Each month a member of the 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.
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
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.”