THE SEARCH

 

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I’ve always loved the muscle cars.  I envied the guys in high school with the 69 Camaro Z-28, the 70 Trans Am, the 69 Camaro SS, the 70 Chevelle SS 454, and on and on.  But the one car that I thought was really the “coolest” belonged to the guy who owned the mechanic shop near my school.  He had a white 1969 Corvette convertible.  He always parked it out front of his shop with the top down.  It was gorgeous.

 

As high school graduation approached, my dad suggested I start looking for a car to take to college instead of the Blazer I was driving.  It just so happens that I had spied a ’66 Corvette convertible at a used car lot down the street.  They were asking $9,500 for it.  I talked the salesman down to $5,500 but I needed help with the money.  I knew my dad would be happy to help me with this.  My dad grew up around cars and could appreciate this bargain.  I knew the car would be mine.  I approached him with my proposition.  His answer.  “You don’t want an old car.”  An old car!  This was a CORVETTE!  I was floored.  They eventually sold the car.

 

The years passed.  I went to college and envied the guys with the cool “old” cars.  Then came a career, marriage, kids, house payments, braces, etc.  I didn’t have the time or the money to get my dream car.  I let my dream fade away.  I still turned to gawk at the muscle cars I came across but I resigned myself that these cars would always belong to the other guy – not me.

 

Something happened early in 2000.  I still don’t know what happened.  I know it wasn’t the fact that I would be turning 40 next year.  I’m really not into that kind of stuff.  I suddenly got an urge to start looking for a classic Corvette.  I equate it to the urge that birds have to fly south in the winter.  You just do it.  We had just bought a house so it really didn’t make any sense to look for a car now.  We used all of our savings on the down payment.  But I began my quest.  The old dream was beginning to rekindle.

 

I started out by studying the different years of Corvettes.  I finally decided that my car must be from 1970 to 1972.  It must also be a convertible, with a 454 engine, 4 speed transmission, air conditioning, power steering, and power brakes.  Why not be specific?  Next I started searching the Internet for MY car.

 

I searched every dealer and classified web site I could find that would have Corvettes.  I bookmarked several as my “regular” sites but I still searched for new sites.  I searched the Internet almost every day for a year.  There were lots of great cars, but none that met the criteria I set.  Then one day I found a new site and it happened.  There she was!  MY car!  She was a 1972 convertible with 454, 4 speed, a/c, power windows, power brakes, and power steering, white and saddle leather interior.  I zipped off an email to the owner and I waited.  And waited.  And waited.

 

To top off my anguish, my computer crashed and I lost the list of web sites and emails.  I couldn’t remember where I found that site.  My dream was being dashed again.  But to my surprise I received an email from the owner.  He had been having computer problems and couldn’t respond to my email.  He attached some photos with the email.  She was gorgeous.

 

After emailing and talking for several weeks, we agreed on a price for the car.  The only problem was, he lived in Mississippi and I lived in West Texas.  He was about 700 miles away.  You can’t just drive over and look at the car.  I went with my gut and took a chance on the guy.  I loaded up my wife and a trailer and we drove to Mississippi. 

 

He turned out to be very honest and the Corvette was as he described.  We made a deal and I loaded up my Vette.  MY Vette!  I still can’t get used to it. 

 

image005Well, now I have it.  I am not going the show car route.  I want a car to drive and enjoy.  I plan on keeping it close to original as I do my restoration.  It is a blast to drive.  I love to see the guys with the new Corvettes turn and look at me drive by.  I can see the longing on their faces as I imagine them saying, “Look at that Corvette!”  I am very fortunate to have a wife that has let me reach my dream – even though she doesn’t totally understand it.