In 1971, I was a junior in high school and was in awe of my English teacher's hobby of buying and selling used corvettes. He was a great teacher, a wonderful friend, and an expert on cars of all types.
The moon and the stars aligned one day as he asked me if I would like to take a test drive in his 1964 Corvette Coupe. He was the fourth owner of the seven year old car which, somewhere along the way, had undergone a significant makeover. It's Ermine white exterior paint had been changed to black. The front bumpers were removed and the mounting holes filled to fully display the gold paint that glowed from the front grill. It's factory carpet was long gone and exchanged for gold, sculptured house carpeting, and the stock wheels and hubcaps had been swapped for chrome Krager mags with gold painted highlights and Firestone redline tires. Needless to say, my first time behind the wheel of that car was an unforgettable event.
I was forever changed by that short drive and made a vow to myself that someday I would own a car just like that. Little did I know that I would soon get the chance to own that very car. My teacher friend was an unusually good man who cared about his students and taught them lessons of life that went much deeper than the basics of his English courses. To make a long story short, he offered the car to me for about half of what he could have gotten for it on the market. He was a good car man, and had bought it well below its value. Instead of making an easy guaranteed profit on the car, he let me have it at a price that I could afford. So, I took my life savings of allowances, lawn mowing money, and rural farmhand earnings and bought the car of my dreams in the summer of 1971.
That Corvette coupe was indeed the most beautiful lady I had ever laid eyes on. To this day I refer to her as my high school sweet heart. I drove it all through college and my wife of thirty-five years and I dated in it in the mid 70's. I really do believe she loves that car even more than I do. We parked the vette for a few years after we married, saved our money, and restored it in the early 80's back to its original Ermine white color with a new original interior, a completely overhauled original engine, and even added a set of knock-offs with original spec BF Goodrich tires. Today, over forty years after high school, my "high school sweetheart" corvette looks even more beautiful than she did that first time I laid eyes on her in the school parking lot back in 1971.
I have done a complete owner search on the car and have actually talked to the original owner who bought it in 1964 at Star Chevrolet in East Orange, New Jersey. He bought the car while in military service there, and now lives about forty miles from where I live. He still has the original bill of sale and will not part with it due to sentimental reasons, but was kind enough to provide me with a color copy of the original. What's the chances of that?
Oh yes, and the high school teacher that I bought the car from is still playing around with cars, going to car shows, and looking for deals. We are good friends and have stayed in touch closely over the past forty plus years. He is a wonderful friend and I am grateful that I have had the chance to grow older and wiser enough to realize what a monetary sacrifice he made in selling that car to me at a drastically reduced price. I have thanked him many times over for allowing me the opportunity to own the car and to experience a forty-plus-year love affair with my "high school sweetheart" 1964 Corvette coupe.