It has been 50 years since the first step towards Ralph Eckler's Corvette dream. Digging through the salvage yard in 1961, it was the 1960 Corvette that caught his eye; driving home with the windshield broken and the fenders flapping; it was the start of a life-long passion.
Born in Rock Island, Illinois in 1942, he grew up working at his father's shop learning his main trade of fiberglass. Ralph then used this knowledge and skill to restore his 1960 Corvette. From there, the true story of Ralph Eckler begins. He began customizing different body kits for the different years of Corvettes. Ralph became known for creating the ultra bold and radical looking CRII body kits for third generation Corvettes. He also designed hatch-back kits, one piece tilt front ends, eye-catching turbo kits. There were many other designs pioneered by Eckler which are now the standard. Ralph quickly became known worldwide as the "King" of custom-bodied Corvettes.
It was not long before Ralph launched his first of many companies, Eckler's Corvette Parts, a company that serves the U.S. and beyond with every conceivable Corvette part and accessory. Eckler's Corvette Parts has now grown into an entire Family of auto parts.
A major milestone that turned Eckler's into a restoration company came when Ralph Eckler negotiated a restoration parts license agreement with GM which allowed Eckler's to use tooling and blueprints of GM parts and allowed Eckler to sell parts as a GM restoration part. From custom to OEM, "Everything for Corvettes", Eckler's was the place to go.
Although long overdue in 2011 Ralph Eckler was inducted into The Great Hall and today continuing his love for Corvettes, Ralph has started Ralph Eckler Signature Cars. "It is one thing to purchase an Eckler custom kit , but here you actually purchase a custom Corvette right from my personal collection".
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Buy the 1965 Corvette at the Mecum Auction in Kissemmee, FL. on Jan 24th, approx. 3:30