1969 Chevrolet Corvette Jeff from Michigan

Sometimes the best advice one can get is: “If you cherish something, go after it regardless of what others feel and when you get it, hold on it to it!”  This certainly what Jeff did with his 1969 Chevrolet Corvette which he has owned for 46 years.

It was 1970, while the war still raged on in Vietnam, Jeff was being honorably discharged from the Army. Jeff trained as a combat medic, but was fortunate enough to serve out his 7 years right at home in Queens, New York as Lab Technician. As his duty was approaching an end, the new Chevrolet Corvette C3 was introduced in 1968.

“As soon as I saw it, I thought this is the sexiest car I have ever seen! It was like something out James Bond, and I knew then I just had to have one!” Jeff explained.

Jeff began shopping for it immediately for a C3. After consulting with his insurance agent, who discouraged the purchase, he was advised that if he was going to purchase a Corvette it needed to be the small block version or he could not get insurance. Commuting daily on the Bronx Freeway known for its stop and go traffic he decided he needed an automatic transmission otherwise his left leg would be a vastly overdeveloped over his right after a few weeks driving back and forth to work. Wanting to not only save on his insurance, Jeff wanted to find a lightly used version of his dream car so he could save some money on the purchase as well.

Jeff’s search soon turned up a nearly new 1969 Corvette Coupe, equipped with the small block V8, automatic transmission and T-tops; exactly what he desired. The coupe was for sale by the original owner who had been given an ultimatum by his fiancé, who told the original owner “it’s me or the Corvette!” Fortunate enough for Jeff the seller followed that sage advice previously quoted, and held on to his future mate instead of the car.

Because the car was less than 2 years old, Jeff was able to transfer the existing warranty and received the coveted Pro-tect-o Plate from Chevrolet in his name for $25. Not that he really needed a warranty, because he drove the car without a hitch daily for 18 years. He even drove the car through a blizzard in January 1976 when he and his wife moved to Michigan. During that white knuckle ride through the storm the odometer quit working, however Jeff calculates the Corvette has gave him 275,000 miles of nearly flawless operation driving it daily all those years.

Jeff decided in 1999 retire and restore his beloved ‘Vette. As a member of the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) he researched his vehicle meticulously. He was able to gather up the parts he had taken off the car 30 years early when he wanted to add his own custom touches to his ride. These parts all were still safely stowed in his parent’s basement in Queens, where he left them. As he opened the boxes they were still looking factory fresh. Aside from paint and the Re-Chroming, Jeff did all the work himself and completed the restoration in 2005. His efforts were rewarded first at the Local NCRS Charter show in 2005, then again at the Regional NCRS meet in 2008, and then finally, at the National meet in 2011 where each time he won Top Flight NCRS Honors each time.

These days the Corvette and Jeff are enjoying retirement, going out for pleasure cruises on nice days. He enjoys taking the car for a cup of coffee to the local Cars and Coffee near his home in Metro Detroit. Just as when he got the car, the Corvette continues to operate flawlessly.

Reggie Horning