Martha J 1960 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Convertible

Pop-pop's Legacy

This is the story of how a 1960 Corvette came to Batavia, Illinois mid-winter 2006.

As long as I can remember, my grandfather had the '60 in his garage. It was his fun car and always parked on the left side of the garage with the family vehicle parked on the right. As kids, we would peer through the window of the garage people door to look at it, only to be met with barking and snarling from their large German Shepherd dog. He was not a particularly nice dog and lived in the garage with the Corvette. This car is one of the things I remember most about my grandfather (not including his wearing plaids and stripes together, but that is another story).

There were other cars before the Corvette; a Jaguar being one of the last. Upon selling that, he and one of my uncles began the search for the "perfect" Corvette. It was bought second hand in 1963 and driven home by my proud grandfather.

This car was originally bought in Haddonfield, NJ; the town my grandparents lived in. This can be seen from the dealer sticker still affixed to the trunk. (Yes, be jealous-the 1960 has a real trunk!) This particular 1960 is a 283/230 hp with a 3 speed manual transmission.

The car "lived" there until 1984 when my grandparents moved to Georgia. The Corvette went along in a hired truck. The interesting part of this is that it went in the moving van! It went in amidst the moving boxes of household necessities. As my grandfather was the only person small enough to get into the Corvette while it was in the van, he was the one to back it out (not that he would have let anyone else anyway). The tricky part was that once in Georgia, they needed to find a loading dock which was at the proper height to unload the car. My grandfather would not leave it behind, nor would he sell it.

There are stories to this car which makes it family. It was stolen twice-the first time taken for a joy ride, the second it never got out of the yard thanks to Bismarck (the German Shepherd dog). Again, he was not a nice dog, but he loved to go for rides in the Corvette. And he scared off the would be car thief. My grandfather used it for a daily driver for awhile, leaving it in the parking lot at work. This is where the convertible top was cut and the joy ride began.

Now, my grandfather was not much of a mechanic but he would work on the car some. He also felt the need to do some paint touch-ups along the way. Most people buy the proper touch-up paint, but not Pop-pop. He and my uncle (the one who went car shopping with him) went to Pep Boys to find a red touch up that was close. If the red "looked right" or if it was a red made for a GM car of the same vintage, it was okay. He also used red nail polish and when he was done, he gave it to my Grandmother to use for her nails (imagine that).

As kids, my mother forbade us to ride in the car, mostly due to the lack of seatbelts. Now, we ride around no seatbelts, no top. No worries:)

I love this car for what it is, and for the happiness it brings in remembering my grandparents. And now, our Rottie is learning to ride in a convertible. Her name is Diva. Imagine, a dog named Diva riding around in a Corvette. The dog tradition continues.

Thanks to my grandfather who had great taste in cars, to my family for making this possible, and to my husband who willing brought it home (not running and driving the trailer 750 miles through blizzard conditions from Maryland to Chicago that February 2006). :)

This is how this unrestored, unmolested 1960 Corvette made it to Chicagoland.

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