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For Phil Kocsis of Fairfield, Connecticut, the revelation that he’d just won a set of new wheels in Holley’s 2021 Wheel Set Giveaway couldn’t have come at a better time. Having recently put the finishing touches on his ’57 Chevy project, Kocsis has turned his attention to the 1970 Corvette that he had acquired a few years back. It’s a numbers-matching small-block car and he’d been debating whether to keep a factory-stock look or modernize things a bit, but a free set of 18-inch 110 Classics from Rev Wheels has helped to tip the scales in favor of a restomod approach.
“I ordered a Sniper EFI system for the ’57 not too long ago – I tend to use a lot of Holley products on my projects,” he tells us. “So I get the newsletters and such, and this sweepstakes caught my attention a few months back. I just couldn’t believe it when I saw Holley on the caller ID when they phoned me to tell me that I had won. I’ve never won anything like this before, so it was really cool.”
Kocsis says ’57 Chevy restoration was an eight-year process of wrenching in his garage on the weekends and whenever he could find some extra time. “I originally wanted kind of a rat rod with a big engine,” he says. “But when I got it apart, it turned out this thing was basically just rust holding hands. At that point I decided I would put a bit more into it and make it more of a street machine.”
Kocsis says he selected the 110 Classic because he wanted something that retained the old school vibe but would offer enough clearance for upgraded chassis components.
“I think this Corvette will be a bit more of a pro touring and autocross type of build – I just got Ridetech’s Tru Turn suspension system and a set of coilovers for it, and these wheels will provide some room to pair that up with a big brake kit. I picked an 8-inch-wide wheel for the fronts and 9.5-inch for the back because the new rear suspension has some offset on the trailing arms, so you can actually fit a bit more tire under there.”
With the tear-down process currently underway, Kocsis says the next step will be to remove the factory suspension setup and making sure everything’s copasetic underneath. “The frame is pretty solid – it’s more about brushing it down and coating it, and then we’ll put that coil-over system on,” he explains. “Once that’s done, we’ll pull the engine and I’ll have another big decision to make – either I’ll rebuild the original 350ci and add fuel injection, or I might decide to go with an LS swap. It’s something I really need to figure out right around the same time because I can’t get that suspension dialed in without knowing how much weight is going to be up front. Either way it’s going to be a fun project, and it should look pretty good once it’s finished!”
The tear-down process of the Corvette is still in the early stages, but the rendering will give you an idea for what the future holds. The 18-inch Rev Wheels 110 Classic will allow Kocsis to run a modern performance tire while providing enough clearance for an aftermarket brake system. “I might do a clear-gold powdercoat on them to better match the render, but they already look great as-is,” he says.