The disassembly of our red 1963 Corvette continues with the front end of the car. As always the meticulous documentation continues which ultimately pays off in the end during reassembly. We have removed the 1963 Corvettes front bumper, license plate holder, grill, grill surround, headlights, and cowl vents. As we remove all these items we take pictures and bag and label all hardware. It is always best to keep all hardware during a build like this as reproduction bolts can have the wrong head markings and/or the wrong finish. On our previous build we found that we needed to reference our old parts many times.
The headlight on the 1963 Corvette were known for being finicky and as they used two electric motors to rotate them into the upright position. During disassembly it helps to carefully pay attention to how the headlight are installed in the car. After removing all the bolts to the headlight pivots, we remove the headlight housings with the pivots still attached then lay them on the bench. We disassemble the pivots piece by piece and lay them out in sequence of how they came off then we take a picture. This makes for great reference when reassembling the pivots.
The 1963 Corvette had front and rear chrome bumpers. After fifty years of being on the car (assuming they are original) the chrome will be worn out and likely they will be dented from years of abuse. In order to fix the bumpers and have them re-chromed they will need to be removed. The front bumper of the 1963 Corvette are of a three piece design using multiple brackets for mounting. Typically when removing these it will be found that they are a spring trap which lets you know ahead of time that when it comes to re-installation, fun will be had by all. This of course was the case for our bumpers. The 1963 Corvette also used 1/4″ bumper brackets, a one year only item. Between the bumpers and the headlights, these are the two most tricky items to remove on the front end.
Next time we will move onto the interior removal and removal of the remaining items in the engine compartment.