Motion Phase III GT Corvette
1970 Motion Phase III GT Corvette
The Corvette Legends Invitational display at the 2015 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals held some significant Corvettes this year. The first Corvette discussed in a series of articles about this invitation only Corvette display is this 454 LS6 powered Motion Performance Phase III GT Corvette.
Joel Rosen was the owner of Motion Performance, a Speed Shop in Baldwin, New York. Motion was considered by many as the east coast capital of Chevrolet performance, and his speed shop had a healthy relationship with a nearby new car dealership called Baldwin Chevrolet. Joel Rosen had been delivering brand new Chevrolets with added Motion Performance options in brand new cars at Baldwin Chevrolet for a few years now, and was prepared to pick up where the factory left off.
The 1970 Daytona Yellow Corvette shown here is a Motion Phase III GT Corvette and it was sold brand new in this configuration. Joel Rosen had introduced the Phase III GT Corvette during the previous 1969 model year with Grand Touring body panels such as the faired in headlamps, extended side fender louvers, a fastback window design, a choice of three different side exhaust systems, a unique stripe, custom paint and a variety of performance options which allowed the owner to build a one of a kind Corvette. The Phase III level indicates Motion Performance modifications that were performed upon a high performance engine. In the case of this yellow Corvette, a blueprinted LS-6 454 with open chamber aluminum heads was installed, and the factory air conditioning and automatic transmission were retained for grand touring purposes. A Hone Overdrive was installed to reduce the modified rear end ratio of 4.88:1 to a more reasonable 3.42:1. Original performance times of high 11 second ¼ mile times were the norm for Motion Phase III Corvettes.
This Motion Phase III GT Corvette is currently owned by Dan McMichael and it was the highest optioned GT of all the Phase III GT Corvettes that were built from 1969 to 1971. When this Corvette was built, it became a favorite of Joel Rosen. It was originally built for and purchased by Thomas Squires of Los Angeles, California. It was double the price of a new Corvette.
Motion Performance was so busy during these years with Corvettes, Camaros and other Chevrolet models, that Joel Rosen never had time to expand the Phase III GT Corvette production. The time had quickly passed for Joel to build one for himself. Decades later, Joel decided to locate this Phase III GT. Knowing that it was in the Los Angeles area, he discovered that it had been on the Warner Bros. studio lot for years. However, the Corvette had changed hands at some point, and ended up in Minnesota where Joel traveled to inspect the car. Over twenty years had passed since he shipped this Corvette off to its original owner, and a cheap black paint job covered over the original Daytona yellow finish. Joel had kept his Motion new car sales records and not only confirmed the serial number, but he was also able to see the outlines of the Phase III GT stripes beneath the repainted finish on this black Corvette. The car was amazingly complete and even the Motion installed LS-6 454 with its aluminum heads was still in the car!
Joel Rosen was able to purchase the car from its Minnesota owner and once it returned to the east coast he assigned the restoration responsibilities to Randy Bianchi and John Waleck at Palm Beach Motors of Alpine New Jersey. Joel was finally able to enjoy the beauty and performance of his creation for the next ten years, at which point he decided to sell his beloved Phase III GT Corvette to enthusiast Dan McMichael. This Corvette is always the center of attention where ever it’s shown.