Conversation with the Original Owner

 

I purchased my Vette from the second owners.  They gave me the original bill of sale and a copy of the original title.  They said the first owner, Martin, still lived close by.

 

I spoke with Martin on January 27, 2002.  He recalled some of the information about the 1972 Corvette.

 

 

He purchased the car in February 1972.  He recalls that it was built in October 1971.  It was at a used car lot at Union Chevrolet in Nashville, TN.  It had 4,000 miles on it.  He wanted to buy a new Corvette but this one had everything on it that he would have ordered.  They were asking about $6,500 for it.  He said that he would just order a new one.  They sold it to him for $5,700.  “The price of a Cadillac in those days.”

 

The car was parked at a hotel parking lot in Nashville some years later when the hubcaps were stolen.  He said that the car had one-piece hubcaps when he bought it.  He replaced the missing hubcaps with the original-style rally wheel center caps and trim rings.  “I liked them much better.”

 

I was not aware that hubcaps were an option in 1972.  I thought that he was mistaken or they were something added by the dealer.  I later found out that hubcaps were an option (RPO P02).

 

He reports that he had the car up to about 140 on the speedometer before the “valves floated”.

 

DAMAGE

 

A car pulled out in front of him once.  He could not avoid it and hit him.  The damage was repaired.

 

A friend was driving the car “too fast” and hit a big dog.  The damage was fixed.

 

A car backed up at a stoplight.  “Before I could do anything about it, they hit me.”  The damage was fixed.

 

He was driving down the highway on a rainy night when he blew the left rear tire.  It tore up the quarter panel.  The horn for the alarm went to parts unknown.  He made it to a house and backed into the garage while he changed the tire.  He bought a new quarter panel and had the damage replaced.  He never replaced the horn.

 

The car was parked in a carport next to his pickup.  Someone broke into the pickup.  The Vette was unlocked but they broke out the back window.  Cats ended up getting in the car and “tearin’ up the interior”.  He replaced the seats and carpet with original style “light saddle” interior.  The top is not original.  A friend had a Corvette that had the top replaced under warranty.  The first “warranty top” split so he gave the top to Martin and had another warranty top.  It is black like original.

 

MODIFICATIONS

 

The engine was rebuilt at about 60,000 miles.  I asked him why.  He said he had a relative that was attending a technical college and they needed a project to work on.  Martin let them use the Vette to modify the engine.  They replaced the pistons to raise the compression.  He did not remember anything else about what they did, but he knows they did a good job because this guy was a “good ‘un”.

 

You had to use premium gas because it would foul the plugs if you used regular.

 

He had to replace the plug wires regularly.  He used to get the original plug wires that had the metal shielding on the outside.  He found that he could replace the whole set for about the price of one original plug wire.  So that is what he did.

 

He said he replaced the stock shifter with a Hurst shifter and put in a new clutch.  The new clutch was too hard for his wife to use and he did not like the Hurst shifter.  He replaced the pressure plate with a lighter one and went back to the original shifter.

 

I told him the spare tire looked original.  He said it probably was.  He put bigger tires on it sometime but didn’t replace the spare because the new tires were too big to fit in spare tire tub.  The car ran about 5mph faster after that.  He was doing 60mph on the speedometer and was clocked by radar doing 65mph.

 

He asked if it still had the trailer hitch on it.  He had a boat that he would pull to the lake.  I told him the trailer wires were there but the hitch was gone.

 

 

NOTES:

 

The engine turns out to not be the original.  The heads were marked 1973.  The block was bored .030 over.