2016 Members of the Month

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January 2016 Member of the Month

Michael Barrett

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.

1967 Corvette restored MN

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.

1967 Corvette in OK

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.

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February 2016 Member of the Month

Ken Traverse

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!

Ken Traverse 1969 car

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 Traverse 2008 car

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.

Ken Traverse 1966 car

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.

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March 2016 Member of the Month

Ken Windschitl

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.

Windschitl_67

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.

Windschitl_67_1
Windschitl_67_2

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.

Windschitl_67_3

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!

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April 2016 Member of the Month

Russ Westfall

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.

Westphal_72_LT1

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.

Westphal_72_LT1_3

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!

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May 2016 Member of the Month

Gerry Gartner

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.

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.

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June 2016 Member of the Month

Doug Brekke

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.

Brekke__Doug_1961_3

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.

Brekke__Doug_1961_2

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.

Brekke__Doug_1961_4

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.

Brekke__Doug_1961


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.

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July 2016 Member of the Month

Jeff Braun

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.

1971_Jeff_Tyler_Braun

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.

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August 2016 Member of the Month

Paul Christopher

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!”

Paul Christopher 1981

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.

Paul Christopher 2004

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.

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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.

Dave & Jeanne Cloutier pic

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 & Jeanne Cloutier car

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.)

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October 2016 Member of the Month

Mike Carroll

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.

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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.

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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.

Mike’s 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.

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November 2016 Member of the Month

Doug Jolstad

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

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Gus,Miranda,Leah,Brooke, Doug, Jake, Jolie and Brynn

Doug’s Letter
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.

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December 2016 Member of the Month

John Ikeda

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.

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