By: Al Rogers on 6/08/2012
Stories of barn finds and yard finds abound in the collector-car world. People put a car away in storage with the intent of one day having time or money–usually both–to restore it. On a recent photo assignment in northern Virginia, we heard about a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette that has been sitting in a yard for nearly 40 years. We took a detour to check it out.
We drove along the winding roads through farmland, eventually pulling into the driveway of a turn-of-the-century farmhouse surrounded by a barn and a few scattered outbuildings. Parked behind the house was a green 1965 Corvette Sting Ray.
After walking around the Vette we spoke with the owner, who agreed to talk about the car if we kept his name and the location anonymous.
The Glen Green 1965 Corvette Roadster was purchased new by the owner’s sister. She owned it for two years. During a memorable drive on wet pavement she drove into a guardrail. She was not hurt, but the Corvette sustained front-end damage. Once the repair was completed the family convinced her to look for something a little easier to handle and more on the practical side.
After giving it some thought her brother offered to take the car off her hands. A deal was worked out between the two of them in 1967.
“I owned British sports car prior to the purchase of the Corvette,” he said. “The roadster, with its 327-cubic-inch small-block V8 engine and optional four-speed manual transmission, was similar in layout to the British automobiles I fancied.”
He parked the Corvette in late 1972 or early ’73, and it has remained in the same spot since.
“I replaced the brakes four times at a cost of $400 each time,” said. “After spending $1,600, my priorities changed. My wife and I started a family, then our business. We’re commercial farmers. Every spare nickel we have goes back into farming. Our business and family took precedence over the Corvette. My dream has been to one day get it back on the road. Now I’m not sure if I have the time or resources to see it through,” he said.
As the tour continued, he opened the passenger door and sat in the seat, collecting a handful of tools from the glovebox. With a smile on his face he looked up and said, “This is the first time I’ve sat in this Corvette in many years.”