Jonathan H 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Coupe

The Hero and his steed

My oldest brother Barry was 20 years older than me; was in the Air National Guard and flew F4 recon out of the Birmingham airport. He had a 66 stingray coupe with side pipes; I was just old enough to barely see over the dash. I remember the push into the seat during acceleration, the long Hurst shifter that banged out the gears, the roar of the pipes and the rustle of the wind around the open windows. He sold the car when I was a kid then gave the ultimate sacrifice in 1990 during Operation Desert Shield. I thought of the car often as I remembered him but never had the courage to look it up; did not want to salt the open wounds. The man who bought the car from my brother still owns the car but will never part with it after a restoration and I can appreciate that; but he offered me the keys to take it out anytime and for as long as I wanted. I told him why there was a seam in the driver's fender from a prior incident; how the car was painted in the Chemical Lab at the University of Alabama late one night (had to fast talk the security guards into believing that they were running top secret government experiments) and many other details of the car that I never forgot from childhood. My brother was a true hero to me and I soaked up the stories like a sponge. Long story and walk down memory lane to say that classics have stories. Get to know the car and the story and be prepared to share it; you just might make someone's day. Oh, and I still have not taken up the offer to take the stingray out for a spin; not even sat in it. I don't want to spoil the memories of Barry in that car and me riding shotgun screaming like a little girl. Some memories are too precious like that.

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