1953 Corvette #276

Drivetrain Enhancements 1960 to 1969

Pic of the Engine Compartment - 200753 #276 Interior Pic - 1969

David Elie upgraded #276 on an on-going basis. David was alwyas looking for more performance and a better look. David explained all of his upgrades in a July 1969 letter to Corvette News (Corvette News was tracking down all of the 1953 Corvette owners for a feature story.) In an amazing stroke of luck, David's letter survivied 40 years and is readable today. Tattered, but readable. The letter completely documents the changes David made to the car - David installed a 261 block , aluminum valve cover, oil filter, different cam, and ported head. The engine changes follow very closely those suggested by McGurk Engineering - under the McGurk approach #276 should pound out 220hp!!!  

1969 Letter to Corvette News

Page One
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Page Three

The car has changed very little since 1969. The distributor and coil have changed, but appararently everything else is pretty much the same. The engine line-up:


Block #3733950   (261cubic inch Truck Block - 1964 receipt)

Head #3836848 (1965 receipt)

Radiator #3130953 Dated 53F


Starter - Tag Missing

Intake - Service Replacement

Carbs - Original Tags Dated M3

Chromed Pieces - Fan, Pulley, Oil Breather, and Fuel Filter

317k miles - 3 Tachometers

Current Engine Pics

David Elie's long-time mechanic tells me that David was very interested in performance, especially off the line performance. The mechanic was a national champion NRHA guy, who won with the Chevy in-line 6 cylinder. Thus, #276 was in very capable hands when it came to performance. (2004 Pic of Dave's Mechanic Showing Technique)

Transmission Change

David Elie replaced the Powerglide tranny with a manual tranny in the early 1960s. David's mechanic recalls that David first installed a three speed tranny, and then upgraded to a four speed tranny a few years later. In 1969, #276 had a 1963 Corvette T-10 4 speed with a Chevrolet bellhousing and clutch.

David had a fair amount of materials regarding the conversion from a PG tranny to a manual in the folder that came with #276. Some interest stuff, including:

Article on How to Convert a PG to a Manual Tranny

David Elie's Tranny Conversion Parts List and Receipt

Russ Uzes
Mill Valley CA
Russ Email