They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Well home builder Bob Bertelsen begs to differ. It may look like a show car but …. with his latest build “Solar Flare”, Mr. Bertelsen has crafted the best of both of the Hot Rodding worlds. A Show stopping stunner and a pavement pounding track terror. Cast your eyes at “Solar Flare” a ’63 Corvette built the old school way, at home.
Although Bob says he builds cars as a hobby and for stress relief he is a builder to contend with. Though built primarily for AutoCross racing, the Solar Flare Corvette has earned a Goodguys Top 5 Street Machine of the Year honor as well as being a Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year finalist. And Solar Flare is just the latest in am impressive list of award winning builds. Humble to the core, Mr. Bertlesen knows a thing or two about building a world class ride.
Now we aren’t sure which came first the name or the color. what we do know is that arresting yellow, expertly applied to the Corvette by Mr. Bertelsen himself, is perfectly complemented with carbon fiber. The removable top, 3D printed carbon fiber wrapped door handles, bumpers, side mirrors splitter and diffusers. All the carbon fiber and 3D printing were done by Zach Ingram at his Fiber Forged Composites shop.
A Kurt Urban built Scoggin Dickey engine putting out 660HP gives this race ready beauty queen it’s get up and go. Backing up those wild horses is an ACE Manufacturing clutch. It launches Solar Flare off the line with no spinning tires. A custom Carbon Fiber Edition Bowler Transmission is behind the upgraded clutch with Gear FX gears behind that. A custom made DeWitts radiator keeps all those ponies properly cooled. Next, the Detroit Speed suspension provides a rock solid foundation. Bob chose a Speed Ray system for up front and their Decca Link system in the rear. Race rubber wraps the Forgeline wheels and Baer brakes stop “Solar Flare” on a dime.
Equally important at the starting line is a race ready cockpit. Trick Lab created a superlative balance of race and show when they crafted the interior. The centerpiece of the custom interior is the Holley Pro Dash which seamlessly interfaces with the Holley Dominator ECU. Custom covered RECARO seats complement Solar Flare’s race ready cockpit. Rigid Ignite Lights keep the pavement blazing bright. After Bob created a much needed trunk he designed the hinges himself and had Michigan Machine Worx bring them to life.
Finally, Bob used A Plus Power Coaters to really dress up the chassis and trim. The crisp, non traditional powder coating is low maintenance, hides wear and delivers a refined yet dynamic finish. Just one of the numerous elements from the talented mind and hands of Mr. Beterlesen that positions “Solar Flare” as quite possibly the ultimate hybrid of race/show car. It’s no wonder with this level of attention to detail that Bob, his home shop and the outstanding rides he builds stand out amongst the heaviest of hitters.
Check out Muscle Cars by Bob, Bob’s Facebook page. There you can keep up with Solar Flare. See what course this radical ride is conquering next. Maybe even get some inspiration to wrench on your own home built beauty.
Till the Next Time – Keep on Kruzin!