Charles L 1964 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Convertible

An Acquired Love Affair

I have an interesting story in that I was able to acquire the same car 3 times in 32 years, yet only purchase it twice. One might ask how can that happen, and so this story must start from the beginning.

I have always admired Corvettes. Even before I was old enough to own one, I would see one going down the road and say to myself that one day I want to own a Corvette. As a working kid in high school I disciplined myself, saved my money, and was fortunate enough to make my first car a Corvette. A 1962, 327/300hp, two tops, automatic transmission and with power windows, purchased in 1971. My second Corvette, purchased the following year, was a 1966, 427/425hp, two top convertible, 4-speed transmission with factory side exhaust.

Each purchase upgrading to a nicer car, I acquired this 1964 convertible, "for the first time", after I had just turned 19 years old, in September of 1974. The car was an original black on black car, with the original 327/365hp engine, M-20 close ratio 4-speed transmission and side exhaust, in excellent condition. Unknown to me at the time, the engine block was cracked and the original engine had to be replaced with a newer model 327, but not to worry, it was still the nicest car I had yet to own. During those years, a young man's car was his most prized possession. In many cases it was also his largest investment, as well as his only transportation, and I was no different from anyone else in this regard. Of course this was fine with me. What better car to be seen in all the time than a mid-year Corvette? It was used for college, for work, for play, and for what ever utility purpose a vehicle could provide. It was a factory street rod, yet it was my date car, even a pick up truck if needed.

I became interested in offshore fishing in the mid-70's and used the car to go on fishing trips, hauling my catch on top of the car if I could not get it into the car. By this time the car needed a paint job and the body being of fiberglass it would not rust, so I figured, no harm done. Once after returning from a fishing trip, my car was stolen while parked in front of my house. I spent the next day looking for it, and thanks to a very lucky tip from a friend, found the car, thus "acquiring it for the second time". It was scheduled to be stripped and parted out the next night, I was told.

I continued to enjoy and use the car and in 1980, due to other interests, sold the car to my brother, Lewis. He understood as I did, that if he ever decided to sell the car he would give me first option to buy it back. True to his word after 24 years, my brother called me in June of 2004 and offered the car back to me. Just out of the blue he said, "Well are you ready to have your car back?" Not ever expecting this to happen, I was without words. The car needed a complete restoration, I had no extra garage space, and I did not have the money. This was my old car though, the car that had gotten me around in my youth, and very few people would ever be given an opportunity like this, especially after so many years had passed. It did not take me long to say, "I will take it". I can worry about the minor details, such as money and garage space later. So for the third time in my life I acquired this car, knowing that a major commitment would be necessary to bring it back to life.

Not one to waste time I picked up the car and delivered it to Jamison’s Custom Corvette Inc., of Charleston, S.C. for a complete frame off restoration. Because the engine had been replaced years ago, I opted for a fuel injected small block as the power plant. The original M-20 close ratio transmission was rebuilt as well as the rear end with 370 gears. The suspension and brakes were also upgraded and improved.

All interior pieces were provided by Al Knoch Interiors and built to factory specifications. Options include leather seating, power windows and brakes, original Delco AM/FM radio and teak steering wheel. The exterior trim is finished with factory side exhaust, knock-off wheels and redline radial tires. The original color scheme of black on black was retained with the paint being applied in a base coat clear coat method.

I look forward to many years of enjoyment with my old car and plan on driving it when good weather permits. It currently resides in my garage alongside a magnetic red C5 2000 convertible I ordered and purchased new.

C.W. Long

Charleston, S.C.

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