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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Classic Car Stories - My First Corvette

My 1967 Convertible

In a previous post, I talked about what a great car I had with the 1993 Z28 Camaro.  The LT1 Corvette engine that it had was fantastic and I loved that car.

My fascination with Corvettes started during my pre-teen years, thanks to my Uncle Jim.  My dad’s brother had enlisted and became a US Marine back in the late 50’s.  Four years later, when he got out of the service, he came home and with a bit of the cash he had saved up, bought an early 60’s jet black Corvette convertible with a red interior. He drove it over to our house and it was the most beautiful car that I that had ever seen!  Being awestruck, I watched as he invited my dad to go for a ride with him.  Of course, all Corvettes are two-seaters, so there was no room for me to go along.  After they got back, he asked me if I wanted to help him wash it.  Alas, I was too shy to ask and he never thought about taking me for a ride!  Not too long after, he became engaged, got married and with a baby on the way, had to get rid of it.  He sold it and bought a Hudson!  What a letdown when I saw him in that thing!
Anyway, after that I always wanted to own a Corvette.  Along about 1973 or ‘74, I found out that a guy I went to high school with had a 1967 convertible for sale.  I went over and looked at it and found it to be in decent shape.  Originally, it came with a 427 cubic inch motor but the previous owner had the car stolen at some point.  They recovered it a while later with the engine and transmission missing and he replaced the motor with a 327.  It was a beautiful silver with a black convertible top and factory side pipes.  It had the original 427 hood scoop on it and fooled a lot of people!  But frankly, it wasn’t much fun to drive and I put a wheelbarrow full of money into the brake system and suspension just to get it to handle properly.  In fact, returning from a vacation trip to Canada, I had a rear wheel come off on me while driving down the highway.  It was due to a mechanic improperly tightening an axle retaining nut. Fortunately, the wheel came off and wedged up in the wheel well, so there was no body damage. Earlier that same day, I received a speeding ticket from a Michigan State Trooper!  That was a rather lousy trip home.

It wasn't long before I grew tired of the ongoing expense and put it up for sale.  I paid $2500 for it and sold it for the same amount.  Wouldn't you know it, not long after, the prices on used Corvettes and muscle cars started to skyrocket?  In fact, the guy I bought it from called me back a few months later and wanted to buy it back from me, if I still had it.  The numbers didn't match, because of the replacement engine and transmission, But I’m sure I would have gotten a lot more for it, had I kept it another year!
So, that was my first of two Corvettes and a great classic car story. Part 2 comes later, Dan
See the Youtube video below to hear a real 400 horsepower 427 idle!

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