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Corvette Today: Meet The E-Ray Integration Engineer Cody Buckley

On this episode of CORVETTE TODAY, you'll meet one of the fresh, new shining faces of the Corvette team. Cody Bulkley (pronounced Buckley) is the Performance Integration Engineer for the new Corvette E-Ray. Now, you're probably saying to yourself, "What is a Performance Integration Engineer?";

Cody explains that when he sits down with your CORVETTE TODAY host, Steve Garrett. Plus, Cody is the guy who did that awesome "Cyclone Spin" in New York City's Rockefeller Center on January 17th, 2023 when the Corvette E-Ray debuted.

Cody's excitement and enthusiasm for the new E-Ray is blatantly obvious in this episode of CORVETTE makes me want one!

You can also see the video of the Cyclone Spin on this new episode of CORVETTE TODAY!
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2024 & 2023 Corvette Info Including E-Ray, SR & Z06 Pricing, SR & Z06 Visualizers, 70th Anniversary Info, Press Releases for SR & Z06 & Their Build & Price, Order Guides & Visualizers

2024 Order Guide Here:
2023 Corvette Brochure:
E-Ray Visualizer:
Official E-Ray Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
Official GM E-Ray Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...and-visualizer
+ 25 KEY E-Ray Components/Factors:
E-Ray Leaked Info/Visualizer: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...tte-e-ray-leak
Z51 & Z06 GM Track Specs: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ecommendations
Z06 Order Guide:
Z06 MSRP and Options Pricing: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...freight-charge
2023 SR Build & Price: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...up-and-running
*2023 SR & Z06 Official Owners Manual:; and,
* 2023 GM Bash Major Seminar with HQ video: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ore-bash-video
*2023 Stingray Visualizer:
*2023 Stingray (ONLY Order Guide:
*70th Anniversary Combined Press Release For SR & Z06: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...iversary-model
*Z06 Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
*Z06 Reveal Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...eveal-pictures
*Z06 Visualizer:
Order Guide (unofficial): https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-action-center
*Z06 vs Z07 Aero Components: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...s-similarities
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Tom Peters, Builds Big-Block Stingray

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  • Tom Peters, Builds Big-Block Stingray

    Retired Corvette Design Director, Tom Peters, Builds the Big-Block Stingray of His Dreams
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1169.webp Views:	0 Size:	119.0 KB ID:	488197 Tom Peters vividly recalls the first time he went for a ride in the iconic American sports car. “It was a 1968 coupe,” he says. “I caught a ride home in one on the way home from work one day, when I was a teenager." Tom was caddying at a Minnetonka, Minnesota, country club and says that, while brief, the encounter left a lasting impression. “It was only about a mile or so in that car,” he says. “But the way I sat down in that interior, looking out over the long nose and arching front fenders — it all just burned into my brain. It was inspiring.”

    Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    More than just that first-year C3 burned into Tom’s young mind. The whole car culture of the Sixties and the muscle car era blossomed during his formative years, etching the design ethos of the time into the brain of a kid who got in trouble for sketching cars in class. Fortunately, he never stopped drawing through high school, and by his second year in college, at Louisiana Tech, he happened on a catalog for the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles.

    Hemmings Originals
    “It was an epiphany. It exposed me to the world of industrial design, and everything just clicked,” Tom says. “That’s where I needed to be, and it changed my life.”

    During his sophomore year at Art Center, Tom was invited to participate in General Motors’ annual internship program. That was 1978; by 1982, he was hired and went to work at GM’s Advanced Design studio, where his first assignment was developing concepts for a super-aerodynamic electric sedan.

    Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    “It was a great start and a couple of years later, after seeing a scale model I did for a future Corvette, Jerry Palmer — the chief designer for the Chevrolet 3 studio at the time — asked me to join the team that was responsible for the Corvette, Camaro, and Beretta,” Tom says. “It was an amazing opportunity, and I began contributing to the 1985 Camaro IROC-Z.” He also established the final theme for the landmark, mid-engine Corvette Indy concept that debuted in 1986 and featured a GM Lotus-Ilmor 32-valve racing engine. GM and Lotus, of course, would partner on the development of the original, 1990 Corvette ZR-1, which featured a 32-valve DOHC 5.7-liter V-8.

    Tom also did the directional-style wheel that debuted on the 1988 Z51 package and became the standard wheel in 1989, along with what he calls the “bear claw” side vents that debuted on the facelifted 1991 Corvette.

    More Corvette work followed, including the concept design that influenced the C5’s styling, which led to serving as the exterior design director for the C6, C7, and C8 models. It was after seeing the mid-engine C8 off to production — and more than 35 years at GM — that Tom decided to pack up his art markers and call it a career.

    Leaving the Corvette team was bittersweet, Tom says, after so much time in the studio, but the car wasn’t about to drive out of his life. He still harbored the desire to build a C3, like the one that inspired him about half a century earlier.

    Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    “I had done a few other cars over the years, but I really wanted to do this Corvette when I had the time and focus to do exactly as I envisioned,” he says. “And I always loved the look of the L88 race cars, like the Randy Wittine-designed Owens-Corning wide-body car driven by Tony DeLorenzo and Jerry Thompson — fender flares and side exhaust on a roadster with a hardtop. It was the toughest-looking thing on the track.”

    The look had been locked in Tom’s brain for decades when he finally decided to pull the trigger for the build. He went as far as purchasing a project car, but it was a rough specimen. Turn Key Automotive’s Rich Rinke, the builder tagged to bring the vision to reality (he also builds the COPO Camaro factory race cars for Chevrolet), suggested a ’69 roadster a friend of his spotted at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction in 2016 might make a better starting point.

    “I was actually out there chasing a ’65 Impala SS convertible at one of the other auctions, when Rich called me about the car,” Tom says. “I was waiting for my wife Carolyn to arrive; she’s always been my partner with these cars. I wasn’t even registered for the Barrett-Jackson auction, but we worked out the bidding through a third party. It all happened very quickly and when I finally saw my wife later that evening, I surprised her with the Corvette for her birthday.”

    It was white and an original big-block car, but with a crate engine. That was important, because Tom didn’t want to cut up a numbers-matching Corvette — and the cutting started just as soon as the car arrived at Rinke’s shop, north of Detroit.

    Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    “The first thing we did was hold up the fender flares to get an idea of their fit and placement,” Tom recalls. Later, after having the flares properly bonded to the vintage fiberglass, the car was painted the same silver as the original 1959 Sting Ray race car concept. And when we say the same silver, we mean it. Tom actually located the original color chip in the General Motors Design Center and matched it.

    That’s pretty cool — and so are the wheels and tires filling out the fender flares, which include a period-perfect set of American Racing Torq-Thrust D wheels, measuring 15 x 8.5 inches in the front and 15 x 10 inches in the rear; along with Hoosier racing radials that contribute significantly to the car’s track-inspired aesthetic.

    “The car is largely Tom’s vision, but I put my foot down on the tires,” Carolyn Peters, his wife, says. “They were going to clean them up and paint the letters, so that it all looked brand-new, but I insisted the tires should remain a little dirty and gritty looking. Looks better that way.”

    No argument here.

    With electronically controlled port injection, the induction system has the appearance of vintage racing-spec mechanical injection, but with daily-drivable control, responsiveness and finesse.Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    When it came to the engine, Tom was again inspired by the performance trends of his youth, specifically the towering velocity stacks on the engines of everything from drag-racing gassers and A/FX cars to the thundering big-blocks of the Can Am race cars.

    “The imagery of them was so vibrant and exotic,” he says. “I wanted to pay homage to that with this car.”

    Starting with a contemporary Chevrolet Performance ZL1aluminum cylinder block, Rinke’s shop scratch-built a period-perfect Rat engine with forged internals and Edelbrock aluminum heads, then topped it an Inglese individual-runner EFI system. Aesthetics being everything to a designer, Tom had the system fitted with classic-looking Kinsler velocity stacks that were individually trimmed to ensure they were not only perfectly even, but protruded from the L88-style hood with just the right presence. “I wanted to make the statement, but not overdo it — well, maybe a little,” he says. “The look is everything and these stacks deliver it by reaching just a little over the top.”

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1171.webp Views:	0 Size:	197.0 KB ID:	488199

    Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    It’s worth noting, too, that Tom had an original L88 hood for the car but couldn’t bring himself to cut a hole in it, so it’s now hanging in the living room. The one on the car is an aftermarket reproduction. Along with the injection system, the engine exhales through functional stainless steel side exhausts from Doug’s Headers. It complements the car’s visual feast with an aural chaser.

    “I absolutely love the sound of that engine through the side exhaust,” Carolyn says. “It makes everyone smile and it sounds great with the crackle and popping on deceleration. It’s the perfect soundtrack for this car.”

    Backing the boisterous big-block is a Tremec five-speed manual gearbox that channels torque to a 12-bolt differential filled with a Detroit Locker and 3.55 gears. Additional chassis and suspension upgrades include Ridetech front and rear coilover conversions, with JRI double-adjustable dampers, a Wilwood four-wheel disc brake system, and a Borgeson power-steering system.

    The red cockpit is largely stock, with only the chrome-stick shifter for the Tremec TKO five-speed manual gearbox diverging from the Corvette’s otherwise factory equipment.Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    The one thing that wasn’t touched on the car was the red interior, which retains a factory radio-delete plate. The upholstery and other cabin trim were all in excellent condition upon the car’s purchase and there was no need to embellish it, with the injection stacks, side exhaust, and fender flares doing all of this Corvette’s talking.

    “It’s a very easy car to drive and the power comes on instantly,” Tom says. “I love that it feeds the senses — the look, sound, and feel. It’s everything. And with the top off, you hear the stacks drawing air when you put your foot down. It’s just what was simmering in my mind over the years.”

    It’s that vision thing. We can all be glad Tom Peters nourished it for so many years in the studio and, with this ’69 roadster, in his personal garage.

    Owner's View

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1170.webp Views:	0 Size:	108.1 KB ID:	488198

    Photo by Barry Kluczyk

    Every drive in this Corvette is an experience. It is a beast in all the best ways, and we haven’t quite found the edge of its performance yet, because there doesn’t seem to be a bottom of its power reserve. The engine just keeps pulling and pulling. In fact, it’s a little intimidating, because we don’t know exactly how the car is going to react. We’re creeping up on it and that’s the fun part—exploring exactly what car is capable of. —Tom and Carolyn Peters Specifications-1969 Chevrolet Corvette

    Photo by Barry Kluczyk


    Block type: Chevrolet Mark IV-style “big-block” with Chevrolet Performance ZL1 aluminum block

    Cylinder heads: Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum with 315-cc intake runners

    Displacement: 427 cubic inches

    Bore x stroke: 4.250 x 3.750 inches

    Compression ratio: 10.1:1

    Horsepower: 480 (est.)

    Torque: 520 lb-ft (est.)

    Crankshaft: Forged steel

    Camshaft: Comp Cams hydraulic roller

    Induction system: Inglese port fuel injection intake manifold with custom individual velocity stacks

    Ignition system: FAST dual-sync distributor

    Exhaust system: Headers with side exhaust outlets


    Type: Tremec TKO 600 five-speed manual

    Ratios: 1st/2.87:1 … 2nd/1.89:1 … 3rd/1.28:1 … 4th/1.00:1 … 5th/0.82 … Reverse/2.56:1


    Type: GM 12-bolt with Detroit Locker limited-slip differential and stub axles

    Ratio: 3.55:1


    Type: Borgeson power-assisted recirculating ball

    Ratio: 12.7:1


    Type: Wilwood power-assisted four-wheel disc

    Front: 12.19-in slotted rotors with six-piston calipers

    Rear: 11.75-in slotted rotors with four-piston calipers


    Front: Independent with RideTech coil-over conversion with JRI adjustable dampers and anti-sway bar

    Rear: Independent with RideTech coil-over conversion with JRI adjustable dampers and anti-sway bar


    Wheels: American Racing Torq-Thrust D

    Front: 15 x 8.5 inches Rear: 15 x 10 inches

    Tires: Hoosier Quick Time radial

    Front: 275/50D15 Rear: 325/50D15
    Last edited by Meldoon; 06-07-2023, 08:54 PM.
    I’m goin’ driving 👍

  • #2
    How very, very cool. Great job Tom! What a wonderful C3 you have created. Thanks Meldoon for the find and post.
    2023 Z06: Elkhart Lake Blue, 2-tone blue interior, HTC, Standard Z06 with Z07 aero pkg, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, every visible carbon fiber option including wheels, Jake Design Pkg. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year NCM members. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


    • #3
      Gorgeous car, Tom! Congrats!!


      • #4
        Love to hear a cold start!😄