In 2003, I went to a car dealership in Colonial Heights, Virginia, that had a part I needed for a new Corvette that I had recently bought. I didn’t know that I was about to enter a new phase of life and make a very-much-fun new friend: the car dealer, Shawn. He had in his showroom a Daytona Blue 1964 Corvette Stingray with the top-of-the-line engine for that year: a three carburetor, 365 horsepower, high-compression-ratio beast. The car was nearly completely restored to original condition. My jaw dropped. I had not seen these so-called “mid-year” Corvettes that were made in the mid-1960s between 1963 and 1967 since, well, the 1960s. I felt the charge of electricity running through me that one feels experiencing love at first sight. I bought the car and had to wait (very impatiently) for a couple of weeks for the restoration to be completed.
When the day came for me to pick up the Corvette, I drove it from the service area to the side of the shop. I had in my pocket a phone with one of the primitive cameras that phones in those days had, and I snapped the picture that is at the top of this post. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the light rays that appeared in the photograph. If there were any doubt in my mind whether or not I should have bought the car, that doubt was erased when I saw the light. I had bought a StingRay from heaven! It was a sign!
When I drove this StingRay the first time, the car scared the hell out of me. It was loud and brutish. It felt like the front end was going to lift and the ascent would begin. Yeah!!
In the next few years I entered the Corvette in some car shows, and it earned a respectable score for originality at a National Corvette Restoration Society judging in Pennsylvania.
I bought several classic Corvettes from Shawn over the next few years and went with him to places as widespread as Florida and Illinois when he found an old Corvette especially beautiful that he wanted to snatch for his dealership. We hooked up a trailer that carried two cars up to his big diesel Silverado and went off on adventures that I will remember the rest of my life! One of my favorites was a purchase from a dealership in Bowling Green, Kentucky, right across the street from the National Corvette Museum. Once in Florida, Shawn let me negotiate a sale with a reluctant seller in the driveway of the man’s home. I clinched the deal by opening a bag of cash and letting the man take a look. Oh those halcyon days!