Each quarter, a member of the North Central Chapter NCRS will be selected at random and highlighted as Member in the Spotlight. We hope this will allow all members to get to know one another better. In the past, this was “Member of the Month,” and these have all been archived in the years listed below. View the Master List to peruse all of the previously highlighted members.
Current Member in the Spotlight
My addiction to cars probably started when I was around eight or nine years old, and I would ride up to see my godfather race the vintage circuit up at Brainerd International Raceway. It was a weekend spent camping on turn one. Watching those cars flying by at full speed was exhilarating and such an experience knowing that Paul Newman was on the track. Newman was always the one everyone hoped to beat, but probably had little chance. We would drive up on a Friday night in our 1966 black Corvette carrying a cooler and a small tent. Looking now at those C2 Corvettes, I wonder how in the world we could’ve planned a weekend with that thing.
Moving ahead a little in time, I saved up enough money from my jobs as a 12-year-old caddy at Rolling Green County Club in Medina to a 14-year-old cook at the Pannekoeken Huis in Brooklyn Park. My first car at 14 was a 57 Chevy that I would spend every waking moment and every penny making it drivable for my high school years. I have to say looking back to the early 80’s, I probably had one of the coolest cars in high school!
Over the next 40 years, my addiction would play out to rotate in and out of my life a 62 Impala SS, 69 El Camino, 69 Chevelle, 55 Chevy, 85 Buick Grand National, 79 Mustang Indy Pace Car, 80 Corvette, 07 Shelby GT500, 11 Shelby
GT350, 66 Mustang GT350 Tribute and now a 65 Corvette.
There were also plenty of family cars, trucks and SUVs not mentioned here (as we all have to grow up at some point) but some of the above I still own, thankfully.
As you can see, I became a Shelby fan somewhere there in the middle. Probably as a result of going up to Brainerd to watch my Godfather race. Besides car number 33 that Paul Newman would race in his Nissan, the other cars to
beat were the Shelby Cobras. I fixed my goals to one day own a cobra 427 or 289. But reality suddenly set in when they pushed the million-dollar mark as investments rather than race cars. So, my next fixation would be on having another C2 Corvette that drew a lot of attention even back then.
Fast forward to December 2022 and enter my 1965 Corvette purchased out of the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. The car had been well cared for and was not completely original. Not original to the car is the intake, heads, carburetor,
CAM, side exhaust and spinner wheels. The body had been repainted within the last 6-7 years with the frame and birdcage in excellent condition. It had spent a few years in Texas before Missouri, and several years out in California before that. Original paperwork from Pennsylvania was found in the glove box which included the Protect-o-Plate!
With the Internet sometimes being a good thing, I Googled the name on the paperwork. As it turns out, the original owner (James) is still alive in Pennsylvania. I connected with James over the phone and shared pictures with him. He is now in his early 80s and has not seen the car since 1972. He traded in a 59 Corvette for the 65 when he was just 25 years old (Imagine that……..could a 25-year-old do this today?). When I asked him why he sold the 65, he said his boss thought the car was too flashy and wanted him to trade it in on a new company car… which he did! Times sure have changed!
When I found it, the body was in good shape and recently painted. All I wanted to do was a body off to sandblast, clean up the frame with primer then paint, replace the fuel line, brake lines, bushings, rebuild the brake calipers, install new carpeting, seat cushions and vinyl. It sits with its factory color of silver pearl and black interior. BTW, I did this in 8 months!
My 3 kids Blake, Brooke and Bryce are now on their own and my wife Brenda was a HS Principal while I spent all this time restoring the 65. While she was dealing with school issues each and every night, I was free to put the “pedal to the metal” getting this project done in record time. I also have to thank a good lifetime buddy (Mark) for helping me out on some of the heavy lifting. He recently sold his 64 to my disappointment. I said I lost a C2 buddy, but he tells me I gained a Cobra buddy. We begin his Factory Five Cobra 427 build this Winter!
As for joining the NCRS, I have done so to gain some perspective on restoration processes as well as meet some really cool people that share the same passion!