You see, the original plan was to use the C4 Corvette front end and rear end. And while the rear end installed remarkably easy the front end was going to fight us the entire way. First off, the frame was about an 2" too wide for the cross member. This alone is certainly not an insurmountable task but the bigger issue was the placement of the upper control arms. The 'vette has a very tall spread between control arm and all of the measuring that we did indicated that at the desired ride height, the upper control arm mounts would need to be on the outside of the fender....or at least behind a very unsightly bulge. While the customer was somewhat OK with having us cut up his fenders, we just couldn't do it. It would have looked horrendous and I personally did not want my name associated with it. I mean, come on, I have some sense of standards...albeit they are sometimes low, but still....
So, we started looking for an alternative. I must have called every aftermarket hotrod front end manufacturer that I could find. Overall, I have to say that I was very disappointed and a bit surprised. It seemed that almost every company that I talked to really didn't grasp the concepts of suspension geometry nor did they employ a 3D CAD software that I could send them a 3D model of the frame/fenders that I had drawn up. Several companies did use AutoCad....but come on....AutoCad isn't really CAD software...it's more like a complicated version of an ecth-a-sketch. Out of college, I turned down job offers from several large companies on the sole basis that they used AutoCad.
There was one company however that really did want to help, and that was Fatman Fabrication. They really did go far above my expectations, which to be honest, at the point that I called them were very low since having dealt with everyone else. I was ultimately put in contact with the founder and owner, Brent, who seemed genuinely enthused with having a project slightly out of the norm. After about 30 emails back and forth and several CAD files, he determined that one of his existing kits could be easily adapted to work with in our situation without...most importantly... modifications to the fenders. Not only did he understand front end geometry and functionality, he knew what an .IGES file was and how to use it.
The front end finally showed up yesterday and to say the least, we were eager to install it. The cross member fit absolutely perfect. No trimming, beating or gaps to fill....I truly mean absolutely perfect. We did have a slight hiccup on receiving the incorrect lower control arms, but Fatman's customer serviced resolved the issue immediately. You simply could not ask for anything more from a company.