JULY 4th SPECIAL: Corvettes
Over their many years, American roads have been traversed by all sorts of unique and interesting motoring machines, hailing from all corners of the globe. While each has merit, this red, white and blue holiday we’re taking time to salute one of the longest in-production sportscars – one that continues to be manufactured in our Land of the Free for over sixty-years – the Chevrolet Corvette. First introduced in 1953 as a concept show car, over the next six generations the two-door quickly evolved from six-cylinder tourer to iconic V8 supercar.
For this 2012 Independence Day we’ve assembled a patriotic trio of ‘Vettes to celebrate and commemorate another year of cruising freedom.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette, Al & Eric Pasternak
This 1969 Corvette was purchased in 1976 as a wedding anniversary present from Al Pasternak to his wife.
“When I asked her what she wanted, she quickly replied, ‘A Corvette!’ said Al.
“When all three of us would go for a drive, Eric would sit on the console,’ recalls Al.
After a new Corvette joined the family’s fleet, the ’69 was rolled into storage where it remained for nearly thirty years. With Al’s wife passing in 2008, the father/son team decided a proper restoration would be a suitable tribute to the woman they loved.
This would be a hands-on project – no difficult task for Eric, who is a professional automotive repair and bodywork man.
Between the angular front fenders lies the factory-bestowed 350ci V8, mated to the automatic transmission.
The guys made sure to leave the black interior alone, choosing to preserve it just as it was during all those school day drives.
“The best part is having all those special memories of mom,’ said Eric.
1989 Chevrolet Corvette, Tom Arvidson
Tom Arvidson’s 1989 Corvette was a bone-stock example when he purchased the Polo White convertible in Inverness, Illinois from the original owner.
Adding flare to the simple design is a Greenwood body kit, complete with front and rear air dam, side skirts and deck-mounted spoiler. Fikse wheels cover up Wilwood disc brakes and simple red hood striping and driver side ‘Grand Sport’ hash marks complete the look.
“I was able to do everything myself and although it’s frustrating work confined to a one-car garage, the end result made it all worth it.”
While he may be partial to his custom Corvette, it’s safe to say he enjoys all ‘Vettes – Tom currently serves as the president of the North Shore Corvette Club.
1966 Chevrolet Corvette, Tim James
After Tim James’ Nassau Blue 1966 Corvette left the St. Louis, MO factory, the road-going muscle ambassador was sent north of our nation’s borders.
Tim has the original shipping invoice, which shows it was bought for a now-paltry $4,565.80. That amount procured an upgraded engine (the 327ci V8’s output was boosted to 350 horsepower), a four-speed transmission and white-walled tires.
The bow-tie speedster cruised around the heavily forested backroads for nearly four decades before immigrating stateside in 2005 to a buyer in Iowa.
“The car is very straight and other than a repaint of the factory color, is all original.”
The odometer shows a gently used 71,000 miles although Tim does not hesitate to enjoy his drop-top out on the blacktop.
“I just love the factory side exhaust and the rumble it makes. Its so much fun to drive and given it doesn’t have power steering, you truly feel the road!”
Happy Fourth of July!
**All photos and content by Classic Recollections and may not be used without permission 2012 ©**