By Richard Hail
Andrew Barra of Fishkill, New York, has claimed the fourth Golden Ticket, representing the Northeastern region, with his ’69 Chevrolet Corvette.
The latest SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns virtual regional qualifier winner has been chosen. Andrew Barra of Fishkill, New York, has claimed the fourth Golden Ticket, representing the Northeastern region, with his ’69 Chevrolet Corvette.
Barra’s earliest memories were helping his Dad work on his ’72 Corvette in their garage. He quickly became obsessed, and in 2015, his dream of owning a Corvette became a reality when he came across one for sale in upstate New York. The C3 was in fair condition and needed a lot of work, but Barra had big plans in store for it.
The complete frame-off restoration took a little more than three years to complete. Power is produced by a Chevy 454 Big-Block that has been rebuilt with a host of performance-boosting add-ons, including a Weiand intake manifold, a COMP Cams hydraulic roller kit and a Holley 775 CFM 4-Barrel Carburetor.
A TREMEC TKO five-speed drives the Diamond Back Flame Tread tires, which are snugly wrapped around Coys C-5 chrome wheels.
The body of the Vette is finished in Lamborghini Pearl Orange, while the interior features upgrades such as Dakota Digital Gauges, a Billet Specialties steering wheel and a Hurst pistol-grip shifter. The seats are out of an ’80 Corvette, and the smooth ride is compliments of the VBP rear-strut towers, fiberglass mono-leaf springs, Bilstein shocks and a power rack-and-pinion conversion.
Barra wants to be an inspiration to young builders who dream about having their own cars and he tells us that, “This was better than winning the lotto, better than anything I could have asked for.” He continued, “This win is a validation of my hard work and the sacrifices that I made for this car.”
The Battle of the Builders competition celebrates the amazing craftsmanship and talents of people who create and build some of the most unique cars in the world. The “Young Guns” classification is exclusive to up-and-coming builders who are 27 or under and have performed the majority of the work on their vehicles.