MAILHOT MOTORSPORTS 
Corvette Repairs of Maine

Article & Notes

Hi Everybody!

 

My name is Chuck Mailhot, my wife’s is Deborah.

 

First off I’m an absolute nut on Corvettes. I’m a charter and lifetime member of the Corvette Museum for over 10 years (#4125). I’ve owned 37 Vettes (really) since I was 19. Bought a 1963 Convertible which we used on our honeymoon in 1976, then bought a 1968 Convertible for Deborah, a real beater with a 4 speed, but she LOVED getting rubber in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd through Mechanic Falls, Me (statute of limitations is over!) on her way to work every morning she took that car J. Sold the ’63 and bought a new 77 in 1976. That’s when I joined my 1st club that I’m still a member of. You know I actually blew out the rear cellar wall just so I could store those cars in the Winter. This was a 3 story, 5 unit apartment building we owned and lived in. Talk about not thinking about structure integrity and liability issues…but the Corvettes were out of the cold and snow. I did use that ’68 through most of the Winters. I drove it trudging through 6” of snow and I remember not believing how good that car was going in one snow storm. When I stopped to open the door for the heck of it the snow was touching the bottom of the door!!!

 

I like T-Shirts. “Honest honey, the ads force me to buy them!” I like reading Corvette Magazines (over and over and over)…”Honest honey, I could not pass up the subscription deal!" I really enjoyed reading "All Corvettes Are Red", "ZORA, The Legend Behind Corvette", and Dave McLellan's "Corvette from the Inside". I enjoyed reading Bob Lutz's new book "Car Guys VS. Bean Counters".

 

I owned a 1997 automatic Corvette and that was a scary car. In my opinion mostly because the 4 speed auto trans was not prepared for the refinement and power the C5’s had to offer. There were many times going around a corner and stepping on it would produce a too early downshift and sending me sideways in an instant (ask my son about that). That ‘97  scared the crap out of him one day. I was in front of him in a 1968 (4 speed) with my other son behind him in a 6 speed C5 and we all saw the car send him sideways almost off the road. He parked the car shortly after that corner, got out and was visibly shaken. After a few minutes, we got back in our cars and continued the ride. Yeah, he was getting aggressive, but the car did as I described. 

 

I've always been more of a fan for standard transmission cars. The 78 I used and sold last year was one of the first automatic Corvettes that I’ve had more fun with. It has a good horsepower engine and a shift kit giving 2nd gear a really fun kick. I can get a good 10 feet of rubber in 2nd gear! I’ve been working on a “parts car” 79 4 speed L82. I bought it as a parts car hoping to swap the ’78 auto, but the “parts car” proved to be repairable. That’s the white car you’ll see me in with “Chuck’s Parts Car” lettered on the side rear window. (Honest honey, I bought it as a parts car!) Radiator needed to be repaired which lead to a new water pump (these days when you’re that close and a new water pump is $38, you just do it). All heater hoses are being replaced. Valve cover gaskets replaced. It needed a new distributor and plugs. My plans are that this will be my daily driver and the project will continue as I use (enjoy) it. I love trading around.

Installed true dual exhaust on the "Parts Car" and changed out the intake and carb. I was looking for a used broken urethane rear bumper cover from a C5 or C6 so I can mold in the rear tail lights into a 1980 urethane rear bumper. I thought that could look good for the ’79. I wound up putting on a 80's style fiberglass rear bumper instead. I JUST traded that '79 this week (May 2013) and took in an open engine hot rod w/350 TH400. So I'm going to sell that quick to buy another Corvette. That Hot Rod is REALLY fast though. It is sssooo light!

 

I have a beautiful 1982 Corvette at the garage for new rear end seals, front and rear suspension work, tune up, new master cylinder, and valve cover gaskets. I will also be doing a complete interior restoration! I always get excited about projects like this. I’ll post pictures in the next “Transformations” page showing the progression.

 

I don’t know if this is possible, but I’d really like to get a few web cams in there so you can see and hear me swear while I work. I thought it would be nice to actually see Corvettes being worked on especially if it’s the one the customer owns. I’d like to go further with this and allow comments and I could respond with my greasy hands. Anybody got experience with this? Drop me an email from the site and give me ideas about that and anything else…please!!! The only thing I can do for now is upload videos of projects but I still have to figure out how to do that!!!

 

I’m so glad people started sending emails about cruises and such. I got to meet some wonderful Corvette owners at one cruise night which is about 5 minutes from home and will try to attend as many cruises and go to as many local club gatherings or meetings when we can.

I’m going to write something every month including some brief repair, technical, and maintenance subjects. I’m going to focus on all eras, but I’m particular to 63 to 67, 68 to 82, and 84 to 96 cars. If anybody has any ideas, please call me at 207-333-7955 or email through the "Contact Chuck" page . I’ve been doing this for local Corvette newsletters for quite a few months and really enjoy it. What I’ve written above was a little from each article.

 

I was long winded, but now you know a little about me.

Sincerely,

Chuck Mailhot

What started me on the Corvette Journey…

 

I was 19 years old and never really paid attention to Corvettes. I already had a 1955 Chevy 2 door post car with a 327, 4 speed and my first home. I worked at the flagship VIP Automotive Parts Store on Lincoln Street in Lewiston, Maine. They had about 14 stores at the time. That 7 story brick building has since been torn down. I was selling a car, forgot what it was, and one of my fellow workers had a Ford Bronco to trade. I wasn’t really excited about it, but then he told me that if we traded, he knew of a girl that really wanted that Bronco but had to sell a car she had first! I was curious and didn’t know what it was until I got to her house. It was a Daytona Blue 1963 Corvette 327, 4 speed with black interior and convertible top. I went to look at it and tried the car. THAT WAS IT… I was hooked! I did the trade for the Bronco and had to come up with 900.00 to swap the Bronco for the ’63 Corvette so I went to the bank and borrowed it using the 63 Corvette as collateral for 24 months. I got the car home and told my then girl friend Deborah who is now my wife (for 35 years Aug 6th this year by the way!!!) about what I did. I decided I’d better put exhaust on it since I drove it home with open headers…boy those were the days huh! As I mentioned earlier I worked at an automotive parts store so I got good pricing and often used my employee charge capabilities.  Yeah right, how many times did I just make the mortgage payment because I kept using that damn employee charge capability. The fenders had the extensions on them with very wide wheels and tires. It had just got a repaint and it was excellent. The radio sucked as they all do and did up until the C4’s. I had a blast with that car. I proposed to Deborah in 1975 and we were married on August 6th 1976. We used the 63 Corvette on our honeymoon heading for Niagara Falls and about half way it was pouring so bad, we turned around and enjoyed our week at her parents’ camp instead. The Corvette Fever will strike without warning and that feeling is the ultimate when you actually take the plunge and own it. My Corvette Fever has run wild since then and will NEVER dwindle. There have been times when I’ve been without (very few though) and when I get back into my own Corvette, the feeling a still as strong as ever. Thanks for reading…..Chuck M 

I just picked up a new computer reader /tuner for GM cars and trucks (OBDII Reader). Mine went on the fritz! At the same time I upgraded and can adjust rev limiting and automatic transmission shift points. I can even change the internal computer controls including fuel, fan temperature right down to the actual internal factory settings…boy is that stuff expensive!!! OUCH!  

I did a broadcast email letting everybody know that I am an authorized Edelbrock installation site. (that’s one of the reasons I got the biggest “Kahuna” Computer Reader/Tuner stuff mentioned above instead of getting another basic one). I’m really excited about this. The Supercharger that they have can make a C6 Corvette go to 599 horsepower. Think about this for a second…the 2005 thru 2007 Corvettes were at 400HP, the 2008 thru 2011 Corvettes were at 430HP. Bringing those to 599HP adds from 170HP to 199HP. Sounds like a whole lot of fun to me. The Corvette’s drivability does not change and the fuel economy stays about the same keeping the car 50 state legal (of course like all cars, the fuel economy is heavily effected by the driver’s foot on the gas peddle)!  I don’t know about everybody else, but I’d always be tempted to “play around” whenever and wherever I could. Heck that’s what I did when I had my 2007 Corvette with 400HP!  

The highest horsepower I’ve ever experienced was in a 1976 ProStreet Nova with a 454 engine and a BDS Blower on top. It dyno’d at 640HP on airplane fuel and a huge 1,100HP with Nitro-Methane. WOW and WOW. My son still has that car in Ohio.

Have Corvettes come a long way. I remember in the 70’s if you had a 600HP Corvette or any car, you have a basically unmanageable street car using only airplane fuel always on the verge of overheating and getting about 4 mpg. It had to have very close to open exhaust so out came the ear plugs for our women passengers J!

Congrats on GM and other manufacturers as well as aftermarket companies such as Edelbrock for all their research and development giving us even more exciting cars and options!

Hang on tight, performance is still here!!!

Thanks for reading....Chuck M

Website Builder