the 11's. I want to compete with more modern cars on the circuit tracks, hill climbs and still drive it on the street. I wanted an engine that was powerful yet streetable. I think 700+ horsepower is 'just' streetable! With its combination of Big Block light weight aluminum engine (weighs as little as an iron Small Block), huge tires, new Composite (fiberglass) springs, Bilstein gas shocks, huge stabilizer bars, spreader bar in front of the engine and chassis strengthening, this Corvette flies around corners. The handling is unbelievable; she stays perfectly flat around corners.


Side pipes on C3 (1968-82) Corvettes were a 1969 only option. So I had to have them.  With 4 inch Collectors & exit pipes, it sounds/grumbles like it means business.


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In April 2007 Jeff (GT Motorsport) Fabricated and installed a 100 litre fuel tank and installed 'Tom's' Heavy Duty Diff, half shafts and axles.


In January 2009, Wayne (A1 Automotive) installed the Holley Fuel Injection System. The manifold was shaved down to fit under the L88 hood. I was very happy with the Horsepower figures! Factory hp was up from 712hp (with no accessories on the engine) to 755hp (includes Power steering and Aircon) flywheel.

Not without problems though! The brand new MSD distributor (#8366) had a faulty Ignition Module. I contacted MSD customer service (in US) several times; they say they sent a replacement. A month later it never arrived, so I called again, they say they sent another (after checking my address) it eventually arrived! But I ordered (and had to pay!) an ignition Module from Summit racing and received it in 5 days! To Australia! It doesn't say much for MSD Customer Service!

Next the Powermaster alternator died! It was only 3 years old! What's up with that! The consensus was the alternator was faulty from new also!! Because I was never really getting more than 12v from new!

Then, the brand new (Walbro) fuel pump died! 
Then the Holley ECU started to play up!!!!!!! So I dumped the Holley and went for a Autronic ECU.
Can't anybody make things properly these days?


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