charles v 1969 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Coupe

OLD TIMES NOT FORGOTTEN

I was working as a car salesman at a ford dealership in 1982. one sunday afternoon a man came in to trade his 69 corvette for a pickup truck so he could start a gutter business. I remembered that in 1969 I had friends that came back from Vietnam and bought hot cars with their money they saved while in Vietnam. I was not wealthy and could not afford any of these hot cars. this old corvette reminded me of those days. while they were working the trade for the truck deal I was thinking how I would have given anything for a 427 corvette in its day. after they traded I went to the back lot to drool over the old corvette. it had a rough body for someone had flared the fenders and made a race car with it, although it did have the numbers matching engine and the factory sidepipes. i hadn't driven a car with power in a long time for in the 70s nothing had power. the emissions had taken all the fun out of driving. i got in this old car and drove down the street. boy it had torque like i hadn't felt in years. i had to have it so i bought it with the intention of fixing it up. it sat around in my garage for about 7 years and i decided i had to fix it or forget it. i took it to the shop and got started. they took the car apart-sent the engine to the engine shop to be built to the max. they took off the body and bead blasted the frame and body. after the suspension was finished they put the drive train on the frame and dropped the body on next. they filled the whole body and let it set up for a year and a half to let the filler get good and dry. then it took them close to a year to get the body sanded back to factory specs. then came the paint. it was a painful drawn out process but i was hanging in there even though my budget had at least tripled what i thought i would have to spend and there was more to go. it was finished in 1993 and i was the happiest man on earth. this old car was running and driving better than it did when it was new. i was using the 108 octane turbo blue fuel that was readily available then. WELL-they outlawed the high octane leaded gas on the public roadway and i couldn't get fuel. i occasionally went to the race track and got racing fuel so i could drive it. in 2010 i got a GM ZZ-502 to replace the 427 so i could drive it sometimes. i took out the 427 and 4 speed and replaced it with the 502 and a five speed. i loved the 427 but the 502 is more powerful and it runs on pump gas-AND IT IS DRIVEABLE-I hated to take the original engine out of the car but on the other hand i wanted to drive it some. i have all the parts to make it original but i like it the way it is. i have the original wheels but i thought it needed shiny wheels to light it up. it is much less expensive to buy a nice car than it is to build one and the time factor of building a car is hard on your mentality. every time i drive this car i feel like i am 21 years old again.

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