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How did you find YOUR VETTE? (Read 46541 times)
Reply #225 - Jul 11th, 2012 at 12:05pm
blue 77   Ex Member

jcorvette, nice story and hopefully it has a happy ending (after the professional paint job). Wink Is she getting the '72 and keeping her Harley?  That would be the best of both worlds. Grin

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Reply #226 - Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:17am

Widetrack   Offline
Junior Member
I Love my Corvette!
Pittsburgh Area

Gender: male
Posts: 14
My love for Corvettes began with the car itself. I remember seeing pictures of the 1953 "GM Motorama" car (a prototype named Corvette) in the Jan.  Automotive News. My father was an Olds.-Cadillac dealer, and  this was required reading in our house. Anyway, I thought that that was the coolest ride that I ever saw. As it turned out, later, that Fall, the local Chevrolet dealer, Frank Yenko,  who was a friend of my father, arranged for Chevrolet to bring one of the early cars to display at the county fair. After getting the chance to see this car up close and personal, I realized that this car was something special, even though it did have a six cylinder engine and a 2-speed powerglide. [not to bore anyone, but, most people don't realize that only several GM prototypes actually ever made it to production, virtually unchanged. That first Corvette, the first mini-van (Trans Sport, / Venture / Silhouette)   and the Aztec come to mind.]
Well, it wasn't until 1958 that I was in a position to get my own sports car. In the meantime I had driven many 55-57 Ford T-Birds, and they really were nice cars; very stylish and with a V-8 plus available manual shift. The Jag 120's/140's and the Mercedes 190 SL's were nice (the MG's never appealed at all / I always thought someone dressed in a clown costume ought to be driving). One of the advantages of being a dealer's son is you can take anything off the used car lot and drive it till it's sold - just make sure it's there during the day and keep it clean. Anyway what I really wanted was a '57 Corvette. To this day, hands down,  I honestly believe the 57 Corvette is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. I realize that you can never dispute taste and preference; there is no right or wrong, and you don't even have to have a reason to like something. But, in this old man's mind, the clean simplistic styling, the vehicle's proportions, and the available power plants and transmissions represent the zenith of the Marque. Then again, common sense came in. I was in a unique position; I could buy a new current model for hardly any more than a used prior model - so I bought a 1958, fuel-injected, 4-speed, both tops, white on white with silver coves and a red interior. (MSRP around $4,800., my cost, as I remember $3,870. - That's right, there was 25% profit in those days. And, before price labels; that meant a car sold for whatever you said.  The way I was taught; start with at least a $600. pack, let the customer "beat" you down to whatever he wanted for his trade; everybody's happy. I was actually selling cars before I was old enough to legally drive them. Anyway, that '58 was something special. I loved that car; four eyes, "washboard" hood, chrome strips and all. And  could it run. Those of you who are old enough, might remember;  fuel-injection in those days wasn't what is today.  I remember many instances where people removed the fuel-injection because they couldn't get it running right. Well, I was lucky; Frank's son Don was really heavy into performance at the time and his mechanic set mine up and I never had a problem. I didn't really keep track, but that car probably cost me more money in fines than it did for gas.  Unfortunately, I only kept that car for a year. Let's face it. A Vette is OK as a second car and great as a third car. But as your only car, especially if you do any travelling...well, that dog just don't hunt.  Anyway, I traded that '58 Vette  and $600. for a new '59 4-seat Thunderbird.  (flamingo / white top / black & white interior) Nice car, but no Corvette.
It wasn't until 1985 (26 years later) that I picked up my '72 convertible. All the dealers in my district knew I was looking for a Corvette convertible with a stick. Now, I know I'll get some flack here but, to me, it "ain't" a sports car unless the top goes down and you're shifting gears. Anyway, one of my dealers called me at home and told me he was taking this car in on a special edition Trans Am. He said the car looked OK, so I asked him to hold it and I would be up. When I saw the car, it did look pretty good.  The previous (2nd) owner did some things I wasn't wild about, but they were easily remedied. He had put a "bolt on" front spoiler, some mag wheels and "Bubble" tail lamp lenses on the car. But, when he turned the car in he had brought in the original wheels, trim rings, center caps and the rear lenses. I had the car back to correct in no time. In 1989, while in for some routine maintenance, the service manager called me that he saw some spots on the frame. (It took 4 years for the camouflage to wear off) Long story short; either cut through the plastic or take the body off. After  the body was off, you could read a newspaper through where the trailing arms went into the frame. Now, the dealer and I both knew why the previous owner was willing to pay what was really "too much / too fast" trading it in on the Trans Am. But then again, since the dealer had offered me the car for what he had in it, although I made him take $200. over,  I couldn't complain and over the years we always had a good laugh about it. Goes to show you, everybody thinks dealers are "shaky", but, I could fill a book with what I've seen customers do to "get over" on dealers and/or the factory. Anyway,  I've really enjoyed restoring and driving the car.  And, being a GM employee, I always had plenty of help locating whatever I needed. It was through my buddies that I located the new frame,  trailing arms, "A" frames and lots of other parts scattered around in GMPD warehouses . And,  the parts were cost plus 10%; I always got discounted or insurance (tiered) labor rates.  Truth be told, I was pretty lucky. When I think of what I've spent, over the years,  compared to what someone off the street would have to spend; no complaints.
If you're still reading this, I apologize for rambling...but, hey, that's what old people do.   
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Reply #227 - Sep 24th, 2013 at 2:42pm

olddiver   Offline
Global Moderator
1980 Red California Special
Medara, California

Gender: male
Posts: 1057
Nice history and you didn't ramble, I have a few years so I enjoyed the read Smiley hope you have many more years of fun with your hobby Grin

Upon the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who on the threshold of victory they sat down to rest, and resting they died.
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Reply #228 - Sep 24th, 2013 at 3:07pm

68-73   Offline
YaBB Administrator
NCRS Member 68,73,77 Corvettes

Gender: male
Posts: 8691
I to am a senior & love convertibles & sticks. Very nice history..it's good to see people having fun & enjoying life.
Alan Smiley
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Reply #229 - Sep 24th, 2013 at 3:08pm

Tim-Texas   Offline
Full Member
Killeen, TX

Gender: male
Posts: 149
Great Read...



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