My Dad always loved Corvettes and he would show me the Stingray brochures that he collected each year. I had a poster of a Red '73 convertible on my wall through my whole childhood. I had a bleach blonde teacher in grade school that drove a an Orange Flame '75 Vette to work every day. I had many toys and model Corvettes as a kid, but when the '78 Pace Car came out, that car sealed my fate as a Vette owner. I don't have a Pace Car yet, but it is on the list.
When I test drove my first Vette (the '75), it was like climbing into the cockpit of a fighter jet. That narrrow cabin and those peaked fenders were just so cool and that car fit me just right. It still does today, it's just not as easy to get in and out of it :) I love the C3's because the styling is timeless. They look as cool and beautiful today as they did 40 years ago. There is just nothing like them.
For me it was February of 1974 when my first cousin bought a brand new Corvette Gray L48 coupe with silver interior. I was 8 years old, and coming from a small town, it was the first Corvette I'd ever seen in the flesh. I thought it looked like some kind of space craft. I wanted one from that day on. As I grew up, my cousin had kids and I began babysitting for them when I was 14 or 15 to make some extra money. He would pick me up sometimes in the Vette and take me home. He still has the car to this day with only 40,000 miles on it. The car is in mint condidtion. I've been looking for a C3 mid seventies Vette for about 10 years and finally found a really good one this spring for a decent price. My wife said "you've always wanted one and if you think this is the right one then you should get it" and so I did. A 1975 coupe. And in my favorite color combination, silver with dark red interior. I've always liked the 68 to 77 model coupes with the straight back window. I remember when I was 11 years old in late 77 and they came out with the 78's with the big back window; I never liked them as much as they didn't look as unique; too much like a Camaro or Firebird I thought at the time. And then when the 84's came out, I thought they'd really ruined the looks. I hated the Star Wars dash, the lack of body lines, the big black rub strip around the whole car. I know they were a technological improvement but they had no style. I'm not fond of the C5's either. The C6's finaly get my approval except for the headlights. It's funny how to this day, Chevrolet has never repeated the styling of that straight back window; most likely for aerodynamics I know and I'm glad as it makes those earlier Stingray C3's kinda stand out to me. The C3's are still my favorite, even more than the C2's. It's funny when I take mine to cruise nights and car shows; some people love it for it's unique looks, especially women. Some car guys see that it's a 75 and call it gutless (although mine has quite a bit more power than it used to) or say things like I wouldn't want one as they're too hard to work on (they're not that hard to work on if you have any mechanical ability and can read) and some people see it and say they've always wanted one. Just like me!
Vette(s): Former--1979 L-48 auto, dark blue, oyster cloth Current--1979 L-82
As a teen in the 70s, I was a sucker for late 70s Trans Ams. The mean 77/78 front end was my favorite, but I ended up with a blue/blue 403 79 T-top. Beautiful, comfortable and wonderful car. It finally died at 223,000 miles. I still miss it.
A friend back in the day had a 78 Pace Car, though, and seeing C3s up close, I don't know what it is, but you appreciate their swoopy curves far more when you're standing right next to them than when you see them on the road. Almost concept car bold and daring.
I was in the running to buy my friend's 78, as he wanted a C2. It ended up too expensive for me and I got a "regular" 79 (blue/oyster L-48 auto) for $8,000. He wanted $13,500 for the Pace Car. It had 10,000 miles on it (this was in the 80s). He sold it to someone just before another interested buyer showed up and offered the new owner 15K for it. The deal was made right in front of my friend. *chuckling* Sure wish I could've seen his face.
Whoever dies with Jesus in his heart wins.
Vette(s): SOLD - "The Toy" - 1970 Convertible SOLD - "The Beast" - 1990 ZR-1 (#682) "BLKBRRD" - 1978 Trans Am, 400ci/285hp, 4 spd, Black w/black interior, Hurst t-tops
As long as I can remember I've been a "car nut". From the late 1950s and well into the 60s watching the annual styling changes was fascinating...!!! I have to admit though I never paid much attention to the Corvette until "Route 66" came across the air waves. The '61s/'62s are still my overall favorites but way beyond my means. My first Corvette ride was in a C2 big block roadster with sidepipes. I don't remember what year the car was but the ride was AWESOME...!!! Then in high school a gym teacher had a '66 Laguna Blue coupe that I got a couple of rides in and that opened the door to wanting a sports car.
Then a small foreign roadster with an American V8 came along and started kicking some serious butt in the racing world - the Shelby Cobra. That car took my breath away then and it still does today. I'll never own one in this lifetime but a guy can dream can't he...?!?!?!?
Now I'm not saying I "settled" when I drifted back into the Corvette realm. As I mentioned above the '61s/'62s are well beyond my means as are the C2s. So the next choice was to look into the C3 realm and that is where the hook got set. IMHO the C3 styling has been the benchmark in the Corvette realm. "The Toy" was a high school graduation present to myself - 30 years late...!!!
"BIGBRRD" is fun to drive and talk with folks about. "The Beast" is an awesome driving experience and I know I'll never reach its full potential in my lifetime. But "The Toy" is just simply pure joy. Can't say anymore than that.
____________________________________ Jim Olson "The Toys"...!!! Save the Wave!
Vette(s): 1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames
3.45 Dana 44.
I was in 5th grade at the time I fell hard for Corvette's. I damn near flunked out because all I ever did was stare out the window at the one teachers '72 vette.
The following year is when I took 'em hook line and sinker after my Dad pulled up in front of my grandparents house with his co-workers '69 Stingray, red w/ a black interior, Hooker sidepipes, Recaro buckets, Turbo Vec rims, 350/300 hp upgraded w/350 hp cam, 4 speed Muncie. I never forgot that ride.
I ran into the guy that owned the vette a couple years ago and thanked him for addicting me to the expensive hobby of Corvettes. lol. I couldn't believe he had a picture of that very car still in his wallet. That really brought those distant memories back.
GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes Borgeson Steering Box Born 8/1981
Vette(s): 1974 L-48 Auto.
Just your basic Vette. GM crate motor w/vortec heads and intake. Crane cam. Scorpion rockers, Edelbrock carb. Lots of parts still in boxes... :(
This thread is awesome! Funny to hear how these things get into your blood.
I remember seeing a brand new '74 when I was about 10 years old. My uncle and some other men were walking around it, loudly verbalizing about how Chevy had "ruined" the Vette with those hideous rubber bumpers. I saw something totally different, and fell in love with that one car and wanted it my whole life.
30+ years later, I retired from the Navy and finally had the financial means and square footage to buy and work on one. There was no other year that I even considered, and I went straight for a '74. Buying the car from eBay, I got totally suckered and ripped off. I thought I was buying a car that needed a new interior and some minor work, and I got a car that needed everything. I considered sending the car back or filing fraud charges, but to be honest, I didn't want my "First Corvette" story to end that way. So my budgeted "nine months" is now into year four, and I'm doing the car the way that I want it.
My Dad turns 70 this month, and I'm very fortunate that he's still as youthful as he was at 40. When I bought mine, he picked up a '69 a few months later and we are working on them together, along with my 13-year old son when he'll come along! We also owned C5s together, although I've since sold mine. Work and family obligations keep the pace slow, but it's fun.
So to this day, the only time I've driven the '74 was when I backed it into the shop and started tearing it apart.
You guys have made me jealous talking about your first cars. Cudas, Camaros, and the like. I was unfortunate enough to come of age driving an '81 Chevette, followed by an '86 Dodge Colt, and a string of other embarrassing four bangers. I've since owned some muscle, including a Mustang GT and a C5. But nothing stirs the soul like the shape of that Stingray.
So I'll keep dumping money into it, against the advice of myself and my financial planner. But you only live once, eh?
"Let them that don't want none have memories of not gettin' any." - Brother Dave Gardner
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