Each month a member of t he North Central Chapter NCRS will be selected at random and highlighted as Member of the Month. We hope this will allow all members to get to know one another better.
June 2021 Member of the Month
I am engaged to my better half (and other owner) Kitty Caton. We both retired June 2018. I was in sales at Poly-Tex and Kitty worked at 3M. We both grew up and now live in Northfield, MN.
Do you have children? Kitty has 2 adult children. Bradley and Lisa. Between them we now have 4 grand kids. Harper 8, Jack 14, Khloe 20 and Cole 22.
Corvette(s) that you have: We currently own a 1971 LT1 corvette convertible. 350, 4 speed, manual steering and brakes. Sunflower yellow, saddle interior, with a black top.
History of your Corvette(s):
When did you buy it (them)? We purchased the car in June of 2014. Our focus was a C3 1969 through 1972. The main criteria was it had to be a Top Flight car. It received a Chapter Top Flight award in 2012. The car has had a total nut and bolt restoration.
Do you or your car(s) have a unique story to tell about how you got into the Corvette hobby? What car guy has never wanted a chrome bumper Corvette? I had all kinds of nice cars growing up. Mach 1, XR7, Firebird. It seemed I always had a reason to not buy a Corvette. Then I looked at it from a different perspective. Don’t buy just a car. Buy something collectable. Thus the LT1. Best decision we ever made. Love the car. What else can you say about a convertible Vette during the summer? Kitty doesn’t care to drive much because of the “Armstrong Steering”. Fortunately, that leaves me with the driving responsibilities.
What is your next Corvette project? Our goal was to have the car judged at the Regional in Rochester last June, but that was canceled due to Covid. So the car was ready and I was just going to wait until the next one. Then it occurred to us that we could take it to the local Chapter event. Currently we’re putting some final touches on getting the car ready for Chapter Flight Judging this May. I think it would be a great learning curve for the Regional. We’ve gone through the past judging sheets and made improvements where needed. We’re really looking forward to this event.
North Central Chapter:
When did you join? What activity do you like best? Judging? Car cruises? Tech Sessions?
We joined the NCRS 2012 once we really got serious about buying a car. Just receiving the Driveline was a huge help. Also, the technical advice on the website was worth the annual cost.
May 2021 Member of the Month
Hi, my name is Tim Saarela and I’ve been a member of the North Central Chapter for almost two years. My wife Laura and I reside in Credit River Township and we both grew up in small towns on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota. Laura is a preschool teacher at Blessed Trinity School and I’m a software engineering leader at CNC Software (Mastercam). We have two grown children, Neal who sells mortgage products for Wells Fargo and our daughter Erin, an architect at ISG.
My very first real car was a 1985 Chevy Camaro purchased off the show room floor at Ed Rinke Chevrolet, a dealership right down the road from the GM Tech Center where I worked as a systems engineer. Ever since my days at GM, I’ve had a fascination with Corvettes, especially C2s. Over the past few years I’ve been casually searching for a Corvette project car but was put off by the high cost of entry. After turning my focus to a more affordable generation, I noticed a Craigslist ad for Dave Cloutier’s 50th Anniversary C5 convertible in June of 2019. My wife Laura and I were in Chicago for a Rolling Stones concert at the time. I called Dave and decided to make a stop in Hudson on the way home to take a peek.
All Dave had to do was remove the cover and I was smitten. What a gorgeous car! Our negotiations weren’t progressing so Dave slyly decided to put the cover back on. Never under-estimate Dave’s negotiating skills! I returned a few days later to pick up the car. Dave was amazed that I drove away with the top down. I’ll let you ask him why.
My casual search for a C2 continued and over time only intensified. Just recently I noticed a sweet looking maroon 1965 ‘vette on Craigslist and decided to take a look. I leaned pretty heavily on Chris Enstrom’s extensive knowledge in advance of the visit to help me understand what I was going to be looking at. I remembered Chris telling me that a maroon on maroon combo would be a rare find. The photos showed this one as having a black interior. Using what Chris had taught me to evaluate the trim tag, I quickly realized this car was originally maroon on maroon and had been converted to a black interior by a previous owner.
The C2 is now in my garage alongside the C5. I now have a car I can drive anywhere and another that will keep me busy as a project car for years to come. I really do have the best of both worlds!
I’m currently developing a game plan for renovating the C2. Ultimately, I want to restore the interior back to its original maroon color. Other key decisions include converting to a date-correct engine, frame-off or not, and whether or not to repaint. I tend to be adventurous and am looking forward to the journey!
I joined NCRS at Dave’s urging shortly after buying his car. I’ve attended two fall judging events, last year’s rain-soaked June cruise, and the paint-care tech session from last fall. Larry the trainer offered to demonstrate polishing techniques on my C5 hood and the results were amazing.
So far I’ve enjoyed my time as member of the club and am learning a ton. Everyone has been super supportive and extremely willing to share their expertise. I look forward to getting to know more members at future events.
April 2021 Member of the Month
My wife Bobbie and I will have been married for 24 years in august of 2021. We have two living adult children, Blaine and Amy, both of whom live in the MSP metro area.
We also have two grandchildren, Lavinia, age 7, and Abram age 3, who both love “Papa’s” red Corvette!
I’ve always had an interest in cars, but my personal involvement in Corvettes began in high school when my friend, John Ikeda, a long time NCRS member, purchased a beautiful 1965, Nassau Blue coupe.
One look and one ride and I was hooked! Just nothing like the view through the windshield of a C2 or C3!
My first Corvette was a 1981 coupe bought in 1993 from a mechanic who had fixed it up for his wife. The engine had been blown, so he dropped in an an engine from a newer C4.
This made for an interesting classification challenge at a Corvette weekend at what was then Brainard International Raceway!
My next car acquisition was a 1991 ZR1 from long time (grade school) friend, Fred Manthey, in 1997.
I loved that car and put about 60,000 miles on it, at one point driving it solo from San Francisco to Maine before finally selling.
In 2014 I purchased my current dream car, a 1968 numbers matching (with documentation) 427cu in, 390 HP, red convertible through our NCRS tech director, Bob Lund.
Bob was just finishing a frame off body restoration and the owner made a decision to sell. I also have the hard top for the car. I think it’s a rolling work of art and so fun to drive!
Bobbie and I enjoy day trips with our close Corvette friends as well as outings with the club.
Hopefully we can all get back to having in person fun this Summer after being cooped up for a year!
March 2021 Member of the Month
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with the NCRS North Central Chapter!
You may wonder why I included a photo of myself and Bob Lund. Bob and I have been friends for 40 plus years, a very long time.
I have owned over the years 12 Corvettes. My current Corvette is my 3rd 1965 Coupe. All my ’65’s have had side exhaust, knock off’s, sliver and black or blue/blue, 327 small blocks.
Folks ask how old was I when I bought my first Corvette, I was 19. I bought a 1959 Corvette that was sold by Ralph Humrick as a parts car.
I bought the ’59 as I was nearly hit by a car on my motorcycle at the same intersection I was hit by a car while riding my motorcycle when I was 13.
I wanted a vehicle that was fun, sporty, with a top, no more getting rained on and a heater that was safer than a motorcycle.
The only car that appealed to me was the Corvette.
I bought the ’59 from Ralph and did a body on restoration. I decided to show it when finished as it was pretty nice. It won first place at my first car show and did very well at several other shows.
My 1959 was on the cover of Vette Views and Ditzler Paint magazine.
After that I did a body off restoration of a 1971 roadster with air. It took two years and turned out really nice. Unfortunately it was stolen the first weekend out of storage the second spring after completion of restoration.
Fast forward, I was on the list to order a 2020 Corvette but my heart just kept pulling me to another 1965 coupe. So I called Bob Lund and asked him what they cost and what’s available.
Mind you I had been bugging Bob about a ’65 for a few years and I had to adjust to the “market valve” they cost a lot of money!
I told Bob I am looking for a 65 couple , sliver/black or blue/blue, 327/350, knock offs, side pipes, 100% original already restored or original ready tot go.
I was done buying non original cars and no longer had the interest or space for another body off restoration. To my surprise Bob said “John, I have your car!”.
The ’65 Bob had for sale was his for many years. Bob had sold it just a year prior. It is a no hit body, 100% original and ready to go.
When my wife Pam and I went to look at the car Pam asked me what I am going to offer, I said I am not going to offer I am going to buy, I have a deposit check with me.
She said how do you know you will like the car? I said I have known Bob for 40 years, 40 years of trust. Bob sold me the best Corvette I have every purchased!
My family loves the ’65 because I love it!
My wife Pam is fine with it but it is not her favorite car. It is old, the exhaust stinks, no air conditioning, noisy side pipes, no back up camera, only one side mirror.
All the things I love about it!
My neighbor who has 7 Porches, two Mercedes and a Ferrari asked me what I plan to do with the car when I am tired of it, my son Scott quickly answered it will never be on the market.
My daughter Jackie and son Scott both claim the ’65 when I die 🙂
I joined the NCRS club as I wanted to reconnect with others who value vintage Corvettes. I have been a member of St Croix Valley Corvettes, Suburban Corvettes in the past and was looking for a vintage Corvette club.
I will be showing the ’65 this spring at our NCRS NCC Eagan show and look forward to attending other social events with the club.
I included a picture of my 1959 Corvette and the neon sign that I had made for it at the neon shop at the Mpls College of Art & Design by a fellow class mate back in 1974.
I always displayed the neon sign of my ’59 with my ’59 at car shows and won best sign of the show more than once:-)
Thanks for your interest in my Corvette story!
February 2021 Member of the Month
My name is David Mack. I grew up in Mankato, Minnesota. I always loved cars so when I was old enough to drive, a few of us guys fixed up cars and then at night we drove up and down Front Street like American Graffiti. Those were the fun days.
I bought my 1956 Corvette in 1971 right out of high school. I was looking for a 1963 corvette and a friend told me he had a 1956 corvette. I did not want a car that old. It was gray with wide tires and a 327 balanced and 60 over with aluminums rods. The longer I looked at it, the more I like it, so I bought it for $1800.00. The bank said I was crazy but gave me the loan anyway. Well, I raced it at Mn drag ways for two years than I put it away and got into dirt track racing. After that I got married to JoAnn and decided to fix it back to stock. [THE CORVETTE I MEAN]. I got a 365 engine at a junk yard and rebuilt it. Though the next 15 years I painted it the stock colors Venetian red with white sides. I also did brakes, brake lines, fuel tank and lines, interior redone and installed a new wiring harness and redid the chrome trim.
My Dad was a mechanic at a Chevy dealership, and I helped him on cars that he brought home to work on. That got me into cars and mechanics so I could do most of the work on it. IT NEEDED A LOT OF WORK!! Things That I need to do year are: new convertible top, more chrome and stainless redone engine update to two four barrels and disc brakes.
I have three children: Justin, Jenna and my 1956 corvette. My wife and kids like going to car shows, after I got enough courage to go to them. Always worrying that it would break down to and from shows. At shows I like talking to people about the car and my stories about it. That is one of the things I enjoy about a car show. I also really enjoy talking to the other car people and learning about their cars and their stories. I was at a car show in the summer of 2019 and met Paul Burski. He talked to me about the NCRS and I was very interested in it. I joined NCRS in the fall of 2019. I have gone t a few tech sessions and enjoyed them a lot. I have met some members that have great stories and a lot of knowledge about corvettes. When things open up more, I would like to do more things with the chapter.
January 2021 Member of the Month
Hi. My name is Perry Canton and I recently joined the NCRS. It is sad that the Covid has limited me from meeting so few of you. Here is my story.
Back in 1970, my Dad decided I needed some transportation when I transferred to the U of M from Moorhead State – yes, I was a Spud and a Dragon, for those that know what that means. Dad loaned me $600 and gave me a sheet with the monthly payments owed when I would graduate and enter the real world. I went down to the local Pontiac dealer and purchased a ‘63 two-door Tempest Lemans. Not for it’s supposedly mundane reliability, but because it had a Hurst 3 on the floor with a heavy duty clutch, would light up the tires in first and second, and go 100mph at the touch of the gas pedal. It looked like a teacher’s car but, drove like a hot rod. Easy to work on and fun to drive. When I bruised the front quarter panel, I found that there were 27 screws and bolts to replace the fender, but only 6 bolts to replace the front clip. I went to the junkyard and found a bolt-on match – a ‘64 GTO front clip. Later, after working at the DNR, when I could afford a Formula 400 with dual factory glass-packed mufflers, I sold the car to a friend of my twin brother, Mark, who raced a ‘56 Chevy at the dirt track in Fargo (more about my twin brother later). Two weeks went by before he called and told me his motorhead friend was overjoyed with the GTO engine (326 or 389?, I never knew). Much later in life, I was looking through a muscle car book at Barnes & Nobel. When I turned the page for the Pontiac section, the picture staring back at me was a ‘63 Pontiac two-door Tempest Lemans GTO prototype with a whole article on it. Same color, same markings, and matching interior. Although, the Formula 400 was also a great car to drive or just sit in and listen to it rumble and feel it shake.
My next car was a rust free ‘72 El Camino that my older brother, Keith, found for me in Seattle. It received a lot of attention at the bars, but was totaled when some kids ran a stop sign on their way to a party.
But now I was getting married and settling down and the fast cars became a thing of the past. But, a few years before that happened, an opportunity knocked on my door. Remember Mark? He worked with Butch Schultz at Duane’s House of Pizza in Moorhead. He calls and tells me that Butch’s brother-in-law in Mahnomen blew up an engine in a ‘63 Corvette Coup and they were going to turn it into a hotrod with a 283 out of Butch’s Chevelle. My brother and I decided that was not what should be done and I offered to buy the car. Butch drove it down from Mahnomen with the swapped 283 and I drove it back to the Twin Cities. It was in rough shape and I am not sure how it made it. The seats were not even bolted in. I drove it down to Bob Eddy’s in Jordan and it was at his place for quite a few years. Bob was galivanting around the world working for GE. It was now neglected and spent much of its time in four different garages over 40 years. More on this car later.
In 1987, I married Therese and we raised a daughter Caitlin and a son Erik. Those years were filled with playing and coaching volleyball, working at the DNR, and rebuilding a house that needed almost everything. The time went by fast.
Over the years, a friend of mine, Steve Feesl, who also worked at the DNR, and I would talk about the ‘63 and other cars. Steve was a rally racer who I found out competed against Bob Lund in their youthful years. In 2012 his aunt was selling a ‘95 yellow/black convertible. Therese had always wanted a yellow sports car. So, for our 25th wedding anniversary, we purchased the Vette, good running car that needs very little work. There were minor fixes to an interior door and the passenger side mirror motor needs to be replaced. I purchased a spare tire holder that I need to install as it does not currently have run flats. It’s definitely a driver with 160,000 miles and a fun car to drive.
The other corvette we own is a ‘63 Black/Red 300HP Coup that is pretty much fully restored. There are knockoffs that are not original. I purchased 8088 wheels from Mark Lyddy and repainted them. I traded a camper that needed to be fixed up to his twin brother Mike for the hubcaps. Maybe I got the better deal out of that one. That pretty much will make the coup close to original. Next spring, I will take it into Bob Lund to install power steering and electronic ignition. I have not started the documentation process, but that should not be difficult based on past ownership of the car. I will enter a NCRS judging event next summer.
As Chris Enstrom and Bob Lund will attest to, the really interesting part of this journey is how in the world did I end up with a restored ‘63 coup. That journey started 57 years ago and my part is only the last 40 years. A separate article would be needed to tell the whole story, so here are the cliff notes.
Remember the neglected ‘63 Coup from above. On retirement, I decided it was time to take a look at what I had neglected for 40 years. I uncovered it and crawled under the car. Astonishment – it looked like a Z06. With the carpet out, it looked like a N03. I uploaded pictures to a corvette forum and asked for help (see link at end of document). It did not take long before corvette enthusiasts responded. Gessner and Esteriecher assured me that what I had was a Z06 BigTank. This eventually led to Chris and Bob taking a look. To keep it short, through some research and a lot of luck, the car was occasionally raced by Bill Fuller in the SE. According to a news article, the car was most likely purchased for Sebring, but only arrived and raced at Mansfield a week before Sebring and did not make it to Sebring the next weekend. Fuller’s ‘62 Sebring car was sold right after the ‘62 race. What happened to the car between about ‘65 and ‘72 is still a mystery. In ‘72 the car showed up in Reno and was sold as a repurposed street vehicle (FI and Big Tank removed, repainted red) and driven back to MN. There is much more to this story. See link at end of document for a memorium on Bill Fuller in AUTOSPORT.
After talking to Bob Lund, it was apparent I did not want to spend what it would take with the result being a trailer queen that I could not drive. Bob put me in touch with someone that has restored ‘63s and Z06’s. I traded straight up for the restored ‘63 coup. Bill is currently collecting the parts he needs to restore the Z06/N03. Bill and I are continuing to research the car’s history from ‘65 to ‘72. I have been able to talk to Bill Fuller’s last surviving pit crew member/mechanic about the race car. He was in Vietnam when Fuller sold the car and it was no longer in the shed with the other race cars upon his return. Dave Morgan from Tulsa, OK remembers the car, but does not know what happened to it. I have a three ring binder of information from the research which I hope to write up some day if we track down the missing years.
I hope when the health of the country can return to a more normal, I will meet additional North Country NCRS members and be able to see your fantastic cars.
December 2020 Member of the Month
I bought my 1971 C3 Sport Coupe in March 2018 from the online auction site Bring A Trailer. It’s the only sports car I’ve owned. The car was out of the Seattle area (no salt) and had two previous private owners, one of whom worked for Boeing. I named her Cliona, after a Celtic goddess who fell in love with a mortal named Kevin. Cliona also means “shapely,” which I think is a great description for a C3 coupe. She’s Brands Hatch Green (one of 3,445) with the dark green interior and has the original 350/270 h.p. motor and M20 four speed. The only options were power brakes, a tilt and telescopic steering column, AM-FM stereo radio, and white-lettered Goodyear tires. Basic, the way I like it.
I took delivery of the car in the middle of a snowstorm. The driver called me from the road and said that his eight-car transporter was too long for our downtown Minneapolis neighborhood, so we met up in the K-Mart parking lot on Lake Street. My wife Tricia graciously drove me there. The driver warned me “be careful, the brakes are not so good.” He was right about that, but we got home through the snow without mishap, even though I had to pull the brake pedal up with my toes.
Getting the car re-titled was a total DVS PITA hassle. I was registering the car as a collector vehicle, but the clerk kept demanding the MSRP. Uh, OK, that would be $6,130.30! After multiple trips to the “service center,” the title was finally in my name. Now for the fun stuff: getting Cliona safe and roadworthy. I quickly discovered I would be doing all the work. (Does anyone out there repair these things?) First up were the brake booster, master cylinder, flex lines and Wilwood D8 calipers. A prior owner had cut the shoulder belts off, so I replaced those. Then the radiator sprang a leak, so I installed a DeWitts unit. A few months later, during rush hour on University Avenue, the car stalled out in the middle lane. The carb float was stuck open and raw gas was pooling on the intake manifold. Bobby & Steve’s to the rescue. I’ve rebuilt carbs before, but this one looked like an old coffee urn inside, so I bought a rebuilt Q-Jet. All of this was before I joined the NCRS in 2019, so I wasn’t considering how these new parts would look on a scoring sheet. I’ve also replaced the horn switch, turn signal switch, horn, water pump, belts, hoses, wiper blades, ignition points and condenser, and shocks. Up next: de-bugging the vacuum systems (the wiper door does a little dance and one headlight refuses to retract), adjusting the balky shifter, and diagnosing the clunking rear suspension. The car also has its cosmetic challenges, as it sat in a garage for almost 20 years and had accumulated many scratches and gouges from being used as a storage shelf. But I’m going to get all of the mechanicals sorted out first.
What do I like about being an NCRS member? I had my car judged at the 2019 North Central Fall Meet. What a great bunch of folks, and did I learn a lot about my car! I also enjoy the driving events, because that’s what these Corvettes are for, even if it seems to rain every time. I’m also looking forward to attending a tech session soon. Glad to be a part of the group.
November 2020 Member of the Month
My name is Sarah Lardy and I am the daughter of Jerome and Doreen Lardy. My dad introduced me to the NCRS at a young age, and in March 2020 I became an official independent member! It’s safe to say I’ve grown up with the NCRS. My dad remembers driving through the fairgrounds during the Back to the 50’s Car Show, and how excited I became at how many people would stop and point at our car. I think that’s when I started to realize how special these cars really are. I still love attending the Back to the 50’s Car Show, but now I generally wear 50’s style clothing and drag a friend or two along for the day.
My family has two Corvettes. I like to say that they’re really mine, or at least tease that they are my siblings based on the amount of TLC they receive. We have a 1963 Stingray Split Window coupe, saddle tan in color, and a black 1995 coupe. The 1963 is what really sparked my interest in Corvettes, as I was able to help my dad with the full body-off restoration we completed back in 2013. Of course, in the beginning my version of “helping” was bringing him more Diet Cokes and standing inside the engine compartment, but throughout the process, I helped with more tasks. He taught me a lot about how the car operates and the different components, and at this point I became interested in attending tech sessions and judging meets. I’m proud to say I have now started judging Corvettes at the chapter meets, both in 2019 and 2020. It’s always fun explaining to my friends what I’m doing over the weekend and that yes, I’m in fact interested in judging Corvettes. I love that these meets and other NCRS functions allow me to spend quality time with my dad; it means the world to me.
My next goal is learning how to drive a 4-speed manual transmission! I’m not so sure my dad will let me practice on the Split Window, but I’ll see what I can do. I also look forward to future tech sessions, judging meets, and other activities like cruises, and I hope to attend next year’s National Convention. I’ve enjoyed the regional and national conventions I’ve already attended. A unique thing about me is I graduated in May with a BFA in Graphic Design, so I tried my hand at designing the 2021 National Convention logo. My design was not selected this time around, but I will definitely keep trying in the future. I am also working toward a MS in Marketing, with a focus in Digital Marketing and Advertising, and I am hoping to somehow use these skills to benefit the chapter. My art skills also enabled me to paint the ‘63 on a ceramic plate when I was a sophomore in high school!
I appreciate all of you for the kindness you’ve shown me in the past, and for your explanations and patience as I become more involved with judging. I am honored to be Member of the Month, and I look forward to seeing you at future events.
October 2020 Member of the Month
John Hall Sr.
John Hall Sr. is our October 2020 North Central NCRS Member of the Month. He owns a 1958 Roadster (283, 4 Barrel, Convertible); a 1990 ZR-1 (LT5, 390hp, Removable Roof Panel) a 1993 ZR-1 (LT5, 405hp, Removable Roof Panel NCRS Chapter Top Flight, NCRS Performance Verification) & a 2011 ZR-1 (LS9, 635hp, Coupe).
He bought his first Corvette in 1990. It was a Red & White 1958, powered by a 327CI. In 1960, while attending school in Mississippi, his older sister had a boyfriend from Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi who had a Red & White 1958 Corvette. That was when he fell in love with the 1958 C1 .
His 1958 was a “driver”. He drove it back and forth to Arizona where he kept it for winters three times, once joining Route 66 in Chicago to Prescott Arizona. He also drove it back and forth to Orlando for one winter. The 1958 had a solid top only, leaving the top in Minnesota, many nights were spent at hotels with porticos where he could park under.
He will be going for NCRS Regional For Top Flight & NCRS National for Award Of Excellence for his next judging. He is currently installing a new DeWitts aluminum radiator in his 1958 due to prior owner loading it with stop leak. He joined the NRCS on April 12, 2018 to get to know the members and for the activities to learn more of the originality of the Corvette. He enjoying the judging; car cruises and tech sessions the North Central NCRS Chapter offers.
September 2020 Member of the Month
I’ve been married to my wife, Gina, for 27 years. We have two grown children, Cassidy in St Louis Mo., and Jamie, in Jamestown N.D.
I have a 1978 Pace Car, a 1996 Collector Edition coupe, and a 2002 convertible, and a few other non-corvettes in my collection.
The Pace Car is mostly original. The brakes, tires, and mufflers have been replaced. It’s still running the original plugs, wires, caps, hoses, etc. It’s a 15,000 mile car. I was made aware of it in the early 1990s but the owner wouldn’t sell until 2018. It was up the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, Minn. and bought new from Two Harbors, Minn. I had hoped to get it judged this fall but COVID has interfered. I’ll shoot for next Spring.
My 1996 is a LT4 CE that I bought in Mesa AZ about 6 years ago. It took 3 years to locate one that was up to my standards. This one is nice, and original with only maintenance items being replaced over the years. My 16 year old daughter flew to AZ and drove it home together. One of the funnest road trips I’ve taken.
My 2002 convertible is actually my wife’s car. We saw it 6 years ago while buying a set of wheels for one of my other cars. She said she wanted one like it, Electron Blue, black top & interior, with an automatic, It was beautiful but the owner wasn’t selling. After 5 years of looking and not finding one to my standards. I was paging through my NCRS Driveline when I found one fitting the bill in Fargo ND…..it turned out to be the very same guy we bought the wheels from and he’d decided to put the car up for sale. We drove over in the morning and couldn’t get a deal done. We drove home without it, boy Gina was heartbroken. He called me two days later and we bought it.
I’m always looking for a 1982 CE, a 1995 ZR1, and a 1974 454, but I don’t think I’ll buy any projects. I don’t mind doing some minor things these days but I don’t get as much enjoyment building cars anymore.
I got my first taste of Corvettes as a kid in 1973 or 1974 in a then new blue 454 4-spd car. I always had Chevelle’s and Camaro’s when I was younger mostly because of my budget, but I always liked Corvettes. I stumbled into a 1969 convertible, small block, 4-spd, when I was about 20 years old. I fixed it up and sold it as I did with a few others over the following years.
My automotive interests have been predominantly drag racing, collecting, buying & selling at Mecum, and shows. My rural location makes it difficult to attend many of the day events but I love showing people my cars and always welcome visitors to my shop!
August 2020 Member of the Month
Hi there – my name is Kevin Sullivan. I was born in St. Paul – and grew up in Cottage Grove. I have always had an interest in all things mechanical as my Father was a United States Air Force mechanic.
He would always be working on his stuff and show me how to do it. I didn’t always remember, but it was fun hanging out with him. As a kid, my family had a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500, and my Dad would show me how to change the points, tune the carburetor, change the spark plugs, etc …. He was also a member of the Confederate Air Force (now called the Commemorative Air Force) which was a club dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of WWII aircraft. He would bring me to the club meetings, and the guys would show me what they were working on – and I would serve as their tool runner. As a reward, I would get to fly in the planes when they would be at the local air shows. It was fun.
When I was in high school, it seemed like most everyone had a cool car. The school parking lot was filled with Camaros, Mustangs, Impalas, GTO’s …etc – and I wanted a cool car too. So, I started shopping. My first stop was at the local used car dealer in Cottage Grove. And in the show room, there was a 1963 Split window Corvette and a yellow/black 1970 Boss 302 Mustang. My buddy Al Loosbrock placed “dibs” on the vette, so I pondered buying the Boss. Sadly, I could not quite afford the Boss, but Al scooped up the ‘vette – and swung by and gave me a ride. That was the coolest car I have ever had been in. I was officially hooked on Corvettes and vowed to get one someday.
My first Corvette was a 1972 Coupe. It needed a paint job, but it was an original motor car and ran pretty well. After it was painted back to its original color of Bryar Blue, I decided to start going to car shows. One of the first car shows that I attended was the local GTO Muscle Car show. It was at this show that I met Bob Lund – he was the Corvette judge – and told me about the NCRS. I joined the NCRS that weekend.
I really liked that car but decided to try a convertible – so the hunt was on again. After a quick search of Craig’s List – I found a 1961 convertible for sale. The owner of the ’61 was looking for a C3 – so we made a trade. I now had a convertible.
I quickly discovered that C1’s are not like C3’s. So, I immersed myself into learning everything I could about my new car – and then sent it out to be painted. Once that was done, I worked with a speed shop that rebuilt and re-installed the engine back into the car. It was now time to get it judged at an NCRS Chapter meet.
For those of you that have never had a car judged at a NCRS judging meet, my first time was very stressful. Luckily the judges kept me appraised throughout the process and were very thorough with their notes on the judging sheets. I learned so much and I earned a third flight and had MANY notes on my judging sheets. Thank you to the judges that looked at my car that day – they earned their pay with that one! With the use of the judging sheets, and some modifications, I was able to achieve a TOP Flight at the following Chapter Meet.
Our chapter has a great group of guys (and gals) that are kind, helpful and are willing to answer any question that I may have. I hope to be a member for many years. It has been a great ride so far!
July 2020 Member of the Month
Hello everyone! I joined NCRS in November 2006 and it has been a great ride so far!! Being one of the “Two Generation” families in the North Central Chapter, I will start my Member of the Month story where my Dad’s left off and fill in a few highlights. The most recent months of social distancing have allowed me to reflect on 14 years with NCRS. I’ve had a great time and want to share some highlights with all of you.
I bought my first Corvette in 2001, a red/red 2000 automatic coupe. Amanda and I were married in 2003 and left the church in the 2000. Her first car ride as an Enstrom came in a Torch Red Corvette coupe. A few friends of mine with their Corvettes followed us from the church to the reception in a parade of sorts. It was fantastic. We were married in St. Paul, MN after dating for a few years. She has smiled through my Corvette passion for many years and I’m so thankful for her patience and support. Her kindness has allowed my Dad and me to do some really great things with cars and I am forever grateful for those amazing memories we are creating. This was the car that went to my mom and dad, and I took the ’67 home.
The best Corvette trip my Dad and I have shared has to be the Novi, MI NCRS National Convention in 2011. At that point the ’67 had undergone a full restoration in my garage, scored two Chapter Top Flights, and two Regional Top Flights. I had my 97% Regional Top Flight requirement for the Duntov Mark of Excellence Award, and now I needed the PV Award. Novi was my first attempt. Unfortunately, the car failed because of a ride height issue. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Here are the highlights of that trip.
We went to the Performance Build Center in Wixom, MI. This is where they built the C6 Grand Sport (coupe, manual transmission only) dry sump LS3, the Z06 LS7 and ZR1 LS9 engines. Back then, GM started a program where you could build your own engine when buying a new Corvette. This was the place you did it. Then your motor was shipped to Bowling Green to be put in your Corvette. We missed the NCRS sponsored tour of the facility, but called up the facility and the plant manager agreed to a PERSONAL tour of the facility. We saw the 2011 LeMans 24 Hour race winning C6R engine, my dad got to hold the titanium connecting rod and piston assembly for an LS9, we saw the engine test cell where they verified every engine, and we learned about how they build the high-performance Corvette engines.
After that mind-blowing experience, we realized that we had also missed the NCRS sponsored tour of Pratt & Miller. That is the company that has built GM race cars for decades. (C5R, C6R, C7R, C8R, Pontiac GXPR, Cadillac, etc). They were just up the road in New Hudson, MI. We got as far as the lobby, and the receptionist informed us that was all the further we could go. So yours truly peppered her with questions. Finally, I stumped her. She called someone in the back, and that person gave us a PERSONAL tour of the engineering and manufacturing facility that makes these world-beating race cars. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed in the back at Pratt & Miller. All I have is photos from the lobby showing their IMMENSE trophy collection from their years of race victories.
Ok, mind blown again. But surely that was enough? Nope, there’s more. The entire group at the convention went to the GM Heritage Center. That facility is by invitation only and it is where GM houses many of its concept cars, prototypes, and very special production cars. There, we met Dave Hill, former Chief Engineer for Corvette, and saw multiple Corvette concept cars and prototypes in person. Cars such as CERV III, Corvette Indy, the 2009 Stingray, the 1961 Mako Shark, the 1969 Manta Ray, the 1973 Aerovette, and more. Here is a photo of the Corvette concept row and of Dave Hill and I shaking hands. What a thrill to meet the leader of the C5 development effort.
One of my absolute favorite cars there? The 1931 Cadillac V16 Dual Cowl Phaeton. It was purchased new by Augusta Little. When she was done with the car in 1975, she gave it back to Cadillac asking that she “take care of her baby”. It is one of 86 cars built like this.
Well, there was one more piece to the puzzle for this memorable trip and that was to come the next day AFTER the Convention. Everyone was invited to drive their Corvettes on the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, MI. My Dad and I did a “follow the leader” style tour in the ’67 of the proving grounds with the rest of the NCRS members. I bet there were 150 cars there. I also was fortunate to be one of the few selected to get a ride in a bright yellow 638hp ZR1 by a Corvette team Chassis Development Engineer on the Proving Grounds. I have never felt acceleration so violent than that thing. A trip like that will never be topped for me.
Another point of pride for me was when my car was selected to share the cover of the NCRS Judging Guide for the 1967 model year. It only held that post for a couple years before they updated the manual and it lost its placement. However, it is still the featured car on the NCRS.ORG website. The photo used there was taken in Dallas, TX, just after I passed the Performance Verification test with the car.
Another really fun trip was when we went to the NCRS National Convention in Kansas City in 2014 via the National Road Tour. There, I earned the Founders Award with the ’67. But one of the real highlights for me was seeing Ron Hendrickson receive his 300 point Master Judge Award. He and I and a few other members were on the Road Tour together. He has since passed away. Ron was always there for me and volunteered to trailer my car to its first Chapter Meet in 2009 in Iowa. He was so generous. When I asked him how I could ever repay him for all he had done for me, he said “Pay it forward”. And so here I am, your North Central Chapter Judging Chairman since December of 2012. This photo isn’t the best one of me, but it is a great one of Ron. I really miss him; he was such a wonderful part of the Corvette hobby. He was one of the first stewards of the Member of the Month program for the North Central Chapter. I’m so thrilled that other chapter members have followed in his footsteps and continued this great tradition. Our current wizard behind the curtain is Kevin Sullivan. My sincere thanks to him and all that preceded him in this effort. It has really brought our Chapter together.
Being the Chapter Judging Chair has put me in the leadership role for hosting numerous Chapter Meets and a few Regionals. I’m sure Ron would be proud. Here is a great photo of my Dad and me at the 2014 Rochester Regional.
Another memorable day was Father’s Day in 2015. I know almost every owner of the ’67. The first owner was either the dealer owner or his wife. After driving the car for a little over a year, they sold it to the first public owner. I had tried to connect with him a number of times. Finally, I drove the ’67 over to my parents’ house and picked up my Dad for a ride. It was a beautiful sunny day and we drove down to the prior owner’s home and waited for him. After only a few minutes he pulled up on his Harley-Davidson. I think he was a little surprised to see us, but we had a really nice conversation about the car. He gave us a few original photos he had of the car from the late 60s.
My Dad and I shared a trip to San Antonio, TX in 2017 to the National Convention. I wanted to bring the ’67 there to be a part of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Corvette display. While we were there, we saw the VERY FIRST small block Chevrolet V8 ever built. I also had a chance to speak with Dave Morgan, who drove the ’67 L88 race car at the 12 Hour of Sebring amongst other races. (pictured below) He was the 1967 SCCA National Champion. He told the story of driving in the rain at Sebring in the dark. The car leaked so bad that it partially flooded the floorboards. So, to fix that, when coming out of a corner he’d open the door quick so the water would all slide out. That’s back when race car drivers were RACE CAR drivers.
As my Dad mentioned in his writeup, he is pursuing the Hill Mark of Excellence. For that effort we drove the 2000 to the Ohio Regional in the spring of 2019. On the way, we stopped at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. And on the way home we stopped at the Chevrolet Museum in southern Illinois. Two great experiences.
Most recently I have purchased a 1994 ZR-1. The car came out of Texas where it spent 20 of its 25 years of life. I picked it up from the owner after that in Florida in November 2019. My friend and I toured the National Corvette Museum and then trailered it home. So far, I’ve put 2,000 miles on the car this spring and it is a HOOT to drive.
The photo above is an our latest North Central Chapter cruise down the Wisconsin side of the river.
Not including about a dozen North Central Chapter meets, my Dad and I have been to 3 Chapter Meets, 12 Regional Meets, and 5 National Conventions together with his car, my car, or both. I am looking forward to going to as many more as we can together. Seeing the cars, hearing the stories and learning about Corvettes is so much fun.
I’ll close my story with my two boys, Lucas and Joshua. Here is one of my favorite photos of the ‘67 with Lucas who was about 6 at the time. He loves going for rides with the top down in the ’67, and going fast to baseball practice in the ZR-1.
And here is a photo of Joshua next to a C7 at the Minneapolis Auto Show a couple years ago. Sadly, it was not our car. But now since we have a red one and a white one, maybe Amanda will let me get a blue one? I’ll let you know, but don’t hold your breath……
June 2020 Member of the Month
I joined the NCRS in January of 2013. I was working with my uncle restoring a 1964 corvette coupe and had purchased some parts via Craigslist. I met Bob Lund and he turned me on to the North Central Chapter.
My love of corvettes goes back to grade school, where I built dozen of models after seeing my uncle’s 1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette, which he still owns today. On May 30, 2008 my dream came true when I purchased my first Vette, a 1980 red coupe. In the years since I did an engine rebuild, switched to a 3.55 rear end and in 2017 upgraded to a 200r4 overdrive transmission.
On July 21, 2012 my wife Annie and I expanded our family with the addition of our son Henry. The math did not work out as there were now three of us and only two seats in the corvette. So, the saint that my wife is, gave me the best wedding anniversary gift there could be when on August 29, 2012 she allowed us to purchase my dream corvette, a red 1969 big block convertible.
In 2014, we were blessed with little Josie and we took both cars out to shows, the kids exchanging rides in the big block roadster and the other in the fulling enclosed, nice and warm, coupe. In October of 2017 Maddie joined our family, and car shows don’t happen near as often, but she too enjoys a ride in either Vette. The kids don’t call them coupe or convertible, or 69 or 80, but rather, “Big Block” and “Small Block”.
May 2020 Member of the Month
Once Upon a Corvette.
I had never envisioned myself a Corvette Owner. I grew up in a family of Fords. My first auto was a 1969 VW Bug. But that was short lived, because I still wanted something sporty. When Dad would not let me buy a Camaro, he relinquished and I found myself in a Triumph GT6. And why not. I had watched all the British Spy Films and wanted to own a British Sports Car. The one I could afford was a 1968 Triumph GT6. Bright College Days.
But I sold the GT6 with its wire wheels and sleek handling for a convertible Bug. Ah, the open road. Then I bought my first American machine- a 1974 El Camino. But that was replaced by one dull car after another. I was in a rut.
Then Mark Swanson entered the picture and asked if I wanted to join the local Corvette Club. Well, that started me thinking and we started looking, but what we saw in 1998 was so inconsistent that I bought a 1973 Triumph TR6. My wife Edrie just smiled. We kept looking, but nothing turned up.
Every time I drove to a Chapter event, I got the same question. When are you going to buy a Corvette. Then in March or April of 2002, Mark Swanson said he saw an ad in the Mpls Tribune for a 1966 Roadster and that I should call. It was winter! Who buys a car in Pipestone Minnesota in the winter? Each week Mark asked- did you call? It took me three weeks to call and then another couple of more weeks to drive down and look at it. Mark had gone down with me to look and we did our homework. Once Mark said it was the car to get, I made an offer. It was a matching number ‘66 with factory air. We went back down and bought it and we found that it came with a hard top. My wife’s requirements were simple- it must be Nassau Blue. The car I bought was painted Laguna Blue, but underneath was the original color from the factory – Nassau Blue. Edrie just smiled.
Thus, began my journey through a paint job, re-chroming, cleaning, replacing parts, cleaning, judging, cleaning, 2nd Flight at Chapter in 2011, Top Flight at Chapter in 2012, and Top Flight at the 2016 Regional in Rochester. All with the help of my Chapter friends.
What a journey- Edrie my bride of 35 years, has been very supportive every step of the way. The boys thought it was cool and my oldest used it in his High School Graduation pics. We don’t drive it a lot, but on those nice days in Summer you can hear me fire her up and we go for a cruise. Edrie is still smiling as there is very little I can do in the way of improvements. I can’t get this tune out of my head – See the USA in a Chevrolet.
April 2020 Member of the Month
My name is Jerome Lardy and I have been an NCRS member since 2006.
I joined the board in 2011 and took on the positions of Membership Chairman and Chapter Top Flight Administrator.
As you can see, I had an early fascination with Corvettes.
I was 10 years old when this first picture was taken in the summer of 1968 at the Third Armored Division Convention in Des Moines, IA. My sister, Yvonne, joined me for this photo.
In 1981, I purchased a 1979 Silver Corvette and drove it all the way to Jasper, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. One moment stands out while on the road from Banff to Jasper. We pulled over to stretch our legs and admire the beautiful scenery. A motor coach pulled up and all the foreign tourists got off. It did not take much time and my Corvette was surrounded with people taking pictures of themselves with my car. My sister joins me on that photo too.
After about 3 months, I decided that insurance was too expensive for this vehicle, when you are a single 23 year old guy. I traded it in on a 1981 Turbo Trans Am. Guess what, my insurance did not go down. Chalk that up as a learning experience. I soon purchased a Baja I/O boat and realized the Trans Am was not a good tow vehicle so now came my truck phase. I got into hunting and fishing with many different trucks and SUV’s over the years.
In 1989, I married my wonderful wife, Doreen, and we adopted little Sarah in 1997. A cabin purchase soon followed, along with other boats, so I still needed the trucks.
In 2006, I got the Corvette bug again. Doreen knew nothing about this disease that had been in remission for so long and claims it was not part the prenuptial agreement (just kidding).
I started looking for a ’65 Coupe but a co-worker found an ad in the Minneapolis paper for a local ’63 Split Window. I went to look at it with another co-worker who also owned a Corvette.
We determined that it was mostly original and looked nice. I then enjoyed it for a few years going to local shows like Back to the Fifties. Sarah loved going to those shows and always commented that people were mentioning it was a split window. She realized there must be something unique here.
In 2006, I had it judged for the first time and it received a 2nd Flight Award. Obviously it was not as original as I thought. After talking it over with our Tech Director Bob Lund, I decided to take on the challenge of a body-off restoration. In the fall of 2010, the project began. Thanks to the help of Bob and other chapter members at the many tech sessions I hosted, the task was completed 3 years later. It was judged again in 2013 and I received a Chapter Top Flight Award. Sarah started showing interest and helped with the restoration and now claims the ’63 for herself. She still needs to learn how to drive a four speed.
In 2015, I decided to purchase a 1995 C4 Corvette with an automatic transmission so that Doreen and Sarah could drive it (Needless to say, that has only occurred a couple of times).
Paul Burski knew of a low mileage C4 that one of his clients was selling so I went and took a look at it.
The Corvette still had the original front tires so immediately I am thinking it could be put through NCRS judging.
After a thorough cleaning and help from John Ulrich to bring back the shine on the hood, I brought it to our fall chapter judging meet. The judges were confused. They had no idea what a C4 was. All kidding aside, we had not judged one of these in quite a while. Since then we have judged several more.
It received a Top Flight Award and it went on to earn Top Flights of 97% or above at two regionals.
The car also received the Performance Verification Award at our North Central Regional in 2016.
The Dave Hill Mark of Excellence Award was earned at the National Convention in San Antonio, TX in 2017. We will be pursuing the Crossed Flags Award at the National Convention this year in French Lick, IN if all goes as planned.
The chapter has been very helpful in assisting me on the restoration and pursuit of the awards I have sought. I appreciate that very much and I have made many new friends over these past 14 years.
March 2020 Member of the Month
MY 66 TOY
The first car I bought was a 1964 Mustang in 1970. It was Blue with a White top and interior, 6 cyl 4 speed and a brand-new paint job. I Paid $400 for it. My second car I bought, was on Christmas Eve in 1972 it was a 1966 Corvette coup 427/390 Hp, teak wheel and custom paint. So it only makes sense that when I turned 40 I would buy a Blue and White 66 Corvette.
Without any knowledge of NCRS I went ahead and bought It. It came with a 1970 LT1 Crate Motor and fiberglass suspension front and rear and headers. It sounded and ran great but needed a lot of work. After I called a Chevrolet dealer, he stated that none of his service guys were born by 1966 and advised I look into one of the local car clubs.
Along came NCRS, got a lead from someone and made a call to one of the members and next thing you know I have a bunch of guys sawing off the headers putting stock exhaust on and reconnecting my backup lights and much more. I don’t remember much because it happened so fast. I was handing out tools and the next thing we were done, and as fast as they came, they were gone. I do remember most of who came to help.
Ron Hendrickson, Gene Bygd, Dale Crosby, Mark Swanson, Mark Ogren, and Jim Fenske, John Kramliner maybe another one but I’m not sure.
Next thing you know I am going thru and making a long list of parts that need to be corrected. For example, the battery was mounted on the driver side for some unknown reason, and of the 4 wheels there were 3 different ones. Almost all the bolts and screws were wrong, as they had been replaced over the years.
My first experience taking her through the judging process I received a 2nd flight score. I finely achieved my Top Flight my third time thru.
After working on the car for years and laying underneath it with everything falling into my eyes and busting knuckles. I made the decision to do a body off. The club helped to pull the body off in Oct. and we sent the frame out to be straighten, sandblasted, welded and powdercoated. I replaced the gas tank, and gas lines and a major cleaning of the under carriage rebuilt the rear end. All while sitting on the frame. The body was remounted in April. Now Jeannine and I can drive around without worries.
Life is Good
February 2020 Member of the Month
My name is Paul Burski and I was the original Member of the Month back in February 2015. I live in Lakeville with my wife, Nola, and our teenage daughter, McKenzie. I own a 62 Roman Red roadster with red interior and an Electron Blue 02 Coupe. I was fortunate to grow up in Duluth where my father, Harv, was always restoring Corvettes. Because of his influence, Corvettes are my favorite car and I especially like the C1 and C2 generation. Growing up, I really didn’t help my Dad work on his cars very much, but I learned to appreciate just how much time, talent and research it takes to restore a car. Before the internet, Harv would have to look at Hemmings Motor News, go to swap meets or make local connections with car club members just to find parts or information on how to restore his cars. Today, you can find parts, technical information and even ask questions without ever leaving your home. Most of the time, I can find a YouTube video that shows exactly how to fix or repair something.
I purchased my 62 Corvette from my father in July of 2010. I joined a couple of other Corvette Clubs, but after a couple of years of urging from my Dad, I finally joined the NCRS in 2012. Since joining the NC chapter, I was the Member at Large for a few years and I wrote some of the Member of the Month articles. I passed my Member at Large title to Kevin Sullivan and was elected to Vice Chairman and Assistant Tech Director. I really enjoy being a board member and like meeting with other Corvette enthusiasts every month.
Over the past eight years, I have hosted several tech sessions in my heated garage in Lakeville. I had a tech session where we replaced the entire wiring harness in my 62. We were able to complete the wiring in a few hours. This was a project that needed to be done for quite a while, but I was reluctant to do it on my own. I had the engine for my 62 rebuilt and “broke in” at Performance Engines in Eagan by Randy Quam on this engine dyno. Before I had the engine at Randy’s shop, it would overheat during parades or when driving slowly in town.
After the dyno tech session, the car ran cool and my mileage actually went from 10 MPG to 14 MPG. Another benefit to having your engine on the dyno, is you know exactly at what RPM range and where you have all of the available torque. For my third tech session, we worked on restoring my door panels and installing weather stripping on my 62 while adjusting the gaps in my truck lid.
Since I was planning on replacing my 30-year-old tires, I decided to host yet another tech session. At this session, we removed the front suspension from my car so I could have the cross member dipped and have all the old coating removed. I rebuilt the entire front suspension and re-installed it in the car.
After the suspension was back in, I had the car aligned at Twin City Tire in Bloomington. The last session I hosted was to replace the sending unit in my 62. The old unit would show a quarter tank of gas left when I was actually out of gas. We replaced the sending unit and tank gasket. At this session, we also showed how to adjust valves on a solid lifter car and looked at the windshield wiper washer system on Kevin Sullivan’s 61 and got it to work.
Besides hosting tech sessions, I really enjoy attending as many sessions as my schedule allows. I normally jump right in to help and get very dirty – it’s the best way to learn.
Along with hosting tech sessions, I have attended many events during my time with the NC NCRS. I took my 02 Coupe out on the track at the regional event in Newton, Iowa. I thought the time on the race track was awesome, but I’m not sure my passenger (AKA victim) would agree! Last year, I attended a Judging School in Dallas, Texas, with a few other NC NCRS members. It was a very informational and I met a lot of really nice NCRS members from around the country. Learning from Master Judges on some very original cars was an awesome experience. This past fall, I went to Nebraska for a Regional judging event with six other NC NCRS members; which was a great experience.
I would like everyone to know, I’m always available to help work on your cars. I have a four-post lift at my house and have had many members and friends bring their cars over to work on them. My dad, Harv, will certainly agree that I’ve always been really good at disassembling stuff! LOL
In closing, I honestly believe you get out of a project, group or club, what you put into it. The NC NCRS chapter is a great club with many awesome members and cars. I would encourage everyone to get more involved with the chapter. We have a Regional coming up this June in Rochester, Minnesota, and we could certainly use more volunteers.
January 2020 Member of the Month
Alden & Lyn Miles
My wife Lynette (Lyn) and I have been married for over twenty five years. We have a blended family with five children; Adrianne, Ben, Sara, Alysha and Caitlin. We have three grandchildren; Emily, Daniel, Dexter and a fourth due in June. Lyn and I met while working at 3M. Lyn was a Chemical Engineer and I was a Mechanical Engineer in the Commercial Office Supply Division working on such products as Post-it Notes and Flags. I retired in 2006 after twenty five years and Lyn in 2011 after thirty five years.
We currently have two Corvettes, a 1958 and a 2006 (both convertibles). Let me be clear, they are both Lyn’s, I’m only the mechanic. We purchased the ‘58 in August of 2004 as a barn find in Medford, MN on Ebay. The car was purchased by a farmer in 1974 in Pennsylvania and trailered it back to Minnesota. After arriving home he proceeded to remove the outside trim and interior. Thirty years later he told his son that he was 85 years old and that he didn’t think he would get to finish the Corvette. The car was in a pole barn with a dirt floor. It had a 327ci engine, a Muncie Transmission that hadn’t run for years and came with several boxes of parts.
At the time of purchase I was building a 1948 Anglia (English Ford) and didn’t want to start a second major car project. So, in June of 2013 I started to disassemble the car by removing every part on the body before lifting it off the chassis and then removing every nut and bolt on the chassis. The body had at least four coats of different color paint, with the last coat being flocking. For those of you that are not familiar flocking it is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. It was generally done back in the 60’s and 70’s by spraying clear lacquer on dashboards and then sprinkling on the flock. Once it dried and the excess was removed it felt like peach skin. In this case they flocked the whole car black with silver coves and racing strips. Therefore, the body had to be media blasted, and the frame and suspension parts were sand blasted before painting.
I purchased a 283ci 270HP short block, heads, 2X4 intake, Carbs, misc. engine parts and a Borg Warner T-10 transmission on Ebay. I reassembled the frame, front and rear suspension and built the engine. The bodywork and paint was done by Gilby’s Street Department in River Falls, WI. We dropped the body onto the chassis in January 2019 and since then we have been completing the final assembly. We plan to Chapter and Regional Flight Judge the car in May, PV (Performance Verification) at our Regional in June and Flight Judge at the Nationals in French Lick, IN in July. If successful we will achieve the most coveted Duntov Mark of Excellence award.
I joined the North Central Chapter in June 2013, because we wanted to meet people who restored Corvettes, or knew people who did. I started judging in our Chapter Judging Events and then at the 2014 and 2016 Regionals. I also judged at the Denver CO, National in 2015 and since then I have judged in San Antonio TX, Las Vegas NV, and Greenville SC. At the Greenville Nationals both Lyn and I received our 100 Point Master Judge awards. I have enjoyed meeting the people and getting so much of their help on my restoration project. In September 2016, I was elected as Vice Chairman of the North Central Chapter and in September 2017, I replaced Rick Zierhut as Chairman when he resigned.
Both Lyn and I have enjoyed our journey in NCRS, the people, events and judging experience. We have learned way more about 58-60 Corvette’s then we have ever thought and with all Corvette’s in general. After spending almost seven years to complete this frame-off, nut and bolt restoration, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t do it again.
December 2019 Member of the Month
Our family has a long history with Corvettes. My wife Sandy and I live in Bloomington about 15 miles away from our son Chris (North Central Chapter Judging Chairman).
We currently own a stock 2000 red / red coupe which we are campaigning for the Dave Hill Mark of Excellence award. We drove the car to the Cincinnati, Ohio Regional in April 2019 and received the 97%+ Top Flight requirement for the Hill Award. In November 2019 we drove the car to the Frisco, Texas Regional and passed PV (Performance Verification), the second requirement for the Hill award. We are now planning on driving to the 2020 Nationals in French Lick, Indiana to attempt the final step of repeating the 97%+ Top Flight. If we are successful, we will receive the Hill award at the Nationals. Chris and I think this is the first 2000 to attempt the Hill Mark of Excellence award.
I joined NCRS in 1996. I have always had a strong interest in Corvettes. My interest started in about 1962 when I read the Motor Trend article about the 1962 327 Fuel Injection car and noted that I wanted one. Growing up in western Minnesota there were no Corvettes around. My first close-up was with a 1963 coupe at a local 1963 auto show.
My first Corvette was a 1965 red / white convertible 327 / 350. I got the car just before Sandy and I were married and we left the church in that car. Events of our life took us to Schenectady, New York with the 1965. After about 3 years in 1969 I sold the 1965. A BIG mistake since the 1965 had original knock off wheels.
Having family in Minnesota we moved back to the Metro area. After about 3 years I wanted another Corvette. In 1973 I purchased a 1967 red / black convertible 327 / 350. This was essentially the same car as my original 1965. I drove the 1967 year around. It was an OK car in the winter with the narrow 7.75 x 15 tires. I grew up on a farm in western Minnesota and spent hours on tractors doing all sorts of crazy clutching / gear changing and driving in snow. A second gear start was OK in the snow. However, winter driving was hard on the body and frame.
A year later Chris was born. So we naturally brought Chris home from hospital in the 1967. In those years the nurse just handed the baby to you and wished you luck.
Chris started early with Corvettes. At a very early age (his hands are on the steering wheel of the 67), Chris seemed to realize what the future held – he now owns and drives this car.
In 1979 we wanted a second car with more room than the 1967, so I parked the 67 in the back corner of the garage and purchased other Chevy transportation. When Chris was in middle school he became very interested in starting the 1967. So in 1988 I contacted Bob Lund and he took the car to his place and worked on it. The engine was OK, but the brakes and rear spring needed work. Bob is in the blue/white cap by the hood.
We continued to drive the 67 a few miles each year. But it was not very road worthy. As the years went by, Chris wanted a Corvette of his own to drive and purchased a year old 2000 red / red coupe (which is now ours). We like to keep cars in the family. Chris called me about a year after getting the 2000 and pointed out that both the 1967 and the 2000 were both serial #00183 in production. An interesting relationship of our family’s cars. Chris bought the 2000 about a year before he and Amanda were married. So of course they also left the church in a red Corvette.
Chris liked the 2000 but became interested in NCRS and restoration. The solution was for Chris and me to trade cars. Sandy liked this idea because we ended up with the car that had dual zone air. Again with Bob Lund’s expertise, Bob and Chris started a complete restoration of the 1967 which I had purchased in 1973 about 33 years before. Chris then campaigned the 1967 and achieved the Duntov Mark of Excellence award. After that he campaigned and achieved the Founders award. These were great experiences for Chris and me. The 1967 now sits peacefully in the garage and is taken out regularly to give rides with the top down to Chris’s two sons.
As time goes by in anyone’s life, things change. Chris has a marketing job and travels a bit. He was going to Schenectady on business so researched my old 1965. Chris found the owner and Sandy and I flew to meet Chris and go and see the 1965. It had been 48 years since I sat in the car. It is in good condition. The owner started it and let it run. We spent 2 hours looking it over. Maybe someday we will get it back and then we will have a C2 for each of Chris’s boys.
Sandy and I are enjoying campaigning the 2000. One thing we have learned is the NCRS group is a great and friendly group of people. The time Chris and I spent pursuing the awards has been a great father son time together. Our last step on this journey, after we have achieved the Hill award, will be at the 2020 Nationals to receive a NCRS father / son award for both achieving equivalent Mark of Excellence awards. It has been a great journey.
November 2019 Member of the Month
Mike Ernst joined the NCRS in February, 1975 as member number 211, and has remained active ever since.
He has written over 50 articles for the Corvette Restorer, has served twice as the 61-62 team leader, has been a master judge from its inception, and is presently the regional director for Region V (ND, SD, IN, IL, IA, WI, MN and Manitoba)
Mike’s 1962 Gulf Oil race car received the first NCRS American Heritage award, as well as Chip’s Choice at Carlisle, the Special Collection at Bloomington, etc.
Super Chevy link to Mike’s 1962:
He did a slide presentation (remember those? pre-power point) on that racer at a North Central Chapter gathering in the late 1980’s. He bought that car in the spring of 1981, having no idea of its history.
He researched the car and found most of the original race parts (including the original motor, fiberglass 37-gallon gas tank, etc.), in a shed in Fremont, OH.
He has also received 4-star Bowtie awards for two different 1962’s he has owned, as well as a 3-star award for a ‘71 LT-1. He is presently restoring a ‘71 LS6 convertible, and cleaning up yet another ‘62 in preparation for bowtie judging.
Seven years ago Mike retired as the senior pastor of a church that, while he was pastor there, grew to be the second-largest Lutheran church in the US and Canada. (8000+ members).
Retirement now allows him to play roughly 80 senior softball games each summer in Milwaukee-area leagues and tournaments around the country.
Mike has been married to his wife Phyllis for 49+ years and they have four daughters who live in Sacramento, Houston, Chicago, and Rockford.
October 2019 Member of the Month
Family: Married 36 years to Lori and two boys: Stephen who lives in MN and Alex who is married and lives in Texas
Corvette(s): I currently have an ’84 coupe 350/205 HP – It has 26,000 miles and has been a NCRS Regional Top Flight, Bloomington Gold Certified and Survivor Certified and was part of the Special Collection Grand Finale.
I recently sold my ’14 as I’ve ordered a 2020.
I’ve owned 10 Corvettes starting with a used ’69 purchased in 1974. Since then I’ve had new ones: ’76,’79, ’84, ’89, ’97, ’03, ’05, ’14. I also owned a 1959 for about 12 years from ’91-’03.
History: I wanted a Corvette since growing up in the ’50’s. I still recall a new ’57 on the showfloor at Downtown Chevrolet when I went with my parents to take delivery of dad’s new Bel Air.
I got my ’84 on May 11th, 1983. This was also Lori’s birthday and we weren’t even engaged at that point.
Our evening consisted of picking up my car rather than the dinner plans we had initially. She managed to not hold that against me and we were married that October. The ’84 is part of the family and will go to the boys when I can no longer drive.
New projects: Detail the ’84 for the Regional and make sure everything works. I recently had a quadruple bypass and a pacemaker installed and retired as well so I will have some time!
North Central Chapter: I was a member in the 2000’s and then dropped out due to a lot of other commitments. I rejoined about a year and a half ago. I enjoy judging although I don’t see myself going beyond the Chapter level events.
The Tech sessions are interesting even though most don’t involve cars I currently own.
Included is photo that was taken recently when I was able drive following surgery and took the ’84 to my rehab session.
The sign reads cardiac rehab parking only and I needed to see something other than sedans and SUV’s in those spots!
September 2019 Member of the Month
My name is Nick Maras and my wife is Laurie, we have two beautiful grown children, Tony and Kirsten. My wife is actually the owner of this 1964 corvette convertible 327/300 horse.
She purchased it back in 1982. It had been stored in a chicken coop out in Hamel, Minnesota. We had to tow it home because the clutch was worn out along with the front suspension, ball joint, etc. A few years later we decided to do a frame off restoration on it, which took a while due to us raising a family. Our future plans with the car are new door glass and ignition shielding. We’ve been members of NCRS for many years, one of my favorite activities are the tech sessions in which at times I host along with Joe Galindo.
August 2019 Member of the Month
The August North Central NCRS Member of the Month is Dave Kocer.
The Dave Kocer Family
2 children: Annabelle and Drew
Corvette: 1967 427 Convertible 390HP; numbers matching. Ermine White. Auxiliary Black Vinyl Hardtop. Manual steering. AM/FM Radio
The Corvette has been in the family since 1987. In the mid 80’s my father-in-law was specifically looking for a 1967 corvette 427 and was fortunate enough to find one for sale in Michigan. At the time, my wife’s family was living in Massachusetts but was originally from Michigan. My father-in-law herd about the corvette from his friend in Michigan who happened to own a Barber Shop. Well……you know how men in Barber Shop’s like to talk; and on one given day a client of his friend started talking about this guy who had a corvette for sale. It just so happened to be a 1967 427 and my father-in-laws friend immediately told him about the car and put him in touch with the owner. He purchased it over the phone and flew out to Michigan and drove the corvette back to Massachusetts.
I have always been interested in cars (my grandfather owned a mechanic shop in Rochester MN) and had a few Camaro’s back in high school that I would tinker with. My wife and I got married in 2000 and had wedding pictures taken in the corvette on the day of our wedding. My father-in-law knew I was into cars and we were able to purchase the car in 2002. In the Fall of 2012 my 7 yr old son and I went for a ride along the river toward Red Wing and upon return home the brakes started to fail….thank GOD it was a 4 speed and was able to slow down using the manual transmission. After 10 yrs of ownership and constant repairs I had decided to restore the car in November of 2012.
The frame off restoration started on November 22 2012 and I am near completion with hopes of having the car back on the road in 2021. I started this restoration process alone but was fortunate enough to find out about the North Central Chapter. I believe I joined the chapter in 2013 and have attended several tech sessions and have gotten to know knowledgable people to help me in the restoration process. I also belong to NCRS and have posted lots of questions to my troubling circumstances. I must say it has been frustrating at times but look forward to the day where I can drive it again, go to car shows, and have it judged at the Chapter Meet. I am the 4th owner of the car and was able to speak with the second owner (who still lives in Michigan) which has been helpful with the history of the car. The second owner bought the vette from a dealership in 1972 and he too enjoyed the car and even did Road Course Time Trials on the inside oval at the Indianapolis Race Track. There are a few stickers on the inside door of the glove box that states the dates of these Time Trials. I am still looking for the original owner and so far have been able to find out the name of the dealership it was sold at in the state of Illinois. The dealership is no longer in existence but hope to dig further when I have more time. My time has been a challenge since my wife and I are raising 2 kids but I appear to get most things done in the fall and winter months.
Thanks for letting me share my story. If I can be of help to anyone; please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
July 2019 Member of the Month
The July North Central NCRS Member of the Month is Pete Heunish. Pete owns a Monaco Orange 1969 350/350hp Roaster.
Are you married? Nope, can’t be. Corvette costs to much but doesn’t talk back.
Spouses name? My Corvette
Do you have children? 3
If yes, their names? Sam 19, Rattlesnake Jake 17 and Ellen 15
3 dogs. Cusco, Bal and Deuce.
Corvette(s) that you have:
Overview of your car(s): model, engine, convertible?, coupe?
1969 Stingray 350/350 Convertible
History of your Corvette(s):
When did you buy it? Do you or your car have a unique story to tell about how you got into the Corvette hobby?
I acquired it 5 years ago when my Dad (Original owner) gave it to me. My dad has had this car ever since I can remember but he never let me drive it. Probably because he busted me driving it when I was 14. That’s what you get for teaching a 14 year old how to drive a stick!
What is your next Corvette project?
Fixing the dashboard lights
Repair? Updates? New top? Re-chrome parts? … etc
Where do I start? Tires, side exhaust, seats, carpets, brakes, clutch, tranny, radiator, electronic ignition, rear bumper re-chrome, total engine rebuild. All thanks to Bob Lund
North Central Chapter:
When did you join? What activity do you like best? Judging? Car cruises? Tech Sessions?
5 years ago. I love the tech sessions and the cruises. I also enjoy drinking beer with the guys and writing Bob Lund checks.
June 2019 Member of the Month
The June North Central NCRS Member of the Month is Jeff Geisler. He has been married to his wife Jenny for 36 years and they have a son, Chris, daughter in-law Jes and two grandchildren, Hailey and Cameron.
Jeff owns a red 1981 Corvette and a 2014 Laguna Blue Corvette along with a share of a silver 1976.
Overview of your car(s): model, engine, convertible?, coupe? The 81 T-top is my NCRS car-almost all stock. Not much for power but I think this era is one of the prettiest. The 2014 is a stock coupe LT-3 with Z-51 suspension. The 76 T-top is owned with my son. We work on that car together- it has been repainted and has a custom interior. A year ago, we installed new calipers and rotors ourselves.
History of your Corvette(s): I bought my ’81 at Bloomington Gold in June 2005. It had been restored and found it in the area where you could sell your car. I had been learning as much about Corvettes as I could but I didn’t know everything I didn’t know. It was my first Vette and we chose the best one we could find. I drove the car home from Chicago and had to work hard to keep it from overheating at the toll booths. It was hard to drive but we got it home. We found quite a few problems with loose suspension parts, a poor cooling system, very bad alignment and the steering rag joint holding on by 1 loose bolt. I began to learn very quickly-one repair bill after the other. The car really began to work great by the end of that summer. It’s a great driver now.
We bought the 76 shortly after my son bought his first home in 2010 and had room to store it. The front and rear bumpers were falling apart and the paint was very worn. We had new bumpers installed and the car painted. A year later, we had the seats and door cards refinished in leather. It’s a very nice driver. A new motor may be in that car’s future.
When did you buy it? Do you or your car have a unique story to tell about how you got into the Corvette hobby? We had been looking on the internet for a C7 to use for longer driving trips. In March of 2018, we found an almost new 2014 with only 200 miles on it. When it turned out the car was at Ryan Chevrolet in Buffalo MN, we had to buy it. Last summer we put 6000 miles on that car and intend to drive it more this year.
What is your next Corvette project? I’m just finishing putting an Al Knoch carpet kit in the 81. I’m continuing to work on a lot of small things. I’m hoping to get it judged again this August.
North Central Chapter – When did you join? 2016
What activity do you like best? Judging? Car cruises? Tech Sessions? I like the tech sessions. There is a ton of knowledge in the Chapter. I had my car judged last August and really enjoyed that. I was awarded 2nd Flight, It’s fun getting to know everyone.
May 2019 Member of the Month
I’ve been married for 46 years to my wonderful wife Sue. We have two kids Beth and Ben and Four very energetic fun grand kids who unfortunately live in Seattle.
Before all that in 1969, I bought a 1967 Corvette with the 327/350 HP 4speed with 13,000 miles for $3,200 dollars. I drove the Vette for several years until at 39,000 miles the brakes started to fail. Being married with a family I parked the Vette in my garage, and covered it.
There it sat for the better part of 30 year and in 2006 it was time to sell. Then I got lucky and met Bob Lund. With his recommendations and expert knowledge of my car, in a few years, he brought my Vette back to life. Bob suggested I join NCRS and have my Vette judged. In 2010, I took Bobs advice. Being new to NCRS I did not know what to expect, I was totally blown away when I was awarded Top Flight. Thanks Bob.
The Vette know has 42,000 miles on it and Sue and I drive it every chance we get. I’m 78 years old, but every time I get behind the wheel of my Vette I feel 30 again.
April 2019 Member of the Month
Thank you for the opportunity to be featured as the Member of the Month! My name is Jason Alt. I am single (divorced), no children. I live in Inver Grove Heights, MN and own a “man cave” in Burnsville, MN. I am a Vice President/Partner with a Minneapolis based consulting firm ProSource Technologies, LLC. My primary areas of expertise consist of managing complex and politically sensitive acquisition and relocation projects, assembling teams to implement right of way projects, training right of way staff for public agencies, and establishing policies and procedures for agencies to oversee right of way consultant firms. I have worked throughout the country on various land acquisition and relocation projects for private, commercial, industrial and local, state and federal governmental clients. And, have managed several high profile land projects including the State of New York’s disaster management for Hurricane Sandy, and major expansion projects for Los Angeles International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and various airports in the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) Reliever System and across Minnesota and Iowa.
I joined NCRS several years ago after being encouraged to do so by Bob Lund after acquiring my first corvette and “dream” car, a 1965 triple black 327/365 HP roadster. It’s a numbers matching car that my best friend, Matt Ruvelson, and I (with assistance from Bob Lund and learning from other members at various tech sessions) have spent the last 5 years restoring it to NCRS standards. Since that time, I have acquired a 1957 Corvette Roadster.
Matt and I have restored the C1 as tribute to the 43 “Airbox” Corvettes produced in 1957. However, we did take a few liberties in upgrading the engine to a 350/400 HP, paired with a 5 speed Tremec. While we elected to leave the vintage single stage paint, Matt and I decided to have it hand painted with vintage style race numbers.
This past year, my corvette collection has again grown. I purchased a 2001 triple black roadster which has been highly modified to exchange the stock 5.7 liter with an 6.0 liter iron block, Vortec supercharger, and Z06 suspension. I have a few projects (e.g., new wheels/tires, new transmission/motor mounts, and a smaller clutch master) for this winter on my C5. But, I plan to use it as a daily driver this summer. Both my C1 and C2 are reliable weekend and sunny weather drivers that we continue to maintain and improve as time permits.
Outside of work and my passion for cars, I love spending time with my niece and nephew, and have a passion for both domestic/international travel, adventure fishing trips (e.g., Mexico, Florida, Canada and the Artic Circle), attending sporting events (e.g., Vikings, Twins and Wild) and his work with local charities such as the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital and supporting the development of affordable housing in our community with leading housing developers, CommonBond and Aeon.
For a “backyard” mechanic like myself, it would not be possible for me to own these corvettes had it not been for Matt Ruvelson, Bob Lund and abundance of resources NCRS (both on the local and international levels) has offered to me over the last several years. I have learned and grown so much in the hobby and enjoy the opportunity to be associated with “like-minded” car guys who love corvettes and care about preserving history for future generations.
March 2019 Member of the Month
Married for 29 years to wife Juli we have two daughters Stephanie (27) and Sophie (23). We live in Maple Grove.
I have a dark blue 1978 base model with a four speed L48. Found it in state of Virginia after looking online for two years.
I met NCRS member Bill Kohl after posting questions I had about the car on Corvette Forum.
He messaged me since he also had a 78, we started up a friendship and I joined the NCRS around May 2015 when I bought the Corvette.
I first came into contact with a corvette as a kid sitting in driver’s seat with a family friend and ever since then, I said that I would have one some day.
When I saw the c3 for the first time thought it was like a space ship on the ground.
After joining NCRS in 2015 I have enjoyed tech sessions and judging meets.
I look forward to becoming more involved as I approach retirement and plan on continuing to replace what ever is needed on the car and keeping it original for the most part.
Great group of people and extremely knowledgeable. Will always have a Corvette and who knows what is next!
February 2019 Member of the Month
Member since 2015. Proud owner of a 1965 Rally Red, 2-Door Coupe, 327/350 HP, 4-speed.
It was early on a sunny June morning in 2015, as my wife and I waited in our open garage. We were anxiously making last minute preparations, moving things around, making sure there was enough space in our three-car garage among our vehicles, bikes and scooters, garbage cans and tools. We heard the rumble of the semi-truck and trailer make its way down our suburban street and stop just past our house. The driver jumped out, confirmed our address and opened the back of the trailer. He opened the back gate, set to operating the lift and finally, the car that we’d been waiting for slowly appeared in front of my house. The waiting and anxiety of having my Dad, Gary Zadina’s, most prized possession transported from its lifetime in Nebraska to my house in Minnesota was over. I was excited to have it here, but the weight of my Dad’s death that earlier Christmas hit me again.
This was the Corvette that my Dad owned since 1968. It was part of the family. This purchase made my family a “Corvette family”. My uncle, my cousin each bought Corvettes after my Dad. There were the countless stories that I’ve heard my Dad tell and re-tell to me, friends and anyone who wanted to talk cars. There were the memories that I made with my Dad riding in the car, at car shows, and taking care of it.
My Dad often told the story of him buying the car in October of 1968 while he served in the Army Reserves in Omaha, Nebraska. After taking out a loan for $2,012, he bought it from a guy who really did not want to sell it. The guy explained that his wife forced him to choose “either the car or her”, and he painfully chose the latter. Fast forward 20 year later, Dad runs into this same guy at the local furniture store. The guy asked Dad if he still had the 1965 Corvette he sold him. Dad proudly answered “yes”. Dad then asked him how married life was going. The guy replied that she left him three years after he sold the car! I think Dad became an even prouder owner of his Corvette that day.
Another favorite story is my parent’s honeymoon with the Corvette. My parents, Gary & Marie were married in July 1970 in the small town of Spalding, Nebraska. The day after their wedding, they jumped into the Corvette and drove from Spalding to Estes Park, Colorado to celebrate their honeymoon. The both recount the story of driving up in the mountains when while going down the other side, Dad realizes that their brakes don’t work. My frantic mother gripped the car door while Dad worked clutch, zig zagging all the way down and coasted into town to the nearest service station. My Dad would always laugh so hard, saying that it was the ride of his life, while my mom recounted thinking she would die such a young wife!
These memories and the time that I’ve spent with my father and this car are moments that I cherish. When my Dad suddenly got sick, we had about 10 days together before he passed away. Among the important items we discussed, such has I love yous, bank account information and passwords, were specific details on and nuances to operating and maintaining his Corvette. I don’t think he was too eager to leave it behind – he would have taken it with him if he could.
I’ve owned the Corvette for four years now. Since that time, my Mom has passed away too. This beautiful rally red coupe, as it sits in my garage among more bikes and scooters, is a visual reminder of my Dad and my Nebraska home. Life is busy with three young kids, so the time spent tinkering on the Corvette or when I can sneak away for an hour for a summer drive are precious to me. I realize that all these stories my Dad had with the car are a part of me, but now it’s time for me to make new memories. My wife, Beth, and I now have three girls (Abby, Suzy and Maggy). I wonder what Corvette stories they will share someday.
My Dad must have been in member of NCRS back in Nebraska in the 1980s because I found a patch and plaque while going through his work shop. This inspired me to keep involved with the NCRS Corvette community. The North Central Chapter has been a great resource for me to continue Dad’s pride for the originality of the car.
My last project on the Corvette was in 2018. I replaced the brake calibers and refurbished the master cylinder. My next project is to take out the front left headlight. It has needed help rotating for over 15 years. I’m excited for the weather to be warmer and days to be longer so I can enjoy my Corvette once again.
January 2019 Member of the Month
My wife Carol and I are the proud caretakers of a 1958 Corvette, Silver/Blue, 283, 270 HP, manual 4 speed, with a convertible and hardtop. We have owned a couple of private aircraft over the years but decided to move away from aircraft ownership and purchase an older corvette thinking the costs associated with such a move would be less. As most Chapter members already know, not necessarily the case. I have always wanted a corvette but it just never worked out until about two years ago when we started to look at corvettes in the late 50s and early 60s. The 58 may not be the most sought after corvette but it had the characteristics we were looking for. We like chrome and this car had plenty of it in the right places, along with a few one year only items.
I knew what to look for when preforming a pre-buy inspection relating to planes, but was a novice at what to look for when it came to the corvette, especially for a particular year. At this stage I was not yet a member of the NCRS and was doing my own learning through the internet, books, etc., basically flying solo in the clouds. We found a number of cars that were promoted as one thing or the other. I learned early on that you must be careful of what is presented and what is fact when shopping for such a car. My major goal was to find a project car that had a very good frame, body and solid engine that I could work on overtime in my garage. Last December, 2017, we found a car being sold by a private party through a classic car dealership in Phoenix, AZ., that had most of the characteristics we were looking for. We worked the deal and had it delivered to our Blaine, MN, home in January, it arrived in a snow storm.
I call this our mystery car, as the previous owner decided to remain a mystery, only working through the broker. If there is a lesson learned here, it is to buy from someone who is proud of their car and wants to share the care they have given the vehicle, along with maintenance and upgrade documentation. There was none with this car. I wanted a project car and I got one.
My project started sooner than I planned, as when the car was delivered in the January snow, it would not start to drive it into the garage. My first service call related to our new car was to call Hagerty and have tow truck pick it up the car at the end of the driveway and drop it in the garage. The tow truck operator wanted to take a picture of it as he said no one would believe him that he had picked up a 58 corvette in a snow storm.
Because of the lack of information about the details relating to the car and my own lack of knowledge I joined the National NCRS and our local Chapter in May, 2018. This was a move I have considered one of the most important things I have done since getting involved with our car. Since it arrived I have had one primary goal set, that was to have the car far enough along that I could take Carol for a ride around our block before it snowed this year. I am pleased to say that this goal was met and it was a real thrill to drive it. In fact we put 30 miles on it before getting it ready to be off the road for the winter months. This goal would not have been met without the assistance of Chapter member help, Thank you.
The car originally had a blue/gray interior but the previous owner had put in a black interior, after market steering wheel, and other changes we are not keeping. The fuel tank had been replaced by a plastic aftermarket tank that did not fit properly, which I have since replaced. I’m taking it one system at a time to ensure I know the car in detail and any replacement parts will be those that belong to this car. Our car will be a “driver”. My next goal will be to put a wicker picnic basket in the trunk and take Carol on a picnic to a park with grass and trees, just like you would see in the commercial.
I attended my first Tech Session on November 17th, and found everyone there to be a great group to associate with and very willing to provide help. There will be more Tech Sessions in my future.
I have a lot of work to do on the car to get it to where we want it, but at least I can drive it now.
December 2018 Member of the Month
Louise and I have been married for 30+ years. I also double as the “kid” in the family.
Corvette(s) that you have:
History of your Corvette(s):
My first Corvette was a triple white 1963 convertible….. I was a 7 year old kid in Detroit (1963). I gained proficiency at building AMT models and a few years later was experienced in paint and putty work.
I graduated to 1:1 scale around 1978 when I acquired a 1970 two top convertible and joined NCRS…part of college training in my book! It had been winter driven and was quite “scalely” under the surface. The windshield header leaked in rain and the hole under the glass was quite shocking when I replaced the windshield. I rebuilt the motor shortly before college graduation with stops in Tennessee, Indianapolis and to MN. I visited Doug Rippe when he was out on Hwy 55 and decided a paint job would add up to be more then buying a perfect Corvette to begin with.
The ’70 was sent down the road as the restoration costs were not in line with its value. A few years passed and I again was tired of reading about Corvettes, I wanted my hands on one! Traveling 7 states for work allowed me to visited a lot of dealers….Remember, this was before the internet and you relied on Auto Shoppers and Hemmings for leads. Howard in Sioux Falls was on the same wave length as me as to what a “cherry” car looked like. A month or so later he called (January 1991) with a 18,000 mile, two tone, 4 spd, 1981. A trip to Sioux Falls was in order and it was “cherry”. Many sleepless nights later It was mine and I won my class at Plastic Fantastic for the next three years with it. It’s been amazingly trouble free for 27 years now. I still visit Howard, who has been in Phoenix for years.
As I was winding down my career, I thought a “once in a lifetime” museum delivery of the new C7 was in order. During a 2013 Christmas visit with a long time Corvette/high school friend in Michigan. I mentioned we needed to order a pair of the new C7’s and take museum delivery together. He smiled and said his arrived yesterday! I took delivery in July of 2014. After trips to the Tonawanda factory in NY the next year and the Lemay Museum in WA the year after, the C7 lives in AZ where it gets exercised on Route 66 and many mountain passes. It recently turned 35,000 smiles. It sees many weekend car events as the desert fills up with Corvette “snowbirds” from the Midwest.
What is your next Corvette project?
The C3 will get it’s original U joints replaced next year with a bottle of Ibuprofen for me. The C7 just got it’s original tires replaced. Waxing is an on going “project”.
North Central Chapter:
I joined North Central 4 years ago. Jerome Lardy was walking the neighborhood and “sniffed” out the scent of an old Corvette in my garage. I’m more into Tech and Social activities. I met Chris Enstrom years before thru an old, now unplugged, local Corvette internet site and helped when the body came off and back on his ’67. I’d like to attend more events but I have a conflict with a motorcycle club breakfast I hold on the 3rd Saturday of the month at Starks….plus living in AZ for 6 months+ a year cuts into my snow shoveling. You’ve got a great club going, I’m happy to join in when I can.
November 2018 Member of the Month
My wife’s name is Sue and we have been married for 48 years, both of us growing up in Bloomington but living in Eden Prairie since 1978. We have two grown daughters (Jenny and Shelley) who are married and 4 grandchildren Jack 13, Blake 10, Emma 6 and John 4. Growing up in the 60’s I have always been interested in muscle cars and specifically Corvette’s but at the time they were not affordable or practical?
I currently have 2 Corvette’s: a 1965 and a 2011. I purchased the 65’ in June, 2001 – 1965 Roadster, L79 327, 350 hp, 4 speed, 3.70 gear ratio. It is a unique car in that with a production # 23,485 it was produced on the last full production day in July for 1965 with 75 cars produced after my car and the last 2 cars for the production year produced the first day of August. Two other things unique to my car but typical to cars produced at the end of production cycles in the 60’s as Nolan Adams and others have also verified: Several parts on my 65’ are 66’ parts – grill, Glove box door (script, inside tire pressure sticker).
Engine Pad Factory “Grindout”, here are the comments after our Chapter 2007 Regional Judging Meet – It was great to meet you & a bunch of other NCRS people from Minnesota at the Regional.
I was the 65-66 TL for the event & I told you I felt your cylinder case seemed to me to be an original stamping [ a factory grind out]. I have shared these photos with other members of the corvette hobby, & our opinion was all the same! Hope these pictures & opinions will be helpful.
Look forward to seeing you again. Thanks, Bill Calorico
I received a 92.6% score at our 2007 Regional missing a Top Flight by only 63 pts. even with a total deduct for Engine pad (38 pts). Adding the engine pad back in plus 45 of the 62 pts. missed that were corrected in Operations and other small corrections made afterward, I was satisfied I had a Top Flight Car with my 65’.
I had a lot of help from long time members of our Chapter for the first few years doing a body on restoration, it was an original car but a lot of the original parts were worn and the rubber needing to be replaced. My main mentor in the club was Ron Hendrickson who is gone now but he spent several hundred hours over and under my corvette helping with restoration along with educating me. Jim Fenske, Steve Johnston and others were also there to help!
2011 Grand Sport Convertible – I traded in a 1969 Corvette L79 Convertible in February, 2012 to purchase the Grand Sport that was an Indy Pace Car in 2011 with badging, used by GM Exec’s the week of Indy. It had 380 miles on it from that week and was what I was looking for with 430 hp, paddle shift 6 speed auto, LT4 with every option but GPS. I have driven this car only when the top can be down so as of the end of the season this year it only shows 3,800 miles on the odometer!
I currently do not have any major projects for my corvette’s other than maintain them and keep them updated to originality and continue to get them out and enjoy them each summer!
I joined the NCRS National and North Central Chapter in 2001, I have participated in two NCRS Judging School’s in Dallas the first one in 2005 and the last one in 2016. I received my “Master Judging Hat” at our NCRS Regional in 2016 along with other club members which was a highlight! I have enjoyed all activities with our chapter over the years, Judging Sessions are always good to review specific areas judged but also to understand the judging process and how to judge I think is important. Tech sessions when they apply to interests I have I appreciate and also cruises in the summer as a way to get together more often I have enjoyed as well.
October 2018 Member of the Month
My 1964 Corvette is a Satin Silver convertible with Black interior. I have both the silver hardtop and black soft-top. The engine is a 327 300hp, M20 4-speed transmission and 3:08 Positraction rear end. It has the AM-FM radio with power windows. When new the car came with a white top, steel wheels and the standard hubcaps. I run 1965
original knock-off as they add a nice touch to the car. I purchased these while living in Vermont in 1972 but they have never been run in the winter.
History of your Corvette(s):
I have always liked Corvettes with my first Corvette experience being a 1956 owned by a friend while I was in high school. I remember sitting in my first new Corvette at Midway Chevrolet in Saint Paul in the fall of 1962. It was a Fawn Beige 1962 with the hardtop installed. Midway Chevrolet had a Red 1963 fastback in the corner window however that was cordoned off so you could only look but not touch. I had the bug. At that time I also started my Corvette dealer brochure collection and now have all the originals from 1963 to 2019.
I purchased the car in May of 1968 while I was a college student at Winona Sate College from the second owner who lived in Red Wing. The car was built in St. Louis, MO on January 6, 1964 and sold new from Ken Ray Chevrolet on West Broadway in North Minneapolis. From 1968 to 1974 I drove the car year round as my main mode of transportation, moving to Vermont in 1971 and returning to Minnesota in 1976. I must say that the Corvette is a great winter car however the Minnesota and New England winters took their toll on the car. Between this and storing it over the years in less than desirable conditions it took its toll on the frame and the rest of the components. When I purchased the car it had over 68,000 miles on the car with a broken odometer. I am guessing with all the driving I did the car had to have had well over 100,000 miles on the car when it was taken apart in 2016. I had not driven the car since 1997. With the 3:08 axle the engine was if decent shape when we took it apart and now copper was showing on the bearings. After I finish this one I just plan to enjoy my old friend and not take on another project.
Repair? Updates? New top? Re-chrome parts? … etc.
In November of 2016 the car was trailered up to Vanz Auto in Blaine to begin bringing the car back to a safe drivable condition. This included replacing the frame with another 1964 frame which was not rotted out. Upon dropping the car off at Vanz Auto, Van Mattson was able to get the car started after having it sit for 19 years. Since 2016 I have had the shifter, seat side rails and bumpers re-chromed. I replaced the original white top with a new black top in 1970 while I was still in Winona. As part of the restoration the engine, transmission and rear end have all been fully rebuilt. The brake system and fuel system have been replaced with stock replacement parts. The original master cylinder is being replaced with a duel master cylinder for safety purposes. The seats and arm rests have been reupholstered with Al Knock upholstery. The carpeting will be replaced when the car is drivable. This car is going to be a driver and not a show car.
North Central Chapter:
I joined the NCRS back in 2016 so I could use it as a resource for my car. I then met Jerome Lardy at Back to the 50’s and became a member of the North Central NCRS. With my current focus on getting my 64 back on the road I have only been to a few of the local Tech Sessions and activities however once my car is completed plan to get more involved. At that time I will likely start attending the Tech Sessions and Car Cruises as they come up and am looking forward to it. It has been a long time since I was behind the wheel of my 64. So many memories and periods of enjoyment.
September 2018 Member of the Month
My wife Melissa and I have a 4 year old daughter named June. We also own a 64 Daytona Blue roadster with black and white interior. We bought it in 2012 and have been steadily working on it since. Major projects left include convertible top restoration, plenty of bodywork, frame restoration, disc brake conversion, installing the correct transmission and several others that are escaping me at the moment. It’s always been in driving condition the whole time we’ve owned it. I’ve always liked C2 Corvettes and had a friend who owned a 63 split window and would let me drive it from time to time which got me hooked.
I don’t remember exactly when I joined but I think I’m coming up on 2 or 3 years so I’m probably still considered a rookie.
I like tech sessions and judging events because that is where I can learn the most about the cars and how they are supposed to be configured since mine has been lightly abused and modified in it’s life.
August 2018 Member of the Month
Vernon Petersen is our August Member of the Month. Vernon has three children, Jeremy, Nicholas & Elanor
Overview of your car(s): model, engine, convertible?, coupe?
I have a 1957 with the original 283 ci engine. Single 4-barrel, off the line 220 hp, after rebuild 240 hp on the engine dyno. I purchased the car from NCRS member Dallas Haag (his member number is in the 200s!) in Kent, Washington. Body off restoration done by Nick and Laura Tidrick in Cambridge, MN. I have a soft-top as well as hardtop for the car.
I also have a 1970 Convertible that also has a vinyl hardtop. This car was a 350 ci / 350 hp car originally. The first owner of the car had an engine failure under warranty and had the dealer install an LT1 engine as a replacement. However, he didn’t want to put the LT1 hood on the car to accommodate the high-rise intake manifold. So they put the intake and carb from the original engine on the LT1 block. The 2nd owner of the car still had the high-rise intake manifold and sent it to me when I bought the car. When we did the body-off restoration on this car I put on the LT1 hood. This engine, after the rebuild put out 375 hp on the engine dyno. We used a roller cam (didn’t want to deal with the solid lifters), bored .30 over, and electronic ignition. The car is the original color, Donnybrook Green, but I changed the interior from green cloth (green outside and inside was a little too much green for me) to leather in the Saddle color. Nick and Laura did the restoration on this car too. This car came out of Wichita Falls Texas, so the frame was perfect, no rust at all. The car had not been driven since 1988.
History of your Corvette(s):
When did you buy it? Do you or your car have a unique story to tell about how you got into the Corvette hobby?
I purchased the 1957 in April of 2008, the restoration took about 5 years to complete. I bought the 1970 in January 2013 and it took about 14 months to restore. Both engines were rebuilt by Jeff Wheeler of Wheeler Dyno. Steve Johnson (a local chapter member) did the transmissions and differentials on both cars.
What is your next Corvette project?
Repair? Updates? New top? Re-chrome parts? … etc
These cars are my second and third Corvettes. My first car was a 1967 convertible that I bought when I was 18. I would love to find this car again and have the opportunity to reclaim it!
North Central Chapter:
When did you join? What activity do you like best? Judging? Car cruises? Tech Sessions?
I joined the local and national chapters when I bought the ’57, which would mean I joined in 2008. I enjoy the tech sessions and shows. I’ve only been to a couple though, and I have not been able to attend any of the cruises. I travel a lot for a living and that means little home time that I choose to spend away from my kids. I would especially like to join in the fall color run.
July 2018 Member of the Month
The North Central NCRS Member of the Month for July of 2018 is Terry Serres. He has been married to his wife Marlene for 39 years and they have two grown children, Josh and Jessica.
1961 = Jewel blue with white coves and a blue interior. It is a 245 hp hard top only car. He did a complete restoration of the car back in 2000. The car has won 4 NCRS Top Flights and the PV award. He also have 2 Bloomington Gold awards, many Gold spinner awards and Triple Crown award. He received the Duntov award with the car back in 2014.
1981 = Black with a red interior. Base engine with a 4 speed. Very original car with 47,000 miles on it.
1994 = Black with a black interior. This is hisdaily driver with 39,000 miles on it.
History of your Corvette(s):
He has always been a “car guy”. His father got him and his bothers into cars. His father had a 1940 ford business man coupe that they used drag race in the late 60’s and early 70’s. His father held the track record for F-gas at Rock Falls Raceway in the early 70’s. They still have the car today. Some of his best memories of his father were when he and his brother helped him restore his 1957 XK-140 Jaguar.
Terry got into corvettes with his twin brother at age 18. He purchased a 1963 split window and they restored the car together. It was a Daytona blue with a blue interior car with the 340 hp engine. From then on Terry has restored many corvettes and other cars with his brother. They both have 1961 Jewel blue corvettes that they restored together. They also restored a 1965 GTO convertible together that scored 99% at the GTO Nationals in Denver.
Other cars Terry has owned are an Original 1940 Ford Business man coupe, 1969 Camaro that he did a complete restoration on.
What is your next project? Next project is working with his brother on his 1965 GTO. This is a all original Minnesota car that they are doing a complete nut and bolt restoration on. Plan is to have this project done next year.
North Central Chapter:
He joined the NCRS back in 1996 and the chapter back in the late 1990’s. He really enjoys the judging sessions and would like to do more of the tech sessions.
June 2018 Member of the Month
The North Central NCRS Member of the Month for June of 2018 is Larry Schaefer. Larry and his wife Cindy Komornick have been together for 11 years. Cindy has 2 grown daughters Christine and Cathy from her previous marriage and I have 1 grown daughter, April. Between us, we have 5 grandchildren and we love grand-parenting.
Corvettes: In 1973 I bought my first Corvette, a 1963 Split Window Coupe from Southworth Chevrolet in Bloomer, Wis. The car is equipped with a 300 hp. 327 ci engine; 4-speed transmission; positraction rear axle with 3:23 gears; AM-FM radio; a silver blue metallic exterior and navy blue interior. It is an all matching numbers car. In 1999 I began a body off restoration that took much longer than I anticipated due to an unscrupulous body shop owner. After completion of the body off restoration, I entered my 63’ in the Bloomington Gold Certification judging on June 22, 2012 and was awarded the Bloomington Gold Certificate. On August 17, 2013, I entered my 63’ in the NCRS North Central Chapter judging meet at Long Lake, Minnesota and was awarded the Top Flight Award. I was convinced by friends in our Chippewa Valley Corvette club to enter my 63’ in the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago on November 23, 2014. I was honored to be awarded the Concours Gold Certificate and the Triple Diamond Certification.
In 1980 I purchased my next Corvette, a 1967 coupe from a good friend Jeff Follendorf who sadly passed away last summer. The car is equipped with a non-original 400 hp. Tri-Power 427 ci engine, close ratio 4-speed transmission; positraction rear axle with 3:70 gears; AM-FM radio; side mounted exhaust system; power steering; power windows; tinted glass all round; Elkhart Blue exterior and Teal Blue interior.
In 1997 I purchased my 3rd Corvette from my good friend Rocky Heike. The car is a 1986 Official Indy Pace Car convertible equipped with the 235 hp (aluminum cylinder heads) 350 ci engine; 4-speed automatic transmission; power steering; power brakes; power windows; AM-FM stereo cassette; leather seats; with Black exterior and Graphite interior.
I purchased my 4th Corvette in January 2018, a 2017 Grand Sport Coupe equipped with the 460 hp LT1 376 ci engine. The car has the 8-spd paddle shift automatic transmission, performance data video recorder with navigation; AM-FM stereo radio; remote start; keyless entry and transparent removable roof panel; carbon fiber ground effects and battery protection package. The car exterior color is Torch Red with the Jet Black color interior.
My Next Project with my Corvettes: I plan to replace all of the weather stripping for my ’67 Vette. I would also like to restore the side mounted exhaust panels on my ’67 if time permits. I would also like to have both rear bumpers rechromed on the ’67.
North Central Chapter: I joined the Chapter in August of 2013 after participating in the Chapter’s Judging event at Long Lake, Minn. I found that all the Chapter members I came in contact with at the meet were very helpful and friendly. I look forward to trying to attend some of the Chapter events in the future. The events I find most interesting are the tech sessions and judging events.
May 2018 Member of the Month
Bob & Cyrena Schroeder
The North Central NCRS Member of the Month for May of 2018 is Bob & Cyrena Schroeder. They own a 1971 Corvette, matching numbers LS5 (454/365hp), M-21 4speed, Steel Cities Gray (code 988) Coupe with Black Vinyl Interior (code 400).
The car was built on May 5, 1971, so she turns 47 this month. It came with Power Steering, Power Brakes, Tilt & Telescopic Steering Column and Delco AM-FM Stereo.
The Vette has earned NCRS Top Flight Regional – 2016, NCRS Top Flight Chapter – 2015, Bloomington Gold – 2015, Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Triple Diamond – 2015, Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Concours Gold – 2015 and was on display at the 2017 World of Wheels.
Bob purchased the car at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction – Jan 2012. It was restored by Kiss’ Classic Cars. He always loved Corvettes, but never thought of owning one until 2012. His dream car is a 1969 Corvette Convertible – 427 Triple Black. Bob joined the North Central Chapter in 2013 and enjoys the car cruises.
April 2018 Member of the Month
I have been a car person since I was a young kid and saw a new 1954 Corvette in the small Minnesota town where I grew up. Fast forward to age 16 when I convinced my dad to allow me to buy a somewhat used but driving 1950 Ford convertible for a whopping $87. It would be a while before I could afford a Corvette. The Ford was my transportation for the next four years of high school and college. In 1967 I purchased my first Corvette, a 1965 big block roadster and a year later I traded it in on a new 1968 small block roadster at Jay Kline Chevrolet in Minneapolis. This car had an interesting history, as it was loaned to Rod Carew, the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame player, in exchange for commercials Mr. Carew did for the dealership. I subsequently sold the 1968 a year later. I didn’t own another Corvette until April 1974 when I purchased a 1962 that I still have today.
The ’62 was a driving car with original motor/drivetrain but a red metal flake paint job, thrush side exhausts and slot mags. In 1976 marriage and family life took over, so the Corvette was put in storage. The marriage ended in the late 80’s and in 1992 I decided to embark on a full body off restoration. The car was totally disassembled, and the slow restoration continued for more than 10 years. However, during this same time period, I totally restored a 1970 big block air roadster that earned a Top flight at our regional. The 1962 was finally completed and in 2004 earned a very high Top Flight award at our regional event in Rochester.
As I continue my narrative, it will be become apparent that a large portion involves the NCRS and North Center Chapter (NCC). I joined NCRS National in December 1976. The NCC initial organizational meeting was held February 1986. It was organized by Deanne Parker, a military person, and held at the Fort Snelling officer’s club. Twelve people including myself attended. By the summer of 1987 over 50 members had joined. In 1988 chairman Deanne Parker’s military status resulted in a transfer to another state. As a result, leadership waned and opposing Minnesota versus Wisconsin factions arose and the chapter went into inactive status. With the efforts of Dale Crosby, including myself and others, the chapter was reorganized late 1989 and has been healthy with a growing membership ever since. I was a board member at the start of the chapter reorganization and continued as a board member through 2014 serving as membership director, technical director, judging chairman, vice president and president at various times. My involvement with the NCRS has been very rewarding and I gained many new friends.
March 2018 Member of the Month
My name is Hans Skalle. I’ve been married to my wife, Sara for 25 years. We have two daughters, Clare and Annika plus 3 dogs, 5 tanks of fish, 1 snake and a horse (and at least one red squirrel in the attic).
I’m the lucky owner of a black on red SWC fuelie. It’s a November ’62 car with power windows and a 4-speed. The paint and interior are finished and look great (thanks Tim Cossette!). My next project is lifting the body and restoring the chassis and drivetrain.
I’ve been a car guy since high school at Hopkins Eisenhower in the early ‘70s. Every Friday and Saturday night I’d cruise the main drag in Hopkins with 300 to 400 other cars. I still have the ’70 Firebird Esprit that was my first car (my Mom bought it new) but it’s since been updated with a 600hp 454 CID small block Chevy built by Bill Mitchell racing, a Ford 9 inch with 4.11s, a Tremec 5-speed and big discs all around. Clearly not a restoration project!
My first Corvette was a Panama yellow ’58. I bought it 12+ years ago. Fun car, turned heads, but was like riding in a buckboard! I sold it to buy the ’63 which I consider a truly beautiful and revolutionary car. My Split Window came out of Washington state and the paint and body was damaged during transit. Insurance covered the repairs and a full repaint and we decided to change the black interior back to its original red while the car was being worked on by Tim. The gauges had been redone. I had the radio rebuilt and Tim installed the carpet and stained the dash. I’ve owned it since 2007. Annika has already staked claim to it (Clare wants the Firebird). I’ve told them both that A.) I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, and B.) they both need to learn to drive a stick first.
I like ‘60s cars and I also own a ’62 T-bird Sports Roadster (another car with classic lines) and have also owned a white ’64 and black ’69 442, both were cool cars.
I’m actually not sure when I found and joined the NCRS and the North Central Chapter but I’m guessing it was 7 or 8 years ago. I’ve had a busy work schedule that’s involved a lot of travel so I’ve not been as active as I’d like to be (and I switched jobs a year ago and have become even busier which, I guess, is a good thing as I near retirement).
I really appreciate and enjoy the tech sessions that I’ve been able to attend – the knowledge and experience of our members and their willingness to help me and each other is really amazing! Having this support network in place really makes me feel a lot better about lifting the body and getting to work on my chassis which I plan to do this spring!
I’m both happy and grateful to be a member of the North Central Chapter of the NCRS! Thanks for featuring me as the member of the month for March 2018!
February 2018 Member of the Month
I think the first Corvette I ever saw was a new 1954 Corvette at a Chevy showroom in southern Minnesota. I was with my grandmother as she was buying a new Bel Air four-door. I guess that thrill has never left me. I always wanted one but was told by my insurance agent to forget it.
Finally in 1987 the stars and planets aligned and I bought a 1960 Corvette. After hiring people to work on the car and not being totally satisfied, I decided to try my hand at restoration. A year later I found another 1960 Corvette that was originally a fuelie. With help from Classic Corvette members and a pile of money, I was able to complete the project and get a Bloomington Gold and NCRS Top Flight.
I believe it was in 1989 or 1990 that the North Central Chapter was started and I was a charter member along with Jim Fenske, Dale Crosby, Mark Swanson and Ken Esther and others.
I was an electrician for 50 years and retired at 65. I’ve since added on to my shop and have made 56 to 67 Corvette restoration my 2nd career.
At this time I have a 57, 62 and 63 projects in the shop. I presently have (2) 1959 Corvettes – one with late model Corvette LS running gear and one with an early GM Crate engine.
As far as the future of NCRS, I see more people wanting the looks of classic corvettes but want the reliability, and price of crate motors and transmission. These people want disk brakes, better handling, power steering and radial tires. I think the future challenges of the Club will be to get the cars restored at a more affordable price. Lately my son and grandsons have been helping me in the shop, so maybe there is hope for the future of Corvette restoration.
January 2018 Member of the Month
Alan Loosbrock is the North Central NCRS Member of the Month for January 2018.
1963 Coupe, non-original 327, 4-speed, Riverside red.
History of Your Corvette:
Purchased in the summer of 1979 after high school graduation from a local used car lot.
I’ve always have had a love for Corvettes since I was in my early teens. Prior to purchasing my Corvette I had worked at a restaurant right next door to the used car lot and remember walking over to the lot and admiring the car. Shortly after, I had just started working a new and better paying job and somehow got my mother to co-sign a loan to buy the Corvette. I would eventually call it my basket case.
The car was raced sometime prior to my ownership. The sales person mentioned this but was also evident by the roll bar that was installed in the car (with an attached fire extinguisher) as well as the engine frame crossmember being hammered down to fit, I’m assuming, a big block. In addition, the wheel wells were flared. Unfortunately the car (prior to me owning it) was taken apart, butchered and Frankensteined back together with many non-original parts. There were parts that were missing and some parts even homemade.
I drove the car for only a couple years before I got the bug of bringing the car back to original, or at least as close to original as possible. I didn’t realize the nightmare I was getting myself into.
I worked on it for not quite a year and then life happened…Marriage, kids, no time, no money, no garage, mortgage, no money, moving, divorce, no money, etc. Oh, did I mention no money? So, with all of that and the frustration of the car needing so much work and parts, the car sat for decades and just collected dust. (Speaking of parts, if you have any ’63 parts you want to unload, let me know!)
It has only been in the last few years that I have started to work on it again. Lately my time has been spent stripping everything from the car. I am attempting a nut and bolt restoration.
I do have the body ready to remove from the frame. Maybe a tech session this spring/summer?
North Central Chapter:
I joined in January of 2015. It was Kevin Sullivan that encouraged me to join. Kevin and I go way back to our high school days. We both worked at the restaurant mentioned above and together we both admired the 1963 Corvette coupe sitting inside the building at the car lot next door. I believe Kevin was one of my 1st passengers in the Corvette. He credits me for helping him become interested in Corvettes. I now have to credit Kevin for helping get the spark back in me to keep plugging away on the car.
My work schedule doesn’t allow me to attend as many activities as I would like but since I am in the restoration phase of my Corvette, I really enjoy the tech sessions. I like learning from the sessions and also talking and listening to other club members. Being involved in the chapter gives me the interest and hope of completing my little red Corvette.
December 2017 Member of the Month
Bill Kohl is the North Central NCRS Member of the Month for December 2017.
Bill is married to Stephanie and they live in Plymouth, Minnesota, and have two grown children, Bill and Heather.
Bills Corvette is a Black 1978 L 48 Coupe with Oyster interior. The car has an automatic transmission, power locks, power windows, power steering, rear defrost, air conditioning, cruise control and sport mirrors.
History of Your Corvette:
Before realizing it was not in his budget, Bill wanted a C2 Corvette. Bill stated “Once the hard hand of reality smacked me, I focused on C3’s.” He really didn’t know much about Corvettes and did a lot of research online. Bill looked at many C3’s and narrowed it down to what he could afford. This ended up being 1978-1982. Bill looked at many over the years and never really felt he was seeing “the one.” However, in 2006, he found a 1978 Coupe and purchased it. Bill thought the car was in pretty good condition. After buying the car, he realized he talked himself into this car, rather than seeing the big picture. Since “taking the plunge”, Bill has been maintaining the Corvette for years. Now that his children are out on their own, Bill and Stephanie have had more time to work on the car and make it the way they want it. They enjoy driving it around town and taking trips with it.
Next Corvette Project:
Bill just picked up the car from having the windshield rust repaired and the windshield replaced. The interior was gutted to accomplish this. They are looking hard at having the car repainted. Of course, that would not happen until the spring of 2018. This winter, Bill plans to drop the differential to exchange the stub shaft as there is a lot of movement. He also plans to maintain and upgrade the Corvette when possible.
North Central Chapter:
Bill joined the North Central NCRS chapter in 2007. Since Bill never worked on cars, he knew he would need a lot of help. That is where the NCRS came in. If it had not been for the North Central Chapter, he doubts he would still have a Corvette today. Bill and Stephanie’s long-term plan for their Vette is to drive it through the lower 48 states and as many provinces as they can.
November 2017 Member of the Month
Jim Keck is the North Central Member of the Month for November 2017. Jim is married to Janet and they have five children. Eric Berg, Leif Berg, Jenny Bryant, Peter Berg, and Jamie Keck.
Jim owns a 1970 Malboro Marooon with black interior Corvette. The car has T-Tops, LS5(454/390 Hp),Air Conditioning, Tilt/Telescoping steering column, Power Steering,Power Brakes,Power Windows, AM/FM Stereo, and Turbo Hydra-matic Transmission.
He is Jim’s letter:
In the summer of 1970, I had been looking for a “Big Block” Corvette with little luck through a local dealer. Traveling back from a wedding in Illinois, I decided to checkout some larger dealerships. On the 3rd or 4th stop, I found two candidates at Rapids Chevrolet in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Th first car was a Yellow convertible and the second car was a Maroon T-Top. Neither had a 4-speed, but I had the bug and $7,000 later… part of which was a ’68 Barracuda with a 383 stick, we drove home in the T-Top.
The next couple of summers, I traveled to Oklahoma and Montana for some wrestling camps. Since most state speed limits had been reduced to 55 mph soon after I purchased the car, I was anxious (and pleased) to test the validity of the 160 mph speedometer on the open stretches of the plains and mountain state interstates; which had no restrictions and no traffic for miles. Yes, 160 was easily obtained and there was even an additional performance beyond 160. But, I was uncomfortable about anything more-so a quick punch of the accelerator to see what was left and a quick descent back to sane, safe, and down to a reasonable speed. Other than these two thrilling tests, I’ve used discretion about my proximity to speed limits and safe driving and was never again over the century mark.
Autocross events offered exciting alternatives in the early 2000’s. After a few trophies and many great thrills, I realized that would be hard on the car and be susceptible to accidents. Since I had kept the car in extremely good condition and had driven more sensibly (avoiding any accidents), I decided not to tempt fate any longer. The originality and one ownership status of the car was increasing it’s value, so the Autocross events had to stop.
With 115,000 mi of pure pleasure under the belt, a new adventure was pursued. I choose to “Evaluate” how original the car was, and being the only owner, I was sure little had been done to it to not be able to meet NCRS expectations. So your NCRS North Central Chapter event in May of 2015 was our first try. We drove the car up to be judged without changing a thing and got a 2nd Flight @ 92.3%. Next, we switched the Mag wheels with radial tires back to the original wheels with new Wide Ovals, the JC Penny battery traded in for an AC Delco, numerous nuts & bolts were exchanged for original equipment types, and we bored the block 0.030″ (because a pan gasket replacement exposed some unwanted filings.) With that done, we drove to Galena, IL. in August 2017 for their Chapter “Shut Down” event. Two of the judges were in the process of producing the new ’68-’72 C3 manual. One of them discovered two unknown things about C3’s; which our car could confirm for him. This judge was like a little kid in a candy shop excited about the find, taking photos for the manual, and telling all the other judges of his discovery. In the end (including the drive to Galena,) we received enough points to earn a Top Flight @ 99.3%.
In May 2017 we drove the car to Newton, Iowa for the NCRS Heartland Regional. This time exchanging the carbon fiber rear spring with a factory purchased spring (bought in the 70’s by a Colorado NCRS judge, but never used) and a few minor consumables, we earned another Top Flight @94.3%. The real fun of this event (beyond the judging) was track time on the NASCAR sanctioned facility. The Radials would have been nice (instead of the Bias Plys), but we managed to keep it off the wall in spite of some drifting. A very valuable C2 did not do so well, putting both ends of his highly modified race version (which was Duntov endorsed) into the wall.
The other unique (and rather significant) thing the judges of both Galena and Newton found interesting was a mall parking lot incident that happened the 2nd year we had the car. I had parked the car as far from other cars as possible, oftentimes on the perimeter. Checking the lot traffic occasionally, it appeared to be getting too busy to stick around. On my way to the car, from a second floor vantage point, I noticed a car backing very close to ours. It stopped, a lady got out, walked to the back, returned to her car and left. Assuming this to not be good, I ran to our car to discover a minor bump to the left front bumper. I could see that the lady was stuck in some traffic, so I attempted to catch her. The pursuit became too much of a risk and I gave up on it.
What the judges liked best about this incident was that I was young and could hardly afford insurance (especially “Corvette” insurance with an accident claim), so I have never repaired the minor damage. The good part about that was that, except for the consumables, the ORIGINALITY of the car has been PRESERVED!
NORTH CENTRAL CHAPTER
I want to thank the “North Central Club” for starting me on the NCRS judging path. At that first event, I was treated extremely well. Arriving early, I was able to wash the car and store it before the next day’s event. Because of the overwhelming reception, I was encouraged to continue with further evaluation of the car. It is only because it is 200 miles to a meeting (and the miles have become more important) that I have not made many of the events. However, seeing a familiar North Central face or two at the Newton and Galena events was great. I also enjoy the newsletter and reading about what’s happening in the Chapter.
Lastly, due to lack of funds and facilities to pursue further judging and more prestigious awards that apparently this car has a potential for, I’m looking for a Collector/Restorer to carry this Big Block Original down that path you started us on. I advertised the car a few years ago, but was immediately interrupted to make the car right with respect to the engine and rear spring and then, of course, the numerous consumable items that turn up in the examination during repairs and in the judging process.
Thanks to all you NCRS members for what you do,
October 2017 Member of the Month
Jay is married to Delores and lives near Fargo, North Dakota. They had been married for 35 years and have two sons: who are in there 20’s.
Jay’s Corvette is a Daytona Blue 1963 Split Window Fuelie Coupe. The car has a four-speed transmission, knock-off wheels and is all numbers matching.
History of your Corvette:
Jay’s ‘63 was purchased by the original owner in Fresno California in 1963. He acquired his Corvette in 2012. He is the third owner and he purchased the car from a very close friend of his father. The 2nd owner purchased the car from Harrah’s auction in Las Vegas. He put only 200 miles on the car in 1973 and it sat in his shop unused until they pulled it out of storage when Jay bought it in 2012 – which was 39 years!
Your next project on your Corvette:
Jay had the fuel injection unit rebuilt by Jerry Bramlett and the car now “Runs like the wind.” Jay has no plans for any further projects other than driving it on very special occasions.
September 2017 Member of the Month
Harvey is married to Judy and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. He has two grown children, Suzanne and Paul, and also has three grandchildren.
Harv has owned nine Corvettes in this lifetime, including six C1’s, one C2, one C3 and one C4. Many of Harv’s friends owned Corvettes in their college years and Harv caught to Vette bug. His first Corvette was a ‘62 Red on Red Roadster; which he purchased in 1965 for $2,500. Harv purchased this car as a work car and even took it deer hunting. He drove the Vette for three years and was able get this $2,500 back when he sold it in 1968.
Harv’s current Corvettes are both Roadsters — one is a Black with Red 1962 and a Red on Red 61 Fuel injected Roadster. His wife, Judy, owns a 1990 White with Red Coupe.
History of your Corvette:
Harv purchased his ‘61 Corvette at a Police Auction about 10 years ago. The car was painted 1958 Charcoal Gray with a Silver side cove. The car had a painted dash instead of the traditional dash pad. When he purchased the car, the Fuel Injection was missing and original 283 has been replaced by a 327. He contacted previous owner and found the car had been stolen while he was serving in the military in the late sixties. When the car was recovered, the engine and many other parts were missing. The owner’s father sold the car shortly after it was recovered. The owner wasn’t even aware the car was an originally Fuel Injected car as it had been removed before he owned it. Harv found the correct 283 engine block and heads and also purchased a 61 Fuel Injection unit; which he restored himself. He spent five years working on the car and had it painted Roman Red with a White side cove.
Your next project on your Corvette:
Harv has no plans for any further projects with his Corvettes other than keeping them driving. He plans on just driving and enjoying the cars. Harv and Judy attend weekly car shows in the Northland and really enjoy driving their Corvettes.
Harv joined NCRS in the early 1980’s and was fairly active in the club. He has been attending tech session of C1 cars since he sold one of this cars to his son 10 years ago. He really enjoys learning about Corvettes and tries to do all the work on his cars. He needs his garage time in the winter and the tech sessions are great way to share information on “how to restore many parts on our Corvettes.”
August 2017 Member of the Month
Larry is single and lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He has one son named Chad; who lives in Land O’ Lakes Florida and works as a Mechanical Engineer.
Larry has owned his 1962 Roman Red Corvette since July 1984. It has a 327/340 HP motor, 4-speed transmission with 3:70 posi-traction rear end and is a hard top only car.
Here is Larry’s letter:
I was looking for a 1957 Chevy Belair to purchase. I had found one, but when I called the guy, it was already sold. I also happen to tell Rich, at the gas station, that I was looking for a Belair. Rich had two mid-year Vettes and told me about the ’62 and that the guy would not sell it. Turns out, I knew the owner, Roger; who lived here in Sioux Falls. I went to see him and the car the next day. We talked and then his wife said they should keep it for their daughter. Well, I offered him $4,000 cash, but he turned it down. I called him the next day and offered him $5,000 and he said, “come and get it.” When I bought the car it was painted gold, had four different size tires on it, a Hurst shifter that barely moved, mag wheels and was jacked up. Roger’s dad stopped by and said to be careful because “the faster you go the more it goes toward the ditch!” The motor had been changed to one from a ’65 Chevelle and he removed the 2-1/2″ exhaust manifolds and put them on the company truck after he cut off the overflow tank and generator mounts. He also had the irons and material for a convertible top.
After I got it home, the first thing I did was check the right front suspension. I found that the upper shaft was wore half way through because of no grease. Then I removed the passenger seat and found the car was originally painted Fawn and was a hard top only car. Back then, you could check on previous owners and I found that the car was originally owned by a guy from Riverside, California. It also turned out the ‘62 had six previous owners.
Shortly after that, in November 1984, I took the car apart. I did the complete chassis first. Then, in November of 1993, I painted the car with five coats of Roman Red and then five coats of clear. This was my first paint job!
I have owned several other Covettes thoughout the years, a new 1991, used 2001, used 1966 air coupe, a used 2004 ZO6 Commemorative Edition and a new 2009 ZO6. I plan on keeping the ’62 and have no plans for another Vette. I can drive my ‘62 anywhere.
I joined the national NCRS first, member #7706, and joined the North Central Chapter later on when I met Tom Howey. I don’t recall when that was.
July 2017 Member of the Month
Pete owns a 1954 Corvette Roadster #3848 Sportsmen Red with soft top and after-market hardtop. The car is unrestored with 67,000 miles, original engine, Blue Flame 6-cylinder with three Carter side draft carbs and a two speed Powerglide automatic transmission. He also has a 1987 Corvette convertible. This car has somewhat high-mileage and is used as a daily driver for 7-8 months of the year.
Here is Pete’s letter:
History of Your Corvette:
In 1964, my brother-in-law, David Smith, purchased this 1954 Corvette from a dealer in Milwaukee. I was 14 years old at the time and thought he was the coolest brother-in-law ever — never imagining that I would someday own it. In 1970, he parked it in front of his house in White Bear Lake with a sign taped to it “$2,000,” but no one would give him that much for it. In 1971 he offered it to me for $1700, but being a senior in college at the time I said “I don’t have $1,700.” He said, “How about you give me $100 a month when you get a job?” Ok, sold! It will be a fun car around campus for my final year at UW-Stevens Point: and it was.
In 1971, I got a job with the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad in the Twin Cities. I drove the old Corvette to work-sometimes leaving it in railroad yards all night even though you couldn’t lock it. In the late ’70s, I began to realize this old Corvette was increasing in value. With traffic getting busier, auto theft and crime rates increasing, I began to drive it a lot less. After having some minor mechanical problems in 1980, I parked it in my garage in Burnsville, covered it up and planned on getting back to it “later.” Working long hours and having a boat on the St. Croix River at Hudson, “later” turned into over 30 years.
I am now retired and live in the hills and woods just outside of Menomonie, WI with Kendall and our three cats. A neighbor in Menomonie helped and encouraged me to get this car back on the road. So in 2014, we took a trailer and went to Burnsville and brought it back. It was kind of like a “barn find” at this point. I was the only one who had the garage door opener for the townhouse where it was stored. The most major problems after the many years of not running or moving was with the fuel system, getting the gas tank clean, carbs rebuilt and a little brake attention. Other gremlins would surface from time to time, but we have it running fairly well now. Many thanks to my neighbor, Fred Till, Without all of his help it would not be on the road now. New original tires from Coker make it feel safer to drive. The 44-year-old tires, although good tread and not weather-checked, just had to go.
I’ve taken it to some local car shows over the last couple of years. It does draw a lot of attention and often gets awarded a trophy. On May 20, 2017, it was judged at the North Central Chapter judging meet in River Falls. I learned a lot about the car-what is original and what is not. It received 76.9 % of the points for a Third Flight award. I was pleased that my brother-in-law, David Smith (who bought the car in 1964 and sold it to me in 1971) was able to attend the judging, meet some of the members and see the car again. The boys standing next to the Corvette (in the picture next to the brick house) are his sons (my nephews). This picture was taken in 1972. The Corvette is virtually unchanged today, although the boys are now ages 50 and 54.
I plan on just keeping the car original as is, maintaining it for safe operation, driving and enjoying the old Vette. Of course, I’ll try to make improvements to the originality and acquire the items that are missing. However, as far as getting it judged again, it may be too costly to gain the number of points necessary for the next flight level, but I’m keeping my options open. Since it has been a part of the family for over 53 years, logically my desire is for future generations to keep in our family. I have no plans to sell it.
I joined the North Central Chapter in 2015 after getting my ’54 Corvette out of 30+ years of storage knowing that I would need some advice, opinions, and help, etc. I enjoy meeting like-minded people with similar interests. So far, everyone in the North Central Chapter has been just great.
June 2017 Member of the Month
Dale Anderson is the North Central NCRS Member of the Month for June 2017.
Dale is married to Denise and they live in Ham Lake, Minnesota and have three grown children, Julie, Kristie and Jason. They also have three grandchildren, Avery, Alex and Cole.
Dale’s current Corvette is a 2008 C6 Convertible Jetstream Blue exterior with Black interior. It has a LS3 motor with 430 hp with only 8,000 miles on the odometer.
History of Your Corvette:
Dale had been looking for a low mileage, C6 Jetstream Blue convertible for two yrs. At one point, a dealer told Dale that he would be looking a long time for a low miles C6 Jetstream Blue convertible and strongly recommended that he buy the 2008 Silver convertible that he had in stock. Dale told him that he was going to keep looking for a Jetstream Blue convertible for as long as it takes! In June of 2016, while recovering from open heart quadruple by-pass surgery, a dealer called Dale with a tip that his dealer friend in St. Cloud had just acquired a 2008 Jetstream Blue, low miles, convertible. The dealership had just taken it in on trade for a new Camaro. He called the dealer right away and the dealer said that they had only had the car for three hours. Dale’s surgeon had just cleared him to drive so, he told the dealer that he would be there in an hour. When he saw the car, he knew it was exactly what he was searching for and bought it immediately.
Next Corvette Project:
Dale recently sold his NCRS Top Flight, Bloomington Gold Certified, Gold Spinner Award, Triple Crown 1960 Red convertible Corvette. He is currently looking for a ‘58 to ‘67 Corvette for his next restoration project.
North Central Chapter:
Dale has been a member of the North Central Chapter since 1998. He really enjoys the Tech Sessions.
Dale at World of Wheels
May 2017 Member of the Month
Mike Meirovitz is the North Central NCRS Member of the Month for May 2017.
Mike is married to Toby and they have two children, Joel (27) and Sandy (22). They live in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
Mike is the proud owner of a 1980 Corvette with a Classic White Exterior (10L) with a Claret Cloth and Vinyl Interior (79C). It has an L48 engine. The car has achieved three NCRS Top Flight Awards, Founder’s Ops Check, and earned one Star for the Interior. Currently, the Corvette sits at 40,000 miles; having 31,000 when purchased in 2011. This Corvette was born on Friday, June 20, 1980 in St. Louis, Missouri, the same day the Blues Brothers movie was released in theaters.
Mike has always been a car guy and previously owned an old Firebird, two Porsche’s, five MG’s and one Jaguar. Owning all of these different cars forced Mike to create a nice workshop with SAE, Metric and British Whitworth spec tools. Mike does nearly all of his own mechanical work and has learned to keep the car in spec for 1980, yet still able to enjoy driving it. The last major projects completed after judging included a monospring, new shocks, new exhaust, rebuild and restore steering components, air conditioning, and this past winter a new dash board, console and restored radio and gauges were installed.
Asked why he joined the North Central Chapter of the NCRS Mike responded, “I love the club members and I have learned so much about my car. The wealth of knowledge I have gained is priceless. I’ve always been into the heritage of my collector cars and the NCRS continues to provide that knowledge.”
When asked to describe how he found and purchased his 1980 Corvette Mike included a very interesting article that he submitted to the NCRS Driveline Article as part of the Founders Award. The article has been accepted and will be published in about three years. The article was so well-written that we have attached it to help explain how Mike purchased his car.
Below is Mike’s article….Enjoy!
I bet we have all asked ourselves “if only we could ask the original owner”. The great fun of the NCRS is the detective work and research done by so many brilliant members. They provide us the answers to what and how on our Corvette’s. Once in a while, the puzzle pieces are still with the original owner.
In 2011, my soon-to-be-Corvette was said to have been in storage a very long time, having been bought at a Mecum Auction by a St. Paul Minnesota car dealership owner. The dealership owner planned to keep the car himself as it had only 30,000 miles and was (mostly) original. I heard about the car from a family member, approached the owner of the dealer and a deal was done.
Getting the car home and starting to explore, I found a number of surprises. Lifting the tray out of the jack compartment, I found a very old plastic bag with a stack of paperwork inches thick, all neatly organized. To my surprise, original purchase documents and receipts were there, every insurance card from new to 1999, the PDI forms all filled out and signed, the original water stained sticker, warranty brochures and more. I was so excited finding this treasure trove that I decided to try and contact the original owner with some questions.
According to the sticker, my Corvette was sold by S & R Chevrolet of Mason City Iowa. Some confusing aspects were the original buyer’s agreement read “Bob Schukei Ford”, the PDI, and receipts were for “Schukei Chevrolet. More on this later…
According to the paperwork, the original owner, David Goetzinger of Mason City Iowa, traded in a 1979 Camaro on August 30, 1980 for the Corvette. An address was listed for David as being in Mason City. The insurance cards from 1980 to 1999 show the car registered in Iowa and later in Minnesota. Thanks to the internet, I began my search for David.
It didn’t take long, I located David and by luck a published company (in Mason City) email address. I sent the “you don’t know me, but I bought the 1980 Corvette you owned for two decades…” email….and by a great surprise, a response!
David was elated to hear from me. We emailed and chatted back and forth and decided to get together while I was trailering the Corvette to the Kansas City NCRS National. David arranged a meeting place; which was the original dealership, Schukei Chevrolet in Mason City, Iowa.
As I pulled into Mason City, I called David to let him know I’d be at the store shortly. When I pulled up to the dealership, a number of dealership employees were milling about and saw the car on the trailer and came over. Not a minute later, the thundering sound of Harley pulling in and by the ear-to-ear smile of the rider, I knew this was David. It was like meeting a long lost brother!
After meeting David, I met his gracious and excited family who came to the reunion. The dealership employees were so excited and friendly, each coming over to meet us and take pictures. The wonderful, welcoming owner of the dealership, Steven Schukei greeted all of us and took the time to talk and fill in some blanks.
In 1980, Steven’s father, Robert, owned the local Mason City Ford franchise and had just purchased a Chevrolet franchise. Steven became the GM of the new dealer, Schukei Chevrolet. The dealer’s printed paperwork was still in transition when David bought his new Corvette, so some documents have the “Ford” letterhead. S & R Chevrolet listed on the Monroney Sticker is Steven and Robert. Robert Schukei gave the Ford dealership to his long time business partner in 1980 according the Schukei Chevrolet website.
The fun really started when David went through the Corvette answering some questions:
- When the Corvette was new, someone tried to break into the car via the T-Tops, breaking the glass. The only replacements tops in Mason City were for a 1981 Corvette. This answered the T-Top question on why the glass tops are not correct in color and date for a 1980!
- David wanted a better sounding exhaust, so when the car was still fairly new, he proceeded to the local muffler shop and replaced everything from the Cat back with 1980 “Turbo” Mufflers and a “test tube” in place of the converter. Later, he added an aftermarket Cat.
- During the time he owned the Corvette, David had a very high end Panasonic Cassette Deck professionally installed. He noticed right away that I had carefully replaced the Panasonic Deck with a period correct Delco AM/FM Stereo, per the original specifications.
- There were a number of receipts from Chevrolet Dealers for carburetor work. David said there were some choke issues and rough running over the years that were eventually sorted out. This solves some of the differences in stampings and actual parts on the carb noted by my late friend and the greatly missed Ken Sleeper.
- David said a right rear tire blowout damaged some of the body work so this would account for inconsistent paint color that Ken noticed.
- Ken Sleeper had noted the front and rear bumper paint inconsistencies early in my ownership. David confirmed what Ken knew exactly, the front nose and rear bumper were taken off and repainted frequently under Chevrolet warranty and then out of warranty. David mentioned the paint would fade quickly on the urethane panels!
In many ways, a 1980 Corvette is still fairly new only a few decades old. The 1980 was part of the well know “malaise” era, with the EPA and auto manufacturers playing tag. Consumers still wanted a Corvette and that Corvette became part of their lives — just the same as a now more collectable Corvette from the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s. If all our original owners knew then what we know now. To GM they were cars, meant to be driven and enjoyed, then sold and a new one bought to repeat the cycle.
I am lucky that the first owner made this car his own for nearly two decades, enjoyed his time with it, and now it is in my charge to enjoy.
April 2017 Member of the Month
Mike Koffler is our March 2017 Member of the Month for NCRS. Here is what Mike shared…….
My name is Mike Koffler and I live with my wife, Jean, in Bismarck, ND. I worked in the electrical field for the past 42 years; with the last 27 years being self-employed. Jean is a retired accountant and loves to golf, run and take care of the yard.
My desire to own a Corvette started back in the 70’s by sitting in a 1962 Honduras Maroon with black interior. Life was good! My first Corvette purchase was a Riverside Red 300 HP 64 coupe; which I still have today. After that came four solid axles, a ‘59, ‘61 and two 62’s, a few sharks, a ‘71, ‘78 and ‘79 and a 2002 C-5. They all have their own story as to how I ended up purchasing them.
I joined the NCRS years ago due to my hobby of restoring Corvettes. In 2013, a good friend of mine, Paul Klemetson, took his ‘69 to the NW Chapter meet and I decided to drive down and see what this judging thing was all about. I was introduced to Chris and Jerome and it was like sitting in the maroon ‘62 all over again. Life was good! I knew by their friendly hospitality that this was a chapter I would like to join.
I am currently restoring a ‘59 and look forward to someday bringing it to a chapter meet. I have met some really good and fun people in the chapter and look forward to meeting more.
March 2017 Member of the Month
Tom Howey is the North Central NCRS Member of the Month for March 2017. Tom and, his wife of 32 years, Diane, live in Brandon, South Dakota. They have two grown children, Brian and Nicole. Brian is 29 years old and lives in Oakland, California and Nicole is 25 years old and is a veterinarian.
Tom is a 200-point-plus level judge. He likes to restore his own cars and even does his own paint. The Howey’s are building a new house and shop in Prescott, Arizona and will be moving there as soon as their house is complete.
They currently own eight Corvettes. They have two 1959’s of which one has been awarded a Duntov. Tom and Diane also own two 1963’s (a split window fuelie and one roadster), a 1964 air coupe, a 1979 that was awarded a Bowtie, a 1968 convertible, and a 2009 ZR1.
Tom purchased his 1959 Duntov from an insurance company. It was a top flight car that caught fire after restoration from a fuel line leak. He had to replace much of the body with original panels as they were just strands of fiberglass. This was his first attempt at top flight; which eventually lead to the Duntov award. During the process, Tom and his friend, Bob Baird, wrote the ‘58-‘60 restoration handbook. This book is sold through the NCRS website.
Tom’s 1963 split window fuelie was previously owned by one of his friends and Tom tried to buy the car for years. Then one day out of the blue, his friend called and offered to sell him the car. Tom purchased the car and restored it. After completion last summer, the car was awarded Top Flight.
Tom is looking forward to getting into his new shop in Prescott so he can host some tech sessions while he works on his 1968 convertible and 1963 roadster.
February 2017 Member of the Month
Gary and Cindy Detjen are the North Central NCRS Members of the Month for February 2017.
Gary and Cindy joined NCRS on June 1, 1994, and have really enjoyed their membership experience. They joined as a result of friends who were also involved in NCRS.
Gary and Cindy live in Prior Lake Minnesota and have two daughters, Molly and Amber. They also have four grandchildren, Emma, Ben, Jack and Matthew.
They own a beautiful 1978 Silver Anniversary Coupe. The ‘78 has the L-82 350 engine, B2Z silver anniversary paint, black interior, A31 power windows, AR7 leather bucket seats, C49 rear defogger, C60 air conditioning, FE7 gymkhana suspension, K30 cruise control, M38 automatic transmission, K37 tilt-telescopic steering, UM2 AM/FM stereo 8-track, YJ8 aluminum wheels, and U75 power antenna.
Gary found the car listed in the Sunday Star Tribune want ads. He test drove the car and purchased it in August 1994 from the second owner, who lived in St. Paul. The car had only 3,500 miles on it when it was sold to the second owner. When Gary and Cindy purchased the car on August 18, 1994, it had only 18,000 miles on it. Currently, the car just broke 40,000 miles. They have owned the Corvette for 22 years and have averaged 1,000 miles per year.
Gary and Cindy have had the car judged at both chapter and national meets. NCRS judging activities include:
- Top Flight Chapter 8/16/14 Grand Total Score 97.9
- Performance Verification Award Regional 6/15/97
- Top Flight National 8/8/96 Grand Total Score 97.3
- Top Flight Chapter 5/4/96 Grand Total Score 98.4
Next Corvette Project:
The car is currently stored for the winter and in the spring Gary will have routine maintenance performed. After that, the car should be ready for Top Flight and Performance Verification Judging. Gary commented: “We have had many hours of enjoyment and learned a lot about car restoration and judging.”
Please take a look for their favorite car pictures:
The first picture is of their ‘78 at the Mystic Lake Casino car show. Dana Forrester, a well-known watercolor artist of cars, used their car as a subject for his “Saturday Morning Wash” painting. Dana’s work can be seen at www.danaforresterart.com, select “gallery” to view images. The painting is displayed in front of the car.
The second is the Detjen’s favorite picture; which was taken by Russ Field of Vintage Reflections. It was taken at the Woodland Hill Winery in Delano. Russ’s work can be seen at www.photovintagereflections.com.
January 2017 Member of the Month
Tim DeAtley is the North Central NCRS Member of the Month for January 2017.
Tim is married to Lynda Stewart and they have three children-Justin (32), Nathan (19), and Andrea (16). They live in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
They joined the chapter about five years ago after relocating to Menomonie. They had been in clubs for many years and after relocating they wanted to find a club to join. After talking to Chris Enstrom, they decided this club was a good fit for them as they like to show and learn about these awesome cars.
Tim and Lynda are proud owners for six Corvettes and they love them all like they were their kids. They have a 1978 Pace Car, 1981 and ‘82 Coupe, 2002 Convertible, 2004 Limited Edition ZO6 and a 2014 Z51 coupe.
The car Tim would like to highlight is the 1978 Pace car. They are the fourth owners and have been able to talk with every one of the past owners documenting the history with conversations and pictures. Knowing the history of the ‘78 has added a lot of fun to owning this car. Tim found the ‘78 on eBay as he had found several other cars over the years. As far as buying a car on eBay, Tim states, “You have to be careful and be willing to walk away. However, we have had some real good finds there, too.” The ‘78 pace car has 5,600 documented miles on it. It is the 12th pace car built serial number 00012. Tim and Laura have been able to achieve top flight with it along with Bloomington Gold Survivor Gold, Gold Certification, Benchmark and Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, Concourse Gold and the Triple Diamond Award.
For their next project, Tim and Laura have been considering (being urged by others) to pursue the Bowtie certifications on their 78 pace car.
December 2016 Member of the Month
John Ikeda is the December North Central NCRS Member of the Month. Here is John’s letter:
About 20 years ago, Joe Galindo and a few other NCRS members encouraged me to join NCRS. My interest in Corvettes was piqued when I was a kid. I’d occasionally see an old guy driving a 1962 Corvette with a big smile slapped on his face. I knew the guy was the principal of the local high school. How could a high school principal smile? My objective is to drive a Corvette that offers enough of an enjoyable driving experience to keep a smile slapped on my face, too.
I hadn’t been active in the North Central Chapter since the St. Paul Convention. However, I talked with Bob Lund a couple of times and he had me renew my membership and that was it. Although I am not interested in building a NCRS Top Flight Corvette, having the opportunity to see Top Flight cars and talk with owners helps me improve the period look of my Corvette.
I’m working on my 1975 Corvette. I bought the car as a graduation present to myself. It has the original paint and well-aged bumpers. Tim Cosette painted a new set of bumpers for me. Although the Corvette’s 25-year-old Cottrell engine is still running strong, I recently had the original engine rebuilt. It had been sitting in the corner of the garage; which was the result of a mechanical failure at BIR years ago. Fortunately, my wife, Sandy, supports my Corvette hobby.
Take a look at my photos. They better represent what I say about being enthusiastic about Corvettes.
November 2016 Member of the Month
Doug Jolstad is the November North Central NCRS Member of the Month. Doug is married to Marcia and live in Deephaven, Minnesota. They have three grown children – Scott, Mark and Laurel. They are blessed with seven grandchildren – Gus, Miranda, Leah, Brooke, Jake, Jolie and Brynn
Gus,Miranda,Leah,Brooke, Doug, Jake, Jolie and Brynn
I’ve always loved the early C3 Sharks. My wife and I bought a slightly used yellow 1969 coupe in 1970. I drove it year-around as our second car for several years. In 1975, I ordered a new white coupe and then in 1978, I bought a new Silver Anniversary. Each time I thought I was buying a newer upgrade, but was later disappointed with their styling and performance. Since 1976, I’ve always owned two or more Corvettes including several C1’s, a 1965, either a 1969 or 1973 and some newer ones.
About 18 years ago, I bought the 1969 yellow 427- 435hp convertible with a 4-speed and factory side pipes. It was by far my favorite car to drive (after adding power steering and Tilt & Tele.) Over the next few years, I added a red 1969 427 – 400hp 4-speed convert and then another yellow 1969 427 – 400hp 4-speed convert. I had them repainted and restored over a period of time and added PS, T&T and side pipes.
We have three children and seven grandchildren. I had the “bright” idea a few years ago to give a restored 1969 427 convertible to each of the grandchildren when I’m gone and/or they learn to drive well. Fortunately, neither of those conditions have happened yet. It has been a lot more fun to buy and restore the Corvettes than invest more in 529 plans. About four years ago, I owned seven 1969 427 convertibles that were mostly original and probably over-restored.
I’ve learned a lot from the North Central Chapter of NCRS, fellow members and judging events. You learn so much by listening and reading about originality that makes us a wiser buyer and restorer. I only wish I would have joined NCRS sooner. I also think it is so neat to hear from our members who have kept their “now classic” Corvette in the family for decades.
Now that I’m “smarter,” I’ve bought two more 1969 427 convertibles under the premise of “don’t be afraid to upgrade.” I do need to sell two of the ‘69s now or (later?)
The grandchildren have shown interest in the Corvettes and help me wash and clean them. Most have picked out their Corvette mainly on the basis of color. None of them have their driver’s license yet, but they are learning about that “third” foot pedal, how to shift, and that thing called a “window crank.” In the meantime, I get to store, maintain, insure and drive them. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just hope the grandchildren don’t grow up too fast.
October 2016 Member of the Month
Mike Carroll is the North Central October Member of the Month. Mike is married to Deb and has two children, Sarah and Peter. Mike and Deb live in New Brighton. Mike joined the NCRS in 2012. He really enjoys talking about the cars with other members and learning from their experiences. The network of expertise in the club is awesome.
Mike’s Corvette is a 1965 Roadster, Rally Red, with white and red interior, white convertible top, and red auxiliary hard top. The car is powered by 327 V8, 365 HP, 4 speed, with 411 posi-traction rear end and off-road exhaust.
Mike’s dad, Jack Carroll, was a car nut. He loved anything on four wheels, but especially Corvettes. Jack bought the 1965 roadster in August 1975 from a man in Eden Prairie, MN. The car had 37,000 miles on it. Today, the car only has 39,000 miles on it! Mike has the original sales sticker from “Hovey Dallas Chevrolet, Gardena, CA” showing a list price $5,139. Mike was in college at the time, but remembers helping his dad with his latest restoration or maintenance chore. To say that Jack took very good care of the car is an understatement. He was meticulous in keeping the car spotless, as well as, keeping records of every new part, repair or service performed.
Jack introduced Mike to Bob Lund in May of 2012. In spring of 2012, Jack was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. His family had known for several years that something wasn’t quite right. Jack had lost interest in the car so it sat for a few years without being driven. Later in June, Bob helped Mike start the car. It ran for about two minutes before it died. Further examination of fuel system showed that the gas at the carburetor was the color and consistency of molasses. The entire fuel system has been replaced and now the car runs great.
Jack passed away in May of this year. He would be very pleased to know the car is being taken care of. This red 1965 Corvette is mostly original and is great fun to drive. More importantly, it reminds Mike of his dad every time he gets behind the wheel.
Mikes next project on his 65:
Mike had the car judged for the first time in August of 2014 and missed top flight by only 24 points. The biggest deduction was the tires. Jack put Michelin radials on the car in the late 1970’s. The tires have less than 2,000 miles on them (they still have the flash on the side walls), but they are 40 years old. The car also has knock-off wheels. Mike is planning to replace the tires; which will allow him to drive the car safely at highway speed for longer distances and also address the judging deductions.
September 2016 Member of the Month
Dave & Jeanne Cloutier
Dave and Jeanne Cloutier are the North Central Chapter Members of the Month for September 2016. Jeanne wrote the fabulous letter shown below:
Dave has been interested in cars since his early teens and he and his friends would tear engines apart and then put them back together. I knew when I said, “I do” that it was going to be a marriage with cars being a part of our life. I don’t really remember why in our early-married years Dave decided he wanted to purchase either a 1957 or 1961 Corvette. We lived in an apartment and had no garage! I vividly remember driving down the snowy alley in south Minneapolis in November of 1970 so Dave could peek through a window in a garage at the ’57 that was advertised in the paper. It was a fuel-injected 283 ci 250 hp. We purchased it and it sat out in the elements that winter. We bought a house in ’71 and he had garage space to redo the body. He discovered it was originally Venetian Red instead of the Black car we had brought home. He did body work and painted it in the spring of 1972. The car then sat for many years with maybe a ride here and there.
We moved to Hudson, WI in 1980 and we drove to a few Corvette gatherings in Stillwater, MN, but family and work took priority. After we both retired, he decided that maybe it was time to pull the car out of mothballs and do a total body off restoration. We joined NCRS in 2003 and the North Central Chapter in 2006. From there, it has been an unending road of attending Chapter, Regional and National Meets.
The car was totally stripped of everything in the spring of 2010. The restoration took several years as we started to winter in AZ (Nov-Apr). The car was finally ready for its debut at our Chapter Meet in Long Lake, MN on August 15, 2015. It received a Top Flight. We trailered it to Oconomowoc, WI in September 2015 and it was a Top Flight again. It was now on to the nail biter PV that was completed at our North Central Rochester Regional in 2016. This was maybe the biggest hurdle due to the many requirements for a successful Performance Verification. After this success, we signed up to take it to the National for the Mark of Excellence Duntov Award. We were pretty confident of achieving this, but you never know until the Award is in your hands. We made it through and Dave accepted the Duntov Award at the banquet that Thursday evening from David McClellan and David Hill. What a journey and to think we completed this within 11 months of the first Chapter Judging Meet!
Dave started getting into the NCRS judging process and I, through great mentors such as Val Crosby of the North Central Chapter and Cathy Bergmann and Suellyn Bennett of the AZ Chapter, started joining in the tabulation process. This has been such an educational process of learning about all of the parts of the cars plus seeing what painstaking steps individuals take to get their cars to a certain level. Quite often after we have tabulated a number of cars at meets, the tabulators can’t wait to get out and see some of these cars that have received few to zero deductions. It has been so great meeting Corvette owners from all over the United States. We have especially enjoyed traveling to Regionals in cities where we might have never selected to visit. We have made so many friends through NCRS and always look forward to seeing them again and again.
It has been worth every penny and amount of time spent to achieve this. We would not have been able to do it without the support of the many NCRS friends who assisted along the way with this and that. It is one heck of a commitment to make to take a car through the entire process, but I bet Dave wouldn’t trade it for the world!!! (I know I wouldn’t.)
August 2016 Member of the Month
Paul Christopher is the North Central August Member of the Month. Paul is married to Diane and has two grown children, Katie and Lee. Paul and Diane live in Shorewood. Paul joined the NCRS in 1985. He really enjoys reading the NCRS magazines and still has all from the first issue. He joined the North Central Chapter in 2013 after talking with Jerome Lardy.
Here is Paul’s letter:
While working at a gas station, a friend of mine drove up with his 1958 Corvette. I sat in it (didn’t drive it) and from that moment, I was hooked. I ordered a new 1965 red with black interior roadster, 365 horse (10 short then fuel injection) four speed with all of the options. That year, GM went on strike in September, so delivery took four months. I picked up my Corvette a week before Christmas in 1964. The dealer must have liked it, too, because he had put about 75 miles on it. I totally enjoyed driving the Corvette and added 55,000 miles in three years.
I was in the service from 1966 to 1968. When I drove the Corvette around the base, everyone saluted with the expectation on seeing an Officer behind the wheel. It was interesting to see the expression on their faces when they realized the “Red” sticker on the bumper. We traded it in in 1968 for a Dodge Charger in Springfield, MO. We drove ‘65 to the car dealer and before we stopped, a salesman had the door open to take it off of our hands. Before we drove our new car of the lot, we looked at each other at the same time and said, “We made a mistake!”
Our next Corvette was a 1974 white coupe with a tan interior. It was fun, but not like the ‘65. We kept it until 1980 when we put an addition on our house. We were without a Corvette for a number of years, but a Corvette was always in our thoughts. My brother-in-law bought a 1981 coupe in 1983. Over the years, I saw and drove it off and on. In 2003, he sold the two-tone silver over gray Corvette to us. We replaced the tires, belts, hoses and rebuilt the carburetor. The interior and exterior is all original and is in great shape. We drove it to the Corvette Museum in the 50th Anniversary Caravan. We had a great time and kept up with all the other Corvettes. It is a great driver and comfortable rider with only 87,000 original miles. We still have it; which we have driven off and on every summer. Needless to say, this Corvette has been in our family for 33 years.
In 2006, we purchased a 2004 Commemorative Z06 from Grossman Chevrolet. Before we purchased this Corvette, my wife stated that the Corvette needed to have strips or flames on it. The only one I could think of was the Commemorative Z06. We found it in a Grossman newspaper ad. After driving it, we purchased it on the spot and drove it home in late October. We put it into storage two days later for a winters sleep. It was hard to keep it there, but I did not want to drive it in the winter. I drove my ‘65 all winter and only got stuck once entering a gas station. It was plowed, but had a snow ridge to cross over. The positraction did not help, because I was hung up on the frame. I was also rear ended one morning by a big old Cadillac. It felt and sounded like the rear end of the Corvette shattered and fell off. The only damage was two small indentations on the rear bumper. Our Z06 is our main Corvette that we drive every summer. It is a comfortable, fast and we totally enjoy driving it. One day, however, I got caught in a hail storm and the Z06 did not handle well at all — No traction! I cannot imagine how anyone can drive a newer Corvette in the winter. I think Corvette owners have two sides to their brain — Drive it and enjoy it or keep the miles low! I struggle with this every year. We have only put 22,000 miles on the Z06 since 2006.
July 2016 Member of the Month
Jeff is married to Kris and they have one son, Tyler, and they live in Shakopee, Minnesota.
Jeff is a proud owner of a 1971 Corvette coupe, with “a bright unknown red exterior with black interior.” The ‘71 features leather seats, 406 Dart small block with 5-speed LGT-700 transmission, power steering, power brakes, power windows, tilt/telescope steering column, 3.36 differential, running stock rally rims (for now), and a Dewitts aluminum radiator.
Here is how Jeff acquired his ’71……
In 2010, after getting approval from his wife, Kris, he found a Corvette on Craigslist in River Falls, Wisconsin. The River Falls State Bank was selling it via closed bid. It was the first Corvette he had actually gone to look at. The car was the right color red, a coupe and around the right year. But, it was in tough shape and had a TH400 automatic in it at the time. Also, the right rear tire and rim didn’t match the other three. With no owner to ask questions, Jeff had to do a lot of sleuthing to make sure he looked over every inch of the car. However, being this was his first time looking at a Corvette, he wasn’t really sure what he was doing. He took many pictures of the car as the bank wasn’t allowing anyone to drive it because it had the common brake caliper leakage issue. Jeff even went back a second time. After discussing with his uncle and brother about how much he should bid, he came up with $8,333.33. The bid day came and Jeff heard nothing from the bank, so he called them to ask how much he had lost by. If it was hundreds he was going to be pretty mad, but if it was thousands, then he wouldn’t have felt so bad. However, the bank said they couldn’t tell Jeff as they were still in contact with the winner. Jeff waited a few more hours and then the phone rang. It was the bank saying the original winner backed out and he was the next highest bidder. Jeff told them he would have his cashier’s check and trailer at the bank right after lunch. In fact, the picture Jeff included with the article for MOTM was taken just as he had pushed it into the driveway and stuffed some mulch bags under the wheels to stop it from rolling.
Jeff’s Corvette education started immediately when he took it off the trailer and neglected to make sure the parking brake worked. He had incorrectly assumed the parking brake would slow him down on the car ramp as he knew the brakes were bad. Alarmingly, Jeff had to coast backwards down his street until it stopped — Live and learn!
Jeff didn’t drive the car for the first year as it had too many things that needed work before it would be safe enough to drive. Then the “While-I’m-At-Its” took over and through the next several years he came as close as one could get to doing a body-off restoration. Jeff enjoyed every minute of it knowing he’s done almost all of the work himself with some help from friends, NCRS, Corvette Forum and Digital Corvettes online internet forums. Jeff always wanted a Corvette ever since I was around 8 years old and his uncle showed up with his red 1970 coupe — It just took him 30+ years to get one.
Since Jeff just finished his main restoration in 2015, he only has a few minor things left, such as: changing the cam (He went too conservative when the engine was built), modifying the intake and carb, a little bigger set of headers, and fixing the exhaust (maybe chambered) to also fit his custom 2-1/2” tips.
Jeff joined NCRS in February of 2014 after meeting Nick Kornder through Facebook and the Mystic Lake Corvette Show in 2012. Jeff enjoys the NCRS hands-on tech sessions because it’s not just about driving to the next dinner. Instead it’s about keeping our cars in working shape and learning more about them.
June 2016 Member of the Month
Doug Brekke is the June 2016 North Central NCRS Member of the Month. Doug lives in Burnsville with this wife, Carole Ann. They have two grown children, Aaron and Sarah. Doug’s Corvette is a 283/270Hp 1961 Red with white cove roadster with white top and 4-speed transmission. The only luxury options are power windows and Wonder Bar signal seeking radio. Doug has owned his Corvette for 48 years.
Here is Doug’s letter
I purchased this car in 1968 from a Marine in St. Louis Park. He had just returned from San Diego and the post entrance sticker was still on the windshield. This “Corvette thing” had eaten away at me since 1962. My parent’s neighbor was a bachelor and worked for Univac. I thought he must have been a millionaire to own a house and a Corvette. Never the less, the bug had bitten and I was hooked. A very good friend had just gotten his second Corvette and he was willing to shop with me for my first. We looked at a ‘63 roadster and a ‘62 with the optional hardtop. The following weekend we went shopping again. This trip was to look at a ‘64 coupe and a ‘65 roadster. All of the cars had serious flaws and were on the high end for the time. My friend had heard of this ‘61 in St. Louis Park, so we went there with very vague directions and made many inquiries of locals. A hot rodder near the old Bunnies Restaurant was somewhat familiar with a car matching our description and led us to the car that I eventually bought.
It was a sound car with some superficial needs. My early intentions were to do a custom or completely remove the body in favor of a Kellison coupe body. Luckily for me, I am a procrastinator. Over time, mentors derailed many of my thoughts. In 1969, I met an upholstery man in the old Wesley Temple parking garage; where he had his shop. I had the interior rolled and pleated in a similar pattern to the original. It was as close as he could come to it. He also replaced the top; which was in terrible condition.
In 1973, I changed the rear gearing to 4:11; which was the original gearing. I acquired four sets of dual four barrel Carter WCFB systems. I picked what I believed were the best of the lot-not realizing the tags meant something. At any rate, I peddled the other three systems and moved on. By doing some research and talking with knowledgeable friends, I found out this was originally a 270 Hp car. This is how I happened to search for the dual four barrel WCFB setup.
Leading up to this process, I was employed out on the road. I was road driven in 1974, so my toy was abandoned in favor of more reasonable goals and the Corvette sat until 1982. We found that inadequate storage preparation had rendered the engine and transmission inoperable. Rebuilding was started on the engine by my brother and the transmission farmed out to Clutch and U-Joint for their prowess. The engine turned out reasonably well after some hiccups with the heads. They were done by Cylinder Head Service; which was a terrible place to take anything that needed finesse. Unfortunately, Clutch and U-Joint was not qualified to do 4-speed Borg Warner T-10 transmissions. These experiences led me to questioning whom to rely on for these apparent situations.
In 2008, I started accumulating parts, advice and volunteers to help replace my windshield, dash pad and refinish the bright work surrounding the windshield. That has led to some additional items that will come eventually. In 2013, I started a refurbishing of the engine compartment with wiring, clutch bracket parts, battery box replacement and headlight repair. As we were getting ready to reinstall the engine, we found some issues with valves and seats. So off to the rebuilders it went. As he was going through it, he found cracks in the rocker stud towers that had perhaps occurred at the last head revival by being over tightened. We scrounged around for 283 heads for this 270 Hp and after much searching, we found some from a 1965 283 with similar properties. As the rebuilder is piecing this thing back together, I had a new third member built for the car with 3:55 gears; which I am hoping will make my car more drivable vs. the 4:11 that were in the car.
I have been doing this on a pretty strict budget and hope to be able to have the steering rebuilt by Joe Galindo in the near future. The car has the original paint, trim, bumpers, engine block, and transmission with the transmission rebuilt in 2012 for the second time. Finishing the wiring in the rest of the car is the next project on my list followed by installing disc brakes and a new exhaust system. That will conclude my contribution to the ’61.
I joined the chapter to learn the intricacies of owning a Corvette. This has been my greatest surprise and reward as an owner. The membership is without a doubt the most involved and caring group of specialty car owners on the planet, and I am thrilled it is local.
May 2016 Member of the Month
Gerry Gartner is the May 2016 North Central NCRS Member of the Month. Gerry joined the North Central Chapter in November 2010 with the encouragement of Dave Gooley. Joining the club was a natural fit for Gerry as he enjoys working on and improving his Corvette. He really enjoys the tech sessions and other club get-togethers. Gerry lives in Bloomington with his wife, Sharon. They also have two grown sons, Jeffrey and Steven. Gerry’s Corvette is a 1966 Ermine White Coupe with black leather interior and 4-speed transmission.
Here is Gerry’s letter:
My interest in Corvettes started back in 1969 – 1970, when my younger brother’s friend had a 1958 Corvette for a couple of years. I moved away from the Twin Cities in the summer of 1970 to Litchfield, MN. Corvettes took a back burner until the summer of 1972, when my brother called to ask if we could trade vehicles for the summer. He had purchased the 1958 Corvette from his friend, but wanted a car with a back seat. I agreed to swap cars for the summer and that started me down the road to owning a Corvette.
After driving the ’58 all summer, I got the bug to have one of my own. So in the fall (after we swapped back,) I asked him to keep his eyes open for a ’59 or ’60 Vette. In early spring of 1973, he called to say he had found a Vette for me. Unfortunately, not a ’59 or ’60, but a 1966 Coupe. I wasn’t happy at the news of a different Vette, but he convinced me it was a much better Vette complete with all the upgrades — plus the optional 327ci, 350hp engine. I purchased the Vette in March in Mankato, MN and drove it back home –all the while thinking back to the summer of ’72 and the ’58. What a difference this Vette was by comparison — I didn’t make a mistake!
In 1973, I drove it to work and around town; which had a population of about 5,000. People noticed the car as it was the only Vette in town. One day, a guy named Bill Storck came into the store where I working and ask me if I knew who the owner of the Corvette that was parked by the store sometimes. I did not tell him (at that moment) that I owned it. I suggested we go over and check it out to see if we could find any information on the owner. As we were walking over to it, he said he had a gut feeling it was his old Vette that he sold back in the late 1960’s. However, something was amiss as it wasn’t the same color he had purchased. Bill Storck thought if we could find the owner, we could check the owner protection plan book. This book would surely show who purchased it new and then he would know. As we both walked around the Vette, Bill was getting more excited as to whether or not this was his old Vette. I told him the doors were not locked and I could look in the glove box for the book. I said that I was sure the owner wouldn’t mind if we looked because I knew him personally. The book showed that the Corvette was sold by Storck Chevrolet Co. located on North Main Street in Britt, Iowa to Bill Storck on 4/30/1966. Bill was ecstatic and wondered how the car got to Litchfield, MN from Iowa. I finally admitted to him that I now owned the Vette and told the story how I bought it from a Gerald Brown in Mankato, MN. Bill then told me why he sold the car, how Gerald Brown bought it from him and then how Gerald moved from Iowa to Mankato, MN. It’s not every day you get to meet the first owner and learn the history of your Vette. I’m now the third owner of this numbers-matching Corvette; which had 19,000 miles when I brought it.
In 1986, we were getting ready to move to Bloomington, MN. My son and I took the Corvette out one more time to put the Vette thru her paces. While running thru the gears, a connecting rod bolt snapped causing instant engine failure. We pulled the engine and saved it to rebuild later. We then built a 383 with ’90 Corvette aluminum heads (they run cooler and keep “pinging” down) to slip in for the time being. The 327 was sweet, but the 383 is something else — great HP and torque.
In ‘99 thru ’03, I began a complete frame-off restoration of the frame, drive train, interior and exterior and then had it repainted. Now, we could just enjoy it and drive it like a “new” Corvette. Except for routine maintenance, I don’t know of any “next projects” for me to do.
As the years have come and gone, I have quite a few fond memories with this Corvette – everything from going to the dragstrip, road rallies, car shows, and traveling through the states on vacations.
April 2016 Member of the Month
Russ Westfall is the North Central NCRS Member of the Month for April 2016. Russ wrote the following letter.
I came by my interest in cars quite naturally. My mother’s father, I called him Pop, owned a tire and auto repair shop in Pittsburgh where I was born September 13th of 1949. Mac’s tire and auto repair was where my mother dropped me off when she needed a couple hours to herself. I remember sitting on the fender of Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Fords asking Pop to identify some of the components I would point to. “That’s a Carburetor, that’s a battery, that’s a valve cover, and that’s a spark plug,” he would patiently answer the endless questions his grandson would ask.
My father was a salesman for Schaeffer Pen Company. He was promoted to national sales manager and our family was transferred from Pittsburgh to the home office in Fort Madison, Iowa. Shortly after the move, my father was bitten by the sports car bug and bought a brand new MG TD. Some of my earliest memories involve the smell of leather oil and gasoline sitting in my Dad’s little British sports car. The cut down suicide doors, the sound of the exhaust, and the whine of the gears were thrilling to me and the hook of car addiction was set.
Fast forward, a move to Minnesota and a seventeen year old working at Normandale Texaco on a Saturday morning. One of our best customers, the owner of Lakeside Industries (the maker of the Gumbie figure) came into the station in a 1967 427 435 Corvette. He wanted the oil changed and the car washed. Since my boss was busy with a tune up or some other task, he assigned me to give the customer a ride home. He assured the car owner that I was responsible and there would be no issues. I jumped in the car and we went to the Corvette owner’s home in West Bloomington. I got behind the wheel and as I was about to leave, I was told that I had ten minutes to get the car back to the station and if anything happened to the car I would be in deep trouble – perhaps missing some body parts that were important to me. I assured “Mr. Gumbie” I understood, and cautiously and slowly drove away. When I got to the top of the entry ramp on Bush Lake Road, I thought… what the heck! Let’s let the hosses run! Wow, first gear nailed to the back of the seat! Second gear… tire squeal and a little step to the left. Third gear way beyond the speed limit and got there faster than I ever had before. Fourth gear… time to slow down to get off at Normandale Road. I was a young man; who had just experienced the most fun anyone can ever have with their clothes on, maybe even with their clothes off! That was the day that I vowed I would have one of these babies some day.
High school graduation, college, and marriage, brings us to 1976. My wife, Victoria’s father owned Christiansen Chevrolet in Buffalo, Minnesota. I talked my wife into ordering a new Corvette. Our 1976 Mahogany over black, four-speed Corvette was delivered to us a couple of months later. This Corvette was nothing like the 67 435 of my memory, but it was fun. I joined Suburban Corvettes, learned to autocross, met many like-minded Corvette afflicted people and, in general, had a ball. But that 67 435 kept calling to me. I eventually sold the 76 and found a 67 435 I could afford. To be blunt, my 67 was a turd with a capital “T” when I bought it in 1980. Five years, a melted Visa card, hundreds of hours wrenching, sanding, painting, buffing, and polishing later, a very nice 1967 Marlboro Maroon 427 435 Corvette won the trophy at the Suburban Corvette Car show at the Metro Dome.
The 67 Corvette was my first restoration and eventually someone offered me too much money for it and I sold it. The classic car bug has bitten me hard and since the 67, I have owned, restored and enjoyed many Corvettes, a couple of Triumphs, and yes, I own a 1952 MG TD just like my Dad’s.
My Current Corvette pride and joy is a 1970 Donnybrook green LT-1 roadster. My friend, Gary Hauk, bought this car new in Texas. I have known this car since 1978 and since Gary had said he would never sell it, I thought it would never grace my garage. But as we all know, things change and Gary decided to sell the car to me and now I can say I will never sell it. My daughter, Abby, has first dibs on it according to her, and she is probably right. I hope it will be hers some day in the future. Hopefully this change in ownership will be quite a ways in the future. My current folly is vintage racing a Triumph TR4; which I am thoroughly enjoying!
So Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the short version of my car story. There are many stories within stories that can be elaborated on and I look forward to telling them because the only thing I like better than cars… is talking about cars.
I want to thank some of the people who helped me along the way and without who’s help I could never have gotten my cars to be as nice as they are and have been. Byron Bode is at the top of this list and Bill Maynard is right there with him. There are many other people I have become friends with through the Corvette and classic car hobby. I don’t think there are a better class of people than “Car People.”
I hope to see you all down the road!
March 2016 Member of the Month
Ken Windschitl is a proud charter member of the North Central Chapter of the NCRS. Ken respects and holds the highest esteem for this club and the National Organization with its restoration and preservation of Corvettes. However, restoration is not the path Ken chose. Ken fits better in the other NCRS, The National Corvette Racers Society.
At 19 years of age, and a sophomore at St. Cloud State College, Ken bought his first Corvette. A ’64 Coupe, yellow (I know, not a stock color) 327-250 HP auto. He is color blind and yellow is one of the colors he doesn’t confuse, so he liked it.
The ‘64 was faster than most others, but not fast enough for Ken. Soon the 327 was replaced with a “punched and ¾ cammed” 350 backed up with a turbo 350 “shoe-horned-in” where the “Powerslide” once resided, along with other speed goodies from local small town junkyards, and two oversized “sticky micky’s” that just barely fit the rear wheel wells. He got lucky and the combinations worked well. It made for a real quick ride.
Most guys in the early ‘70’s ran 4-speeds with stiff rear end ratios. From a dead stop on the street, they almost always overpowered the tires. They also liked to “get rubber in all four gears”-again spinning the tires in 2nd and sometimes 3rd gear. Keep in mind, this was taking place on the street and not on a prepped racetrack.
Ken’s car was light with a soft converter. It left HARD, shifting itself, showing his competitors the tail lights within 100 feet. As a result, this caused many racers to over rev and go past the power band in effort to catch up.
Ken raced against 440’s, 426’s, 383’s, 390’s, 396’s, 428’s, and the highly regarded 427’s. He doesn’t recall getting beat even in a long race (more than a quarter mile), he just never got caught. The car had tall gears (3.08). The other guys had way too low ratios for the “big end”. Motorcycles were another story. The big Japanese bikes of the day were fast. Put a skinny kid on a “Kawi” 2 stroke triple or a KZ 900 and he couldn’t beat him with his Corvette. That kid was Ken’s younger brother.
As the story goes, all good things must come to an end. Back then, Ken drove his Vettes year around. Unfortunately, in the winter of 1979, south of Chaska on HWY 101, an icy curve put him in a field and the car was heavily damaged. Ken was a student in dental school and could not afford the repairs. He traded the car even up for a clean, low mileage ’73 YELLOW Mustang. BIG MISTAKE!
The memories from those days with his yellow Vette seem unbelievable and endless. Ken recalls a night in St. Cloud hauling 7 people; 4 in front and 3 in back. They were much skinnier back in the ‘70’s. Times have changed. The Vette was his daily transportation. Ken hasn’t street raced since those days. To this day, he still misses that car and those times.
In 1988, before Corvettes got expensive, he bought a ’67 3 deuce big block coupe. Guess what? Not fast enough! The ‘67 currently has a 540 and 5 speed transmission. Ken still enjoys racing, but not on the street. By the way, the ’67 is WAY faster than the ’64 ever was, but the ’64 was more fun. The ’67 has beaten a professionally prepped ZR1 (old school is still fast). Ken also has a 2004 Coupe that he races at gymkhanas.
Do you see the pattern? Not so much into restoration as into racing. Ken will let the next owners worry about restoration!
February 2016 Member of the Month
Ken Traverse is our February 2016 Member of the Month. Ken and his wife, Sandy, live in Oak Bluff, Manitoba, Canada. They have a son named Kyle; who is married to Hailley and a daughter named Jennifer; who is married to Craig. They also have one grandson named Benjamin.
When he was growing up, Ken was interested in muscle cars. He worked all week and then worked on cars on the weekends. However, life sometimes gets in the way and certain things get put on hold. For the past 10 years or so, every fall Ken goes deer hunting with a buddy that lives about a 150 miles north of Winnipeg. Ken’s friend owns two Corvettes, a 2002 yellow convertible and 1974 coupe. Needless to say, when they were not hunting, they would talk about Corvettes.
Ken bugged his friend to sell his 1974 to him, but with no success. Ken convinced Sandy to get into the hobby so together they bought a 1969 Corvette. It has an L-88 engine, M-22 transmission, and J-56 brakes, but no paperwork to go along with it. The ‘69 dyno’d at 508HP and 508 lbs. of torque — when there is a need for speed, it comes out of the shop!
When Ken and his Corvette buddies went on road trips, Ken took his ’69. However, due to poor fuel mileage, Ken purchased a 2008 Corvette, LS-3 convertible; which is great for road trips and also slaloming.
Ken’s dream has always been to own a mid-year car. Ken found a 1966 convertible, Nassau blue with dark blue interior, 327/350hp, and lots of paperwork to show authenticity. Ever since he bought it, Ken has tried to make it a better car through NCRS. At the last minute, thanks to Chris Enstrom, North Central NCRS Judging Chairman, Ken brought the car to the 2014 Regional Meet in Rochester, MN. There it received a Top Flight Award. After the Rochester Regional, Ken did additional improvements to get the car ready for the 2014 Kansas City National Convention; where the car had been awarded a Top Flight award again.
In 2015, Ken wanted to prove the car’s performance, so he tried for Performance Verification at the Joplin Regional, but didn’t succeed. Ken’s second attempt was at the Wisconsin Regional; where he barely missed it again. Finally, in Texas, and thanks to a lot of people that helped him get the car ready, it all came together and Ken was awarded the Performance Verification Award.
In the spring of 2016, Ken plans on taking the car to Auburn Regional to be judged again. After Auburn, Ken will fix what he can before he takes the car to Rhode Island for the National Convention. He will try to achieve a Duntov Award for the car. Ken states this is the “Year of the ’66;” which is a little more incentive to go and be a part of the National Convention.
Since they’ve owned Corvette’s, Ken and Sandy have met many people and made a lot of friends. Since joining the NCRS, that list of friends has grown even more making lasting friendships south of the border and finding Canadian friends there, as well. It’s always nice to go to meets and see the beautiful Corvette’s and judging adds to the excitement.
January 2016 Member of the Month
Michael Barrett said he was honored to be selected as our January 2016 Member of the Month. He has been a member of the North Central NCRS chapter for about 26 years. Michael and his wife, Bernadine (Bunny) have two children, Tom and Sarah. The Barrett’s are a close knit family who share an appreciation for classic vehicles.
Michael’s Corvette is a 1967 Lynndale Blue, 400HP roadster with two tops, air conditioning, factory M21 4-speed transmission and off road exhaust. The interior is teal leather featuring power windows and AM/FM radio.The ‘67 was originally shipped to R.T. Ayers Chevrolet on February 28th, 1967, in Yukon, Oklahoma. From there, it was transferred to Hudiburg Cheverolet on March 23rd, 1967, in Midwest City, Oklahoma. It was sold to the original owner on March 8th, 1968; which is where the real story begins.
Michael purchased the car from the original owner’s estate sale on February 2nd, 2009. In order to buy the Corvette, Michael and his friend, Mark, had to purchase 47 other vehicles. All of which had been parked in Harold’s (the original owners) 20 acre backyard for approximately 15 to 20 years. Along with the other cars, they received four milk crates stuffed full of letters, titles, dealer invoices, protecto plates, and other documents. Upon reading the documents and talking with Harold’s wife and a good friend, Michael learned of the Corvette’s unique and exciting history. Apparently, Harold was an avid racer, participating in the trophy class at a local dragstrip and street racing in Oklahoma City during the 1960’s. You may have heard of Street Outlaws or the 405, (Cable TV Show). Harold and his ‘67 Corvette were part of the 405 street racing history. Prior to purchasing the Corvette, Harold was driving a 1966 L-79 Nova, with a poor racing record. Often being beat by guys with stock Fords and Mopars; which according to Harold’s letters “were obviously cheating.” In hopes of improving his luck with the Nova, he wrote to Dickie Harrell of Nicky Chevrolet in Chicago asking for help on how to make his Nova faster. Dickie responded with a list of parts to add speed to the Nova. Ultimately, the speed still wasn’t there resulting in the purchase of the 1967 Corvette. One month after Harold bought the car, he had the motor replaced. If you ask his wife, she will tell you it was because the original motor had blown up. However, a close friend of Harold claims that never happened. Harold took the car back to Hudiburg Chevrolet to replace the 400HP motor with an L-88 crate motor with Hooker Headers and side exhaust. He purchased an aluminum rectangular port 3 X 2 intake. He modified the aluminum L-88 heads by grinding off the Winter’s Snowflake emblem then painted the heads orange. He also had the factory air on the L-88 replaced to look like a stock 400HP air car. Harold kept the original 400HP distributor, exhaust manifolds, intake carbs, cylinder heads, and air cleaner; which came with the car. No one knows what happened to the original block. Harold’s friend speculates that the original block never came home with the rest of the parts from Hudiburg Chevrolet. After making these modifications, Harold put many miles on the Corvette and raced very successfully for many years with the L-88 motor.
After purchasing the Corvette, Michael did a two year restoration on it with the help of Russ Mittlestaedt, Byron Bode, Tim Cossette, Gary Handeland and Steve McWhirter. Included are pictures of the Corvette as is sat in Oklahoma in comparison to it after completion in Minnesota. Michael’s future plans for the ‘67 are to add power steering and drive it happily ever after.
December 2015 Member of the Month
Len Kaufer is our December 2015 Member of the Month. Len and his wife Donna have four children, Matt, Nick, Mandy, and Clayt, and eleven grandchildren. Len says, “thank goodness none of them live at home any more”.
Len owns three Corvettes, a 1968 Convertible, a 1987 Coupe and a 2008 Coupe.
The 1987 was built on September 25, 1986 and shipped to Luby Chevrolet in Denver, Colorado. He has owned it since October of 2002. It is Silver Beige in color and has all factory options (except two-tone paint) including (MM4) 4+3 Manual Transmission and (Z51) Performance Handling Package. Best of all everything works as it should and it still has many of its’ original parts.
The 2008 has been his three season daily driver since new. It is Jetstream Blue and has a few subtle modifications to make it uniquely his. Len’s favorite option on this car is (R8C) Museum Delivery. He picked up the car on May 13, 2008 accompanied by his oldest son. It was done as a reunion trip to commemorate picking up his 1996 Coupe in May of 1996. His car was the 74th car that had the privilege of being a Museum Delivery car. It is still one of his prized possessions.
The 1968 is a late production car and was built on July 26, 1968 and shipped to Jackshaw Chevrolet in Euclid, Ohio. The car somehow made its way south and spent some time in both Florida and Georgia. The car was originally “British Green” and someone decided that it would look better in white.
At some unknown time the 1968 turned into “just another old car” and was left sitting outdoors to while away a few years. During this time many parts were pilfered and it was basically ignored.
The story that he was able to get was that it was salvaged by a repair shop in Georgia and brought back to life to try to make some money off the Corvette lovers. Many things were done to the car and many parts were replaced. The body had been hit in the left front and the left rear quarters and repaired with large quantities of fiberglass resin, sheet metal and pop rivets. It had been repainted white more than once. It also had a 1969 side exhaust system installed.
Len’s first winter with the car called for a body off mechanical rebuild. Everything was stripped off the chassis, and it was chemically stripped and powder coated. He cleaned and powder coated all of the small parts himself and he replaced or rebuilt every moving part before putting it back together.
A couple of years later he was dismantling things on the engine to freshen it up a bit and found that the engine block was badly cracked in the lifter valley and had been brazed back together. The braze was cracking and breaking open again causing several anti-freeze leaks. He removed the engine and replaced it with a new GM 350 block stroked to about a 378 cubic inch displacement. To the uninitiated it still looks like a 327 but it’s a whole new animal.
Len retired in 2013 and made plans for restoring the body as a retirement project. He made arrangements with Kiss’s Autobody and got to work removing the interior and all external brightwork. Kiss’s came and picked up the car in October of last year, repaired the fiberglass, installed the correct rear valance panel, painted it the original British Green and returned it on January 8 of this year. I put it back together with a new interior, polished or re-chromed trim and an original style under car exhaust system.
Last winter was his big final push to get the 1968 in acceptable condition. Next he’s going to just lay low and probably limit his car projects to small details. He’s diverting his main energy to completing the total restoration of his early serial number 1939 John Deere Model B tractor.
Len has been a national NCRS member since about 2000 and just finally decided that he should see what the local chapter’s activities were like. So far the combination of technical knowledge and everybody’s friendly attitude has helped to make it interesting.
November 2015 Member of the Month
Dave Edmeyer is our November 2015 Member of the Month. Dave owns a 1969 Corvette Coupe 427ci 400hp 3 x 2 carburetors, 4 speed M21 transmission, Monza Red, Born in St. Louis, October 28th, 1968. The car was delivered to Viking Chevrolet in St. Paul, Minnesota. Up to that date only 1,173 cars had been built for the 1969 model year. The window Invoice: was $5,727.
Dave and his wife Kathy were fresh out of college in 1970, newlyweds wanting a Corvette. They looked at many cars. They came close to buying a 1958, but they wanted a bit more flash, offered by the new Shark styling, along with reliable transportation. In the Minneapolis Sunday Paper, (before Craigslist) they saw “MUST SELL THIS WEEKEND- $2,850”. It was August 1970. The car had high mileage for only a year, 28,000 and had a car wash brushed finish! At the time this was $500 to $700 less than market value and a must buy. They fell in love with the car and purchased her, the beginning of a 45 year relationship with a Corvette they named “Vivian”.
Dave said he remembers the ride home looking through the windshield viewing the high swept front fender lines and the high rpm coughing and missing (he had to run it through the gears).
For many years “Vivian” was Dave’s everyday driver, 85 miles round trip to Red Wing, daily hauling groceries, children, dog and sporting equipment. They took the Corvette for a trip through Canada and when they returned the Canadian border crossing guards had to be convinced that there was not a trunk. The lock they saw in the back was for the alarm. However the alarm did not work adding to the suspicion of the border crossing guards. After a complete search they were permitted go.
All three of their girls rode in the rear compartment behind the seats. They now shutter at how dangerous that was. Dave shares a number of family stories regarding the Corvette. Dave’s three year old Britt and friend Angie decided to use “Vivian’s” sloping hood as a slide. Their daughters all learned how to drive a stick shift with “Vivian”. The 427 was not always compliant. With their first daughter Erna, “Vivian” bucked along with too little gas and not enough clutch. Their oldest daughter, trying to master the clutch, has the honor of laying 30 feet of rubber –in reverse! Dave said their second daughter Rachel, handed him tools while he lay underneath replacing a motor mount. All very fond family memories of life with a 1969 Corvette named “Vivian”.
“Vivian” was quite dependable most of the time with the exception of a ‘fuel pump’ which failed along Hwy 61. There he was on the gravel shoulder installing a new pump. He said he thought “Vivian” just wanted an audience. As the car got older Dave noticed a noise had developed, a piston slap. He decided to do a complete engine rebuild. This included an upgraded camshaft. It turned out great; rough idle, a little more clutch needed to get going, lots more power but worse gas mileage, 12mpg. And this was the early 1970s during the gas crunch, ouch!
The Corvette was put away for a few years, however they promised to bring “Vivian” back to her original glory. Seven years ago they decided it was time to have a major restoration completed. They brought the Vette to the best, Kiss’s Classic Auto Restorations. The day they picked the 1969 up from Kiss “Vivian” was beautiful, her glory restored.
A tragic event occurred in Dave’s life four years ago that left him a paraplegic. He can no longer drive “Vivian”, but he can still admire her beauty. Now his daughters and wife are behind the wheel. When they were young, Dave’s wife Kathy did a pretty good job in competition drag racing, so at his request she can still do a burn out, along with very crisp 1st to 2nd shifting. Now Dave says it’s fun to see the sparkle in their grandchildren’s eyes when they admire her. Dave expects “Vivian”, their family member for over 45 years, to continue to be part of the family for many more years to come.
October 2015 Member of the Month
Toby Engen is our October 2015 Member of the Month. Toby and his wife Barbara have two grown children, Christa and Kim.
Toby’s car is a 1962 Corvette convertible, in Ermine White exterior, black convertible top and red interior. The car has both tops. It has a 327ci 340HP motor with a 4 speed manual transmission. It’s a no options car.
Toby and Barbara purchased this Corvette in 1989. In Toby’s words here is how they found and restored the vehicle. “We found this vehicle in December 1989 at the Toy Store on Hwy 65, Ham Lake, MN. This was one of two 1962 Corvettes from the estate of a gentlemen in Anoka. This was the best looking of the two and was not molested in anyway shape or form. We began a frame off restoration in February 2009 and completed it in April 2010. “Joe’s Garage” in Ramsay, owned and operated by Joe Galindo and his partner Nick Maras did a fantastic restoration. We have over 400 photos of the restoration. The body and frame have never been hit or damaged. We are still looking for previous owners from its delivery in Pompano Beach, FL: to our purchase in December 1989.”
No new projects are planned for the car at this time, just maintenance and upkeep.
Toby and Barbara joined the North Central Chapter about two years ago. Their purpose in joining was to meet other chapter members and join in some of the activities. Due to their schedules they have yet to make it to a meeting or event, but hope to change that in the not too distant future. Ken Enstrom is a friend and classmate of Tobys from Fergus Falls High School. I enjoy the monthly newsletters and other emails that are sent out from the chapter.
Before we end this monthly article there is another bit of car history in Toby’s past that I’m sure readers will find interesting. Below is a picture of Toby’s 1964 Biscayne, 409/425 hp, four speed, 4:11 gears that he bought in January, 1964. It was delivered on May 4, 1964. This was a “Plain Jane” and Toby made the rounds to numerous drag strips in the Upper Midwest, Canada and Missouri for two seasons. He sold the car to a guy on a Saturday in July, 1966 and he went out and blew the motor within 12 hours! Toby’s always had a love for great cars. If you mention Toby’s 409 to Kenneth Enstrom (we graduated together in 1964) I’m sure he will remember.
September 2015 Member of the Month
Mark Kravik is our September 2015 Member of the Month. Mark and his wife Deborah have four children, Charles, Jessie, Emily and Katina.
Mark has a 1963 Corvette convertible. The Corvette has a red exterior color, black soft top with black interior. It’s a 327ci/300HP but no power windows or brakes.
A number of years ago, Mark responded to a magazine advertisement listing the car for sale. Work had been started on the car in the late 1960’s when the owner died, the car sat for over 40 years when the owner’s father sold it. Many parts on the car are original, however some parts are missing and the front end and hood are not the correct year.
Currently Mark is reading and learning about Corvette restorations. He’s trying to decide what level of restoration to perform and has not started work yet.
Mark joined the North Central Chapter because he wanted to meet people who restored Corvettes and to learn from their experiences. Mark especially enjoys the tech sessions.
August 2015 Member of the Month
Linda Krickle is our August 2015 Member of the Month. Linda is a widow, her husband’s name was Jeff. She has three grown children, Lisa, Chris and Andy.
Linda’s car is a 1967 Corvette convertible, in Rally Red with black interior. The car has both a hard top and a black soft top. It has a 327ci 350HP motor with a 4 speed manual transmission. And of course an AM/FM radio.
Linda’s husband Jeff purchased the car in 1972 from a private party in Fridley or New Brighton. Linda said Jeff loved his Corvette. He spent many hours restoring and painting the car in their small garage (at the time) in Crystal. He was very proud of his 100% owner restoration. He especially enjoyed taking the Corvette to the different car shows around the Twin cities.
No new projects are planned for the car at this time, although maybe a new clutch sometime in the near future.
Linda has been a member of the North Central Chapter since 2011. Jeff was a member for quite a few years.
Linda says the best part of being a member is knowing that there are lots of other members that she can talk to if she has questions or problems. She doesn’t get to too many meetings a year, but has always felt welcome when she has attended.
July 2015 Member of the Month
Alden Miles is our July 2015 Member of the Month. Alden and his wife Lyn have five children, Adrianne, Ben, Sara, Alysha and Caitlin.
Alden and his wife Lyn have a 1958 Corvette convertible. Alden says it’s his wife’s car, as the picture attests. They have taken it completely apart to do a nut and bolt frame off restoration. When completed it will be Regal Turquoise, White Coves, and Charcoal interior, with a White convertible top. The options will include a 283ci 270HP, 4 speed transmission, heater, courtesy lights, power windows, Wonderbar radio and posi-traction.
What follows is Alden’s story on how he found and purchased his 1958 Corvette.
“The car was purchased by a farmer in Medford, MN in 1974 from Pennsylvania and trailered it back to Minnesota. After arriving home he preceded to remove the outside trim and interior. Thirty years later and he told his son he was 85 years old and didn’t think he would get to finish the Corvette. On August 30, 2004 we purchased the car on Ebay. The car was in a dirt floor pole barn with a 327ci and a Muncie Transmission that hadn’t run for years with boxes of parts.”
Alden is moving full speed ahead to complete the total restoration of his 1958. He purchased a 283ci 270HP short block, heads, 2X4 intake, Carbs and other engine parts on Ebay. He also purchased a 1958 Corvette Borg Warner T-10 on Ebay. The body has been media blasted, and the frame and suspension have been sand blasted before painting. He has started the assembly of the frame, front and rear suspension and assembled the engine. The body is currently being repaired and body work completed. Next the engine and transmission will be inserted into the frame with the exhaust as was done at the factory. Later the body will be lowered onto the frame for final gapping of the hood, doors and trunk before being taken apart for paint. Alden hopes to complete the car in the next few years.
Alden has been gracious to have hosted a Chapter Technical Session and another joint Chapter Technical/Judging Session at his house. At those sessions members helped Alden assemble the front springs and assemble various parts to the frame. Then mock judge the frame.
Alden joined the North Central Chapter in June 2013, because he wanted to meet people who restored Corvettes or knew people who did. Alden has enjoyed the Technical Sessions and Judging Events even if he doesn’t have a car yet to be judged.
June 2015 Member of the Month
Ty Truax is our June 2015 Member of the Month. Ty and his wife Nancy have four children, Trent, Tim, Thomas, and Taris. They also have six grandchildren. Ty is the past president and charter member of RACE (Rochester Area Corvette Enthusiasts).
The following two pictures are of two of Ty’s 4 Corvettes. First his 1958 convertible (upstaged by his granddaughter’s C7), and second his 1969 L68.
Ty fell in love with Corvettes at the very young age of 13. The one that caught his eye was a brand new 1963 split window coupe. Five years later, at age 18 he bought his first Corvette.
Ty currently has four Corvettes; a 1958 convertible, a 1966 coupe, a 1969 L68, and a 1993 LT1.
The minor projects with all the cars is the ongoing routine maintenance. The next major project Ty has planned is for the 1966. This Corvette was discovered by Ty on an internet search and came from California. It is an original big block car that currently has a 327ci in it. The women that owned this car was from Los Angeles. Her husband had recently passed away. He had purchased the car in 1966, however it was not brand new as it was a repossession. She said that her husband had proposed to her in that car almost 50 years prior. I plan to put a 427ci that I have in the car.
In Ty’s younger days he raced stock cars. He started at 16 years old and raced for 11 years until he got married. His last stock car was a 1969 Chevelle. He ordered a 427ci L88 motor from Iten Chevrolet for that car. When he retired from racing he saved the motor and now he figures the most natural place for it to go (other than an original L88 car) is in the 1966 as it is stamped as a factory replacement motor from Chevrolet.
Ty joined NCRS back in 2004, and joined the North Central Chapter about 3 years ago. The reason he joined is not only the wealth of information, but the willingness to help and the great people he’s met through NCRS and the North Central Chapter.
May 2015 Member of the Month
Steve Hudak is our May 2015 Member of the Month. Steve and his wife Juli have a daughter named Mackenzie.
Steve has two Corvettes.
The first is a 1965 Nassau Blue coupe with blue leather interior. The car is a 327/350HP, 4 speed, with factory air conditioning, AM/FM radio, teakwood steering wheel, soft ray tinted glass, posi-traction, and knock-off wheels.
His second Corvette is a 1979 Sport Coupe L48. It’s Classic White with a dark blue interior. It’s options are; automatic transmission, factory air conditioning, AM/FM radio with 8 track cassette (we all remember those), rear window defogger, sport mirrors, cruise control, telescoping steering wheel, alloy wheels with raised white letter tires, power antennae, dual rear speakers, power windows and doors, and a solid T-tops.
What follows is Steve’s story on how he found and purchased his 1965 Corvette.
“I first saw the ’65 in 1988, while staying with childhood friends of my wife in Denver. This family friend had purchased it with the intention of restoring it, only to soon find out he had Rheumatoid Arthritis and could no longer work on the car. I purchased the car from him in 1998 and had it shipped to MN where it spent 6 years in a frame on restoration. I have taken it to many shows in MN and Iowa but the best one is when our ’50 Chev street rod was not running so I snuck the ’65 in as a late model ’64 because of the build date. As we left the show, a gate attendant shouted, “hey that’s not a ‘64”. I smiled, waved and thanked him!”
Steve’s next projects for his Corvettes are to replace the antennae motor on the 1979, and replace the weather stripping on the 1965. Steve added, “Bob, when will you be available?”
Our friend Kenny Windschitl, in New Ulm, a founding member and a dental customer of Steve’s, told him to join the North Central Chapter. Steve and his wife Juli have been members long enough to have enjoyed many beautiful Christmas parties at the Royal Oaks restaurant in Shoreview. Steve enjoys the friendliness and the staggering level of knowledge of the members of the group and their willingness to share and help. Juli also loves the social events.
April 2015 Member of the Month
Paul Klemetson is our April 2015 Member of the month. Paul and his wife Evie have two daughters, Lisa and Kristi. Paul and Evie have five grandchildren who all love to ride in grandpa’s Corvettes.
Paul has three Corvettes. In 2003 he completed a body off restoration on a 1966 Convertible, 327/350HP, 4 speed, matching numbers Corvette. It was owned by the third owner for 28 years.
He recently started a body off restoration on his 1969 Convertible, 427/390HP, 4 speed, matching numbers Corvette. This car received a Top Flight Award at the North Central Chapter level in 2013, and Second Flight Award at the North Central Regional in Rochester in 2014. Paul says the Regional was a real learning experience, and met a great bunch of people.
The third Corvette is a 28,000 mile 1996 Collector Coupe LT4, 6 speed that he’s owned for 10 years.
Paul has spent hundreds of hours on these Corvettes, and enjoyed every minute. He recalls only one time did he say to himself, “how can this be so frustrating?”
The story of how Paul purchased his ’69 is best told in his own words. “I knew of the ‘69 for five years before the owner sold it to me in 2006, he was saving a ‘69 and a ‘61 for his kids. But they decided they didn’t want them, so he called me, however he wanted to sell them as a pair. I called my friend Mike Koffler and asked him if he wanted to look at a Corvette with me. My buddies never turn down going to look at a Corvette. I knew once he saw the ‘61, he would be hooked. He was and bought it.”
“The guy I bought the ‘69 from, bought it in the mid 80’s from Sears Auto Imports in Minneapolis. I sent for the NCRS shipping data report, and found out it was sold new in Washington DC.”
Paul’s next project is to get his ’69 ready to take to the Denver NCRS Nationals, and hopefully receive a Top Flight Award.
Paul joined the North Central Chapter in 2002 or 2003. When asked why he joined he responded, “This is a great bunch of guys who liked the same cars as I do. I wished I lived closer to take in more of the events. Since one of my daughter lives in a suburb of the Twin Cities, I try to plan our trips when a Chapter meet is available. But it doesn’t always work out.”
March 2015 Member of the Month
Shawn and his wife Heather are expecting their first child, a boy in mid-March.
Shawn has 2 Corvettes. A 1986 that his Dad purchased for him as his first car back in High School, and a 1966 Convertible. The 1986 is a Red/Red leather interior, all original with 61K miles. The 1966 is a Nassau Blue/white-blue interior, with white top. It’s a 327/350HP, numbers matching, 4 speed.
Here is Shawn’s story of how he purchased his 1966.
“My love of corvettes first spawned when my Father surprised me with a used 1986 corvette as my first car. The love intensified from there….my goal was to have an “old” corvette convertible at some point in my life.”
“I spent a number of years searching on the internet and in person for our corvette convertible. After looking at many c2’s, and having no luck finding the “one”, we decided to switch gears for a moment and view a red/red 58 convertible that we found on the internet in the Cleveland, OH area. After speaking to the owner of the 58 on numerous occasions, we were able to schedule a time to view/inspect the vehicle in person. After scheduling the appointment time for the following week, I contacted the national NCRS to obtain the Cleveland, OH chapters contact information. I then contacted the chapter’s Judging chairman and asked if I could pay him to accompany me to the inspection. He responded yes, but suggested that no fee would be required. I explained to him that I wasn’t a member of the NCRS, but that I planned to become one once we purchased our desired vehicle. His response was – “I’ll help you with this inspection as long as you agree to join the NCRS once you find your car”. I agreed!!”
“The following week I scheduled a business trip to Chicago, and later that week, drove the 5 hours in a rental car from Chicago, IL to Cleveland, OH to view the 58. The 58 looked amazing in pictures, but was a disaster in person – cracked /re-welded frame, chipped paint and a major oil leak. Thank God for my NCRS companion – he saw it all during the inspection and advised against the purchase!! Needless to say, I politely passed on the vehicle. By this time it was now almost 9:00pm. Prior to leaving, my NCRS contact asked “what exactly are you looking for”…..I suggested that we were interested in a Blue on White or Red on Red C2 convertible but that if we found the right C1 offering, we may have some interest. After hearing my response, he said I “may have the car for you, let me make a call”. After speaking to one of his local NCRS chapter members, we agreed to drive to the member’s house some 15 miles away. It’s 10:00pm on a Thursday evening when we arrive at a long gravel driveway in the middle of nowhere. I’m a little apprehensive, but I’m holding true to my faith in the NCRS. The owner of the car emerges from his house; we share some small talk, and then walk to his storage building to view the car. He turns on the storage buildings lights, removes the tarp and raises his hoist for inspection…….It was love at first sight!! The car was beautiful and just what we were looking for!!”
“After completing the inspection, we agreed on a price, and a path forward to complete the sale. My long wild day was over. We had finally purchased our dream car!! I admired her one last time, jumped in my rental car, called my wife to tell her about the good news and made the long happy drive back to my hotel in Chicago. The car was delivered the next week via enclosed trailer.”
Shawn’s next project with the ’66 is to complete a restoration of the interior.
Shawn joined the North Central Chapter in 2013. In addition to giving his word that he’d join NCRS, he also wanted to gain more knowledge about Corvettes, and meet other Corvette owners. Shawn added, “We’ve enjoyed meeting new people and learning about their corvettes. I’m thankful for the friendships and knowledge that I have received thus far while a member of the North Central NCRS – Mike S, Will Z, Nick K, Jerome L, Dan O and Chris E have helped us immensely throughout our time with the chapter.”
February 2015 Member of the Month
Paul and his wife Nola have a daughter named McKenzie. They own a 1962 Roman Red Corvette convertible. A red interior and a black convertible top make this a very sharp looking car. It’s powered by a 327 base motor with 4 speed transmission, positraction rear end, and Wonderbar radio.
His car was purchased from his father about 5 years ago. His father had purchased a 1961 fuelie that he wanted to restore, so he sold the 1962 to Paul. Paul’s father had bought the car in the early 1980’s. Paul’s father had the car painted in the mid ‘80s and found that it had been painted 6 different colors in its lifetime. The last color they found was Roman Red, so that’s the color he had it painted.
His next project with the car is to have the engine dyno’d at the February Tech Session. He plans to put the engine back in the car later in the month. He also plans to install a dual master cylinder brake system for safety reasons.
Paul joined the north Central Chapter about 3 years ago. He enjoys the Tech Sessions and meeting all the other guys that like working on their cars. Paul said, “I have a lot to learn from other members who grew up with these awesome cars.”