Loren M 1960 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Convertible

The Corvette that Burned Up

I worked in a steel mill at the time. Choose the afternoon shift so I could save money faster. Worked seven months without a day off until I had $1500 saved for a down payment on a new '60 Corvette. I ordered it in January '60 and the car came in in March. I ordered the new that year Honduras Maroon paint, one solid color. Also the 290 hp fuel injection, four speed, 4.56 positraction rear axle, metalic brakes and the removable hardtop, all for $4217. I paid it off in two years. After the car was delivered I went onto the day shift, so I would have the freedom to be out and about in it!

One day after I had the car for a couple of months there was a man in a suit at my door from General Motors. He said I had an experimental aluminum radiator in my car. I hadn't really paid much attention, just figured it came with the fuel injection engine. He said he would like to come back about every six months to check it. He did this for a couple of years. Never called, just showed up and would catch me at home. He said don't tell the dealer I am checking on it, they don't like us going behind their backs.

I went into the army in '63 and stored it in my dads garage. With ten months left in my enlistment I was sent to Vietnam. Dreamed about that Corvette and my dog. A buddy sent me a tape of us winding it up and sent it to me in Vietnam. I was in an Advisor's Camp near Kontum City and the Cambodian border. Everyone took their turn pulling guard duty at night about three times a week. Tracer fire overhead every night. Most of us had ordered four track stereo tape players from the P.X. I had loaned my Corvette tape to this one kid who was crazy about cars. One night I am walking guard and I hear my Corvette winding through all four gears echoing through our compound! It was so cool! I knew that kid was playing that so I would hear it!

I left Vietnam in April '66, as we were getting ready to board the plane here is a white '61 Corvette driving by with a blond woman driving it! "Vet's seeing a Vette in Vietnam!" We couldn't believe it! I said to the guys getting ready to get on the plane with me, "I got one of those at home!" "Not the blonde, the Corvette!" Their response, "Oh yeah!" A lot of guys wouldn't believe I had one, I even had pictures of me standing by it.

I was home about nine months when the Corvette caught fire on I-75 near Lexington, Ky. AAA insurance in '67 gave me $1275 dollars for it. On Barrett-Jackson about five years ago I saw one just like it, even a fuelie for $160,000! Oh, and my dog died the next week!

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