Ned W 1961 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Convertible

It all started with 77 Sunset Strip and Route 66

I just turned age 63. I loved cars since I was 7. My favorite car at that time was a 1958 Ford Thunderbird convertible as seen on my favorite TV show, “77 Sunset Strip.” I pretended I was driving the T-Bird by using an old wagon my Dad had when he was a boy. In 1960 another favorite show aired...Route 66. Brother Kevin and I built little push go carts at that time. Kevin was 7 years old. We used scraps of old tricycles, wheels from old lawn mowers, round electric fence posts for axles and wood for the bodies. One I built was supposed to be a white ’60 Corvette with a black outline depicting the side coves. The main characters on Route 66 were Tod Stiles and Buz Murdoch. They cruised Route 66 on their weekly adventure to help someone who lived along that road. Tod owned a Corvette. Naturally, I had to be Tod Stiles. Kevin was my sidekick, Buz Murdoch. The fake headlights were glass Ball fruit jar lids, held on with bent over nails. I finally figured out how to arrange an old lawn mower motor to run it. Unfortunately, the only way I could rig up the drive train was to have Kevin run along side it putting tension on the drive belt with a pulley/lever arrangement. We both could have been seriously hurt with that deal. The Corvette was too heavy from using leftover wood siding from a recent barn renovation. So, there I was with an original Corvette Woodie. Kevin built a neat car at that time. His was sleeker and I think 2 toned…dark green and maroon. We even had doors that opened using rusted barn hinges. Since then, I had a number of special interest cars, including 3 T-Birds and 2 Corvettes. Two years ago I sold a ’60 T-Bird that I owned for 9 years but kept a ’61 Corvette, red with white coves, that was purchased at an auction in Auburn. It all started with "77 Sunset Strip" and "Route 66." Ned Werling Lexington KY

3 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Rebecca United States February 14, 2014 at 14:50
    Ned, Love this story, especially the Ball Jar fruit lids as fake headlights. And I am coveting this red and white Corvette. Full disclosure - I work at Hagerty. Thanks so much for submitting this story.
  • 2
    Robert Wave Florida February 14, 2014 at 17:39
    Hey Ned, Neat story, brings back memories for me as well, we sort of did the same thing, maybe not as detailed but we sure did like to race downhill on 4 wheels made of whatever it was we could find. As a vette owner myself, it has always been just a dream but, it came true for me about 20 years ago and still going strong....thanks for sharing.
  • 3
    DougieC Lancaster, CA December 20, 2016 at 23:54
    Years ago, I stopped at a yard sale off the beaten path, and there it was! Sitting off to the side of the long driveway was the purple metal flake '58 Chevy convertible used in '77 Sunset Strip, with a hay bail sitting on the hood and nobody taking care of it. A shame. Hopefully someone took it under their wing.

Join the Discussion