From modern cars to classics and even motorcycles, Vilner has been showing off its leather customization skills for years, but we have to admit we were a little skeptical when we saw that the Bulgarian company had gotten hold of a 1976 Chevy Corvette Stingray. Not to say the C3 'Vette couldn't benefit from an interior makeover, but we wondered how the company's modern leather work would match up with the car's classic styling.

In terms of leather crafting, Vilner went crazy inside this Corvette with nappa leather (from a calf) from top to bottom including everything from the seats to the t-tops. The instrument panel is completely wrapped in leather, and it has newer gauges for a more modern look, while the door panels get unique leather pull straps and Corian inserts – yes, the same high-quality material used for countertops. Some of the detailed touches include laser etching on the seats and door panels and even leather-wrapped stalks for the turn signals and tilt-steering column.

After focusing on the interior, Vilner also gave this C3 some distinctive touches to the exterior, including LED taillights and running lights as well as custom luggage to fit atop the rear luggage rack. Finally, the engine received some attention. New heads and carburetors give the 350-cubic-inch V8 an estimated 300 horsepower. Vilner has included a full gallery of images and the press release below, and since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we'll leave final judgment to you.
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Vilner Transforms 1976 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C3

Our latest project a classical 1976 Chevrolet Corvette has received fine makeover, which refreshes the forms of the legendary Stingray C3 and at the same time keeps the classic lines of the U.S. muscle car.

In order to turn this car in to another magnificent project of our studio, the work on this Corvette started with the engine. The 5.7 liter V8 Small Block unit got new head, shafts and two twin carburetors.

All of them were delivered by the U.S. experts at Edelbrock Performance. The generation was shortened and was carried over to the side of the body. The machine hasn't been put through a dyno test, which means that the results of the power tuning are not known. What is expected however is a peak power of 300 hp (220 kW).

The exterior of the car has also been modified and has received new varnish in pearl brown color, while the targa roof trim got upholstery from calf leather adorned by decorative stitching. The original nickel-plated wheels were left untouched as well as the form of the tail-lights.

The latter, however, have entirely new bodies that rely on new LED lights that in turn add a note of futurism in the classic stance of the carosserie. In order to be convenient for driving, this Corvette got new daytime running lights as well as new turn signals.

To go even further into details, into the original bodies of the parking-lights and indicators were integrated LED-daytime running lights and LED-indicators, as well as into those of the tail-lights. They were created specifically for this automobile and indeed they are unique. In the opening of the front fenders were inbuilt two chrome-plated grills, while the rear bumper of the car is with completely changed design for a better line.

One of the most attractive features here is the original chrome-plated boot on which is attached a vintage suitcase made of camel leather.

The interior is where the true power of Vilner lies and this classic Corvette took the maximum advantage of this fact. The dashboard was entirely transformed; new is also the design of the dials of the tachometer and speedometer.

The Audio system here is made of high quality source by Mcintosh, three amplifiers and three-band front system delivered by Ground Zero, as well as two subwoofers by Peerless.

Furthermore, the seat's upholstery was made of a combination between calf-nappa leather and box, while the laser engraving provided an additional note of personalization. At last, the elements made of wood veneer were replaced by inserts made of high-tech Corian material.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      SquareFour
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now, that's how ya spell, "LUGS-UR-EEE!" On a positive note, it's pretty awesome how the C3's styling still makes an impact after, what?, almost 40 years now. We take 'em for granted because they've been around for most of our lives, but it's a pretty wild design. It still looks amazing! That interior, while certainly well-crafted, not so much.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SquareFour
        I agree. I'm one of the rare few who prefer C3 over C2,
          48Chevy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          The C3s are my favorite followed by the C2 and the '84 thru '90 C4s.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          C1, C3, C6 (only in Z06 and ZR1 forms), C7 I don't care for the rest.
          SquareFour
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          Me too...although the C2 ain't no slouch either.
      Shiftright
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well crafted but so overdone
        captainpaintball
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Shiftright
        I hear what you are saying--I don't think I would want a Corvette with anyone's name on it (But 'Chevrolet' or 'Corvette') all over the place--but the "over-the-top-ness" was just a styling exercise. Think of everything else, including a design of some sort in the leather, but without the advertising, and I think they did a fantastic job. An interior redone by these guys in the same materials (but less flashy) would be far preferable to me (I am not a numbers matching collector) to even a factory-true restoration. Let's face it. I think in the future, because of the materials used in automotive production since the late 70s /80s to the present, we are going to have to so some sort of this kind of restoration--the plastic dashboards and doors and trim are not holding up like the interiors from the 50s did, and do still. If you need any proof of this, google "autoblog alfred morris 626"--even Mazda couldn't get everything exact.
      Jason Bailey
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bet the clock still doesn't work...
      methos1999
      • 1 Year Ago
      Craftsmanship on the interior is insane! The color choices aren't my cup of tea, but very impressive anyway. Only thing I wish they had on the exterior is the lip spoiler on the tail. I've always loved the styling of the C3 corvette - it's always bugged me that nobody seems to like it due to most of it's generation being hobbled by a number of issues (insurance premiums & emissions mandates being two that cut down power). So good to see somebody giving this one some love.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @methos1999
        I agree about the rear spoiler-the ones without it always look 1/2 done.
      Basketkase
      • 1 Year Ago
      Man I love these 'vettes. I wonder how many thousands of dollars it takes to have Vilner do this to your car?
      TW Hansen
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's something fairly Vincent Gallo about it.
      Mechamits
      • 1 Year Ago
      No actual Stingray skins?, contrasting stitching?, othwise I applaud the effort and overall craftsmanship.
      Geoffrey Swenson
      • 1 Year Ago
      Less would be more, and not only that, the workmanship leaves something to be desired as well.
      djvinnybricks
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, what an atrocity. Who cares if you make the baddest custom leather interiors there are if this is the best demo vehicle you can come up with. The random, arbitrary modifications to the body along with the retained cheap plastic bits in the center console along with a general lack of taste make for an embarrassing amateurish effort IMO. I know these are among the very worst and least desirable of Corvettes, but I am still a bit saddened that they ruined a slightly rare 4-speed car.
      ocbrad1
      • 1 Year Ago
      The interior is far overdone from what I would prefer, and the rear fascia extension looks well-integrated but awkward (I actually like the bumper-nazi rear clip we got in the States for the later C3s). That being said, this is probably the best looking C3 I've seen (Corvette Summer notwithstanding, lol). Pull those seats, drop in some 80s-tastic Recaros in a solid leather color, tone down the busy-ness of the interior, and put the stock bumper cap back on the rear (add the LED lights), and I'm in.
      Jim R
      • 1 Year Ago
      Clearly, the word "restraint" does not exist in Vilner's vocabulary.
      d.hollywood
      • 1 Year Ago
      The leather work outclasses the car.
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