KISS conservative styling good-bye in custom Corvette

Larry Edsall
Special to The Detroit News

Quiet is not a term you’d likely use to describe the rock group KISS. Loud and in your face, for sure, and that includes not only the group’s music and fire-breathing, pyrotechnic performances, but the bold, face-painted graphic makeup that turns musicians into characters that look like they’ve emerged from some sort of nightmare — or perhaps from the pages of a comic book.

The band’s co-founder and front man is Paul Stanley, who also is an accomplished artist whose original paintings can demand six figures and whose prints sell for $2,000 and more.

Which brings us to today’s subject: A 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray created in a joint effort by Stanley and the Chevrolet design staff. Like KISS and its music, you’re likely to have a love-it or hate-it reaction to the graphic revisions made to the sports car.

But don’t judge too quickly. My initial reaction was to hate it when I saw the car at the most recent Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. But over the course of five days I walked by the car over and over again and it’s bold graphic started to grow on me and now, as I review my photos from the show, I actually think the car looks pretty terrific.

So what did the musician-artist want in his Paul Stanley Concept Corvette? Well, a rather shocking — but what else would you expect — two-tone paint scheme, though not in black and white as are the dominant colors in KISS’ makeup. For his Corvette, Stanley chose an almost shockingly deep and dark P.S. Candy Red exterior color. But that was just the start: He also had the roof, rear hatch panel, spoiler, rearview mirrors and grille covered in Midnight Glaze Silver.

To further set his car apart, it rides on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear Chevrolet Accessories wheels painted in a dark Carbon Flash Metallic color and wrapped with all-out, high-performance summer-season tires.

While the exterior may be sinister in appearance, the interior is the standard 3LT trim setup in Jet Black, well, except for the carbon-fiber gauge cluster surround, the carbon-fiber steering wheel spoke cover, and with unique quilted Parchment leather seating surfaces with dark red accent stitching and Parchment leather accents in the door panels, passenger dash board and center console.

The car also has the optional Z51 performance package — dry-sump oiling, electronic limited-slip differential, larger front brakes, and differential and transmission coolers — as well as a Performance Data Recorder to track lap times on track days.

So, do you love it or hate it?

Or to put it another way, does it make you want to rock ’n’ roll all night and drive every day?

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at ledsall@cox.net.