[Louvered Hood]

Corvette Grand Sport #002

While there were several variations of the Grand Sport fiberglass hood, one of the most beautiful and complex was the louvered type, circa 1964-1965. This was essentially the 3rd (and final) evolutionary factory design variant to sneak out the back door of Chevrolet Engineering. The louvered & domed hood design helped the frontal air to move thru the radiator and then over the car (rather than under the car). It also provided clearance for the 4 monstrous 58mm weber carbs which were mounted on a special GM prototype cross-ram manifold.

Only 5 of these fiberglass louvered hoods were originally made, and unfortunately, none of them survived without some type of modification over the years.

The 2 roadster hoods were re-worked by Penske in 1966 when the louvered center sections were cut out & the new OEM style Corvette big block "power domes" were grafted into place. The other 3 Grand Sport hoods also went through modifications as the owners changed to tunnel ram manifolds, or cut/modified them with additional openings for cooling, etc.

Therefore, the dilemma was: How do you accurately re-construct a new 1964-65 style "louvered" hood for Grand Sport #002's restoration, when none exist? Also, the new hood would have to be as authentic as possible, and correct down to the smallest of details.

Fortunately, one of the original Penske "center cut-out" hood sections was found, complete with original paint, rivets & louvers! Though badly warped and scratched, it had survived over 30 years of storage.

[Original Grand Sport Louvered Hood Section]

The next challenge was then to carefully duplicate this Grand Sport artifact and surround it with the correct fiberglass perimeter skin, underframing, and characteristics specific only to the 5 Grand Sports.

Details such as: lightweight cloth construction, clear gelcoat, rounded rear hood corners, lightweight aluminum louvers, aluminum reinforcing braces & nut plates. And most importantly, the finished part must have NO body filler, to allow the cloth pattern to "print through" into the paint (an important characteristic specific to an original Grand Sport fiberglass body).

Today, Grand Sport #002's original "power dome" hood is preserved, along with the entire body, in its 1966 "AS-RACED" condition. As part of the preservation/restoration process for GS#002, a new 1964-65 era "louvered hood" was fabricated. These pictures illustrate the amount of effort devoted to ensure that the new hood was as authentic as possible.

The Wintersteen hood scoop area has been covered in preparation to spray a plaster mold of the area common with the original "louvered" hood.


Hood - Picture 1


Hood - Picture 2

Pictures were taken of the original "louvered" hood rivet orientation & position so that they can be duplicated on the new hood.
The remains of the original louvered hood is fit inside of the new plaster mold and firmly held into position.


Hood - Picture 3


Hood - Picture 4

The center section was built up using the remains of the original louvered hood, plaster pattern of the cowl, a rolled aluminum piece and modeling clay at the corners & radii.
The new plaster mold of the louvered hood top skin.


Hood - Picture 5


Hood - Picture 6

The Wintersteen hood as the under-frame area is prepared for spraying of the plaster mold. As with the top hood skin, the area at the cowl will have to be re-constructed.
New plaster mold of hood under-frame to fit the louvered hood.


Hood - Picture 7


Hood - Picture 8

New louvered hood mold after spraying with gelcoat material.
New louvered hood underframe mold after spraying with gelcoat material.


Hood - Picture 9


Hood - Picture 10

New Grand Sport louvered hood mold in white gel coat.
New Grand Sport inner hood frame, exactly as original.


Hood - Picture 11


Hood - Picture 12

New hood frame has all the correct depressions for hood hinge bolts and rivets, power brake booster, hood support, etc.
New louvered hood skin being hand laid with correct cloth.


Hood - Picture 13


Hood - Picture 14

New hood showing the correct aluminum reinforcing ribs after bonding to the dome area.
New fiberglass hood with aluminum vent assemblies as original.


Hood - Picture 15


Hood - Picture 16

The aluminum vent pieces are exact duplicates of the original. Correct contours, rivet locations, spacing, etc.
New Grand Sport hood after spraying with special-mix blue lacquer. Note that the louvers are not yet installed in the hood.


Hood - Picture 17


Hood - Picture 18

The hood louvers were sprayed seperately from the hood to ensure a high quality finish.


Hood - Picture 19


Hood - Picture 20

New Grand Sport hood after installation of correct louvers and riveting.

[Hood Animation]
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