The original doors are intact under the new skin to ensure that none of the factory's side-impact protection is lost in translation. The windshield, folding roof, tonneau cover, and mirrors also are stock Corvette parts. For now, the interior changes stop at the addition of tricolor inserts and N2A logos for the seats, but the Corvette script molded into the dash will be gone in production 789s.
The view forward bristles with gun-sight hood ornaments, and the rear view resembles Batman's cape, dispelling any residual Corvette illusions. A Borla center-outlet exhaust system adds bark to the stock 400-hp bite. Meaty BFGoodrich g-Force T/A rubber on nineteen- and twenty-inch rims complete the caricature. Since there's a $2000 wheel and tire allowance built into the $135,000 price, customers are encouraged to spec out their 789s as they like. In fact, the company name--N2A--is shorthand for "No Two Alike," so duplication is the only prohibition. Those who already own the core C6 Corvette can order Kanter's plastic surgery for $75,000.
A half-dozen 789s already are under construction, and Kanter's dream is a run of fifty cars per year. Now that his first concept has advanced to the limited-production stage, other ideas have sprung from his fertile imagination. A removable hard top for the 789 that emulates the '58 Impala's roof is next. What might be christened the '67 Stinger will blend the nose of a '67 Corvette with the sides of a '65 and the tail of a '63 split-window Sting Ray. His WOW concept, code for Wildcat on Wheels, combines the Buick Y-Job's grille with a '53 Buick Skylark's sidesweeps and the '54 Buick Wildcat II's aft section. Kanter's 5-to-1 combines the front of a '55 Chevy with a '61 tail. This idea is aimed at providing 789 customers relief from ennui; when they're in the mood for a face-lift, they can mix and match components from various model years as they deem fit.
Kanter's 789 exceeds the sum of its parts on several counts. The craftsmanship and aesthetics are both superb. The Corvette hidden within brings to the party a long wheelbase, a wide track, and a low beltline. The standard perils of cruising--electrical mishaps, overheating, popped ball joints, and leaky transmissions--should never be an issue with these modern mechanicals. We can imagine Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell in designer's heaven smiling down upon this salute to their enduring classics.