This Corvette has spent its whole life in Texas. It is a bare bones car with manual steering and brakes, a big block engine and 4 speed, factory side exhausts, no a/c, and 3.70 positraction rear end. The original owner bought it from Earl Hays Chevrolet in Dallas. It was stolen, the original engine and transmission were removed, but the car, as a roller, was recovered and returned to its owner. He put a 396 motor and Muncie trans from a wrecked Chevelle into the vette. He listed it for sale in the newspaper in Sept. 1973, during the worldwide gas crisis; I bought it for $1,200. The first photo is as it appeared in 1973. It had some body damage, faded paint, and the engine was burning oil. Over the next 9 years, I had the body fixed and repainted 1966 Corvette Mosport Green, my favorite color at the time. I replaced the 396 with a LS-5 454-365 horse engine out of a 1971 Corvette (the owner was swapping in a racing small block so he could road race it). By 1982, I had married, had a 4 year old and a newborn; a Corvette with no a/c in Texas was not too practical, so I sold it to a friend, he gave me $9,000 for it. A few months later, he let the engine get low on oil and it seized up, he left it in his garage for 4-5 years. He then got it back on the road, and promptly trashed the Muncie. It went back in the garage for 5-6 years, until he replaced the Muncie with a cobbled together Borg Warner T-10. He drove it on weekends for a couple of months, lost interest in it, then parked it again. Over the years, I would call him periodically and ask him if he wanted to sell it back to me, the answer was always no. But in 2012, He was planning to buy a big house, so he got the Vette running (and stopping); called me and asked if I would buy it. Of course I said yes and picked it up the next weekend.
So this is a happy ending story about a guy who had a great big block Corvette, sold it and was without it for 30 years, then bought it back!
Work done on it since 2012 includes complete rebuild on the front and rear suspension, rebuilt steering box, rebuilt starter, new Holley 3310 carb, new side exhausts, new 205/75-15 tires (radial replacement for the old 7.75-15 bias ply tires) new carpet insulation, new carpet, new seat padding, new black vinyl seat covers, and new convertible top. The second photo is the current condition of the Vette.
I drive it every weekend to cruise ins and car shows. I get many positive comments from gearheads who are excited to see a midyear Corvette that is actually driven on the street!
Future plans include a repaint to factory code Silver Pearl with a black stinger, and an engine rebuild to include higher compression, bigger cam, and aluminum heads and water pump.
I have lots of receipts from the 1970s, and a copy of the classified ad newspaper page where I first saw the car for sale in 1973.
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