As the project’s scope grew, so did the engine’s. Don had moved up from a small-block to an LS7, but wasn’t thrilled with the cost of a basic motor but, being a fan of the Corvette, came up with another solution: What about doing something different to an LS3? After the idea of a twin-turbo setup came up, the next logical step was to have a T56 six-speed box bolted in behind it. The 376-inch’s short block was assembled at Heintz Automotive in Statesville, North Carolina, using K1 forged H-beam rods with ARP bolts, Wiseco LS-series forged pistons (set up with 9.4:1 compression), a COMP Cams LSR camshaft, and a factory LS3 crankshaft. From there PVW continued the assembly with stock LS3 heads and rockers plus a Vintage Air Front Runner water pump and belt system. The intake is special in that it starts with an LS3 intake with an LS1 throttle body, and incorporates Aeromotive billet fuel rails and FAST injector nozzles running at a regulated 68 pounds of fuel pressure. Tanks Inc. made up an internally baffled tank that looks stock, and a custom PVW fuel pickup works with an Aeromotive electric fuel-injection pump to feed the beast. Forcing the induction are a pair of 67mm TiAL/Garrett T4 turbos with twin 44mm wastegates and two 38mm blow-off valves.

Other engine goodies include a 140-amp alternator, a dual-core crossflow radiator from Be Cool (cooled by twin 11-inch Be Cool fans), custom PVW stainless steel headers that feed the turbos, and a 3-inch stainless steel exhaust that runs to a pair of polished Kooks stainless mufflers and then to the back of the car. To complement the Borg-Warner T56 six-speed transmission, a heavy-duty Camaro SS clutch disc and pressure plate were also installed.

With the chassis and drivetrain done, attention turned to the body. Though the original idea was not to tamper with the classic lines some changes had to be done to make everything work together, such as raising the front wheel opening 3-1/2 inches and reshaping the radius. The same work was done to the rear, too, though only by 1-3/4 inches. Whatever connected to the old chassis (floorpans, transmission tunnel, rocker panels, rear wheel tubs, trunk pan, and the lower rockers) were all replaced, and the firewall moved forward 1 inch (to accommodate some interior gear) though recessed 4 inches around the motor. Custom rock guards were fabbed for inside the wheelwells and the original two-piece hood was widened 1 inch and converted to a single, one-piece hood. The stock two-piece windshield was also replaced with single (Oldsmobile) one-piece glass, the bumpers were converted from three-piece to one-piece, and even the grille was minimized. As simple as the car appears, Simonson says PVW has 350 hours in bodywork and prep, and that’s before a drop of the extensive paintjob was applied. For that, they started with PPG DCC 9300 Black paint, adding two coats of base and then three coats of a 50/50 mix of black and clear, which was then followed by three coats of DCU Integrated Clear. Then, after endless wet sanding and buffings, the exterior was finished.

Last on the list was the interior, though it didn’t suffer from a lack of attention. The interior’s look was lifted directly from an ’06 Pontiac GTO—right down to the seats and door panels, though neither in stock form.

Headrests were cut off the GTO seats to create lowbacks and were recovered in leather by Pharr’s Custom Trim Shop in Iron Station, North Carolina. The GTO’s door panels were cut apart, refit to the ’50 Chevy door, covered in leather, and with allowances for the Nu-Relics power windows, GTO interior door handles, ’50 Chevy exterior handles (and door lock mechanism), power door locks, and updated bearclaw latches. See? Easy!