January 2020 Member of the Month
Alden & Lyn Miles
My wife Lynette (Lyn) and I have been married for over twenty five years. We have a blended family with five children; Adrianne, Ben, Sara, Alysha and Caitlin. We have three grandchildren; Emily, Daniel, Dexter and a fourth due in June. Lyn and I met while working at 3M. Lyn was a Chemical Engineer and I was a Mechanical Engineer in the Commercial Office Supply Division working on such products as Post-it Notes and Flags. I retired in 2006 after twenty five years and Lyn in 2011 after thirty five years.
We currently have two Corvettes, a 1958 and a 2006 (both convertibles). Let me be clear, they are both Lyn’s, I’m only the mechanic. We purchased the ‘58 in August of 2004 as a barn find in Medford, MN on Ebay. The car was purchased by a farmer in 1974 in Pennsylvania and trailered it back to Minnesota. After arriving home he proceeded to remove the outside trim and interior. Thirty years later he told his son that he was 85 years old and that he didn’t think he would get to finish the Corvette. The car was in a pole barn with a dirt floor. It had a 327ci engine, a Muncie Transmission that hadn’t run for years and came with several boxes of parts.
At the time of purchase I was building a 1948 Anglia (English Ford) and didn’t want to start a second major car project. So, in June of 2013 I started to disassemble the car by removing every part on the body before lifting it off the chassis and then removing every nut and bolt on the chassis. The body had at least four coats of different color paint, with the last coat being flocking. For those of you that are not familiar flocking it is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. It was generally done back in the 60’s and 70’s by spraying clear lacquer on dashboards and then sprinkling on the flock. Once it dried and the excess was removed it felt like peach skin. In this case they flocked the whole car black with silver coves and racing strips. Therefore, the body had to be media blasted, and the frame and suspension parts were sand blasted before painting.
I purchased a 283ci 270HP short block, heads, 2X4 intake, Carbs, misc. engine parts and a Borg Warner T-10 transmission on Ebay. I reassembled the frame, front and rear suspension and built the engine. The bodywork and paint was done by Gilby’s Street Department in River Falls, WI. We dropped the body onto the chassis in January 2019 and since then we have been completing the final assembly. We plan to Chapter and Regional Flight Judge the car in May, PV (Performance Verification) at our Regional in June and Flight Judge at the Nationals in French Lick, IN in July. If successful we will achieve the most coveted Duntov Mark of Excellence award.
I joined the North Central Chapter in June 2013, because we wanted to meet people who restored Corvettes, or knew people who did. I started judging in our Chapter Judging Events and then at the 2014 and 2016 Regionals. I also judged at the Denver CO, National in 2015 and since then I have judged in San Antonio TX, Las Vegas NV, and Greenville SC. At the Greenville Nationals both Lyn and I received our 100 Point Master Judge awards. I have enjoyed meeting the people and getting so much of their help on my restoration project. In September 2016, I was elected as Vice Chairman of the North Central Chapter and in September 2017, I replaced Rick Zierhut as Chairman when he resigned.
Both Lyn and I have enjoyed our journey in NCRS, the people, events and judging experience. We have learned way more about 58-60 Corvette’s then we have ever thought and with all Corvette’s in general. After spending almost seven years to complete this frame-off, nut and bolt restoration, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t do it again.
February 2020 Member of the Month
My name is Paul Burski and I was the original Member of the Month back in February 2015. I live in Lakeville with my wife, Nola, and our teenage daughter, McKenzie. I own a 62 Roman Red roadster with red interior and an Electron Blue 02 Coupe. I was fortunate to grow up in Duluth where my father, Harv, was always restoring Corvettes. Because of his influence, Corvettes are my favorite car and I especially like the C1 and C2 generation. Growing up, I really didn’t help my Dad work on his cars very much, but I learned to appreciate just how much time, talent and research it takes to restore a car. Before the internet, Harv would have to look at Hemmings Motor News, go to swap meets or make local connections with car club members just to find parts or information on how to restore his cars. Today, you can find parts, technical information and even ask questions without ever leaving your home. Most of the time, I can find a YouTube video that shows exactly how to fix or repair something.
I purchased my 62 Corvette from my father in July of 2010. I joined a couple of other Corvette Clubs, but after a couple of years of urging from my Dad, I finally joined the NCRS in 2012. Since joining the NC chapter, I was the Member at Large for a few years and I wrote some of the Member of the Month articles. I passed my Member at Large title to Kevin Sullivan and was elected to Vice Chairman and Assistant Tech Director. I really enjoy being a board member and like meeting with other Corvette enthusiasts every month.
Over the past eight years, I have hosted several tech sessions in my heated garage in Lakeville. I had a tech session where we replaced the entire wiring harness in my 62. We were able to complete the wiring in a few hours. This was a project that needed to be done for quite a while, but I was reluctant to do it on my own. I had the engine for my 62 rebuilt and “broke in” at Performance Engines in Eagan by Randy Quam on this engine dyno. Before I had the engine at Randy’s shop, it would overheat during parades or when driving slowly in town.
After the dyno tech session, the car ran cool and my mileage actually went from 10 MPG to 14 MPG. Another benefit to having your engine on the dyno, is you know exactly at what RPM range and where you have all of the available torque. For my third tech session, we worked on restoring my door panels and installing weather stripping on my 62 while adjusting the gaps in my truck lid.
Since I was planning on replacing my 30-year-old tires, I decided to host yet another tech session. At this session, we removed the front suspension from my car so I could have the cross member dipped and have all the old coating removed. I rebuilt the entire front suspension and re-installed it in the car.
After the suspension was back in, I had the car aligned at Twin City Tire in Bloomington. The last session I hosted was to replace the sending unit in my 62. The old unit would show a quarter tank of gas left when I was actually out of gas. We replaced the sending unit and tank gasket. At this session, we also showed how to adjust valves on a solid lifter car and looked at the windshield wiper washer system on Kevin Sullivan’s 61 and got it to work.
Besides hosting tech sessions, I really enjoy attending as many sessions as my schedule allows. I normally jump right in to help and get very dirty – it’s the best way to learn.
Along with hosting tech sessions, I have attended many events during my time with the NC NCRS. I took my 02 Coupe out on the track at the regional event in Newton, Iowa. I thought the time on the race track was awesome, but I’m not sure my passenger (AKA victim) would agree! Last year, I attended a Judging School in Dallas, Texas, with a few other NC NCRS members. It was a very informational and I met a lot of really nice NCRS members from around the country. Learning from Master Judges on some very original cars was an awesome experience. This past fall, I went to Nebraska for a Regional judging event with six other NC NCRS members; which was a great experience.
I would like everyone to know, I’m always available to help work on your cars. I have a four-post lift at my house and have had many members and friends bring their cars over to work on them. My dad, Harv, will certainly agree that I’ve always been really good at disassembling stuff! LOL
In closing, I honestly believe you get out of a project, group or club, what you put into it. The NC NCRS chapter is a great club with many awesome members and cars. I would encourage everyone to get more involved with the chapter. We have a Regional coming up this June in Rochester, Minnesota, and we could certainly use more volunteers.
March 2020 Member of the Month
MY 66 TOY
The first car I bought was a 1964 Mustang in 1970. It was Blue with a White top and interior, 6 cyl 4 speed and a brand-new paint job. I Paid $400 for it. My second car I bought, was on Christmas Eve in 1972 it was a 1966 Corvette coup 427/390 Hp, teak wheel and custom paint. So it only makes sense that when I turned 40 I would buy a Blue and White 66 Corvette.
Without any knowledge of NCRS I went ahead and bought It. It came with a 1970 LT1 Crate Motor and fiberglass suspension front and rear and headers. It sounded and ran great but needed a lot of work. After I called a Chevrolet dealer, he stated that none of his service guys were born by 1966 and advised I look into one of the local car clubs.
Along came NCRS, got a lead from someone and made a call to one of the members and next thing you know I have a bunch of guys sawing off the headers putting stock exhaust on and reconnecting my backup lights and much more. I don’t remember much because it happened so fast. I was handing out tools and the next thing we were done, and as fast as they came, they were gone. I do remember most of who came to help.
Ron Hendrickson, Gene Bygd, Dale Crosby, Mark Swanson, Mark Ogren, and Jim Fenske, John Kramliner maybe another one but I’m not sure.
Next thing you know I am going thru and making a long list of parts that need to be corrected. For example, the battery was mounted on the driver side for some unknown reason, and of the 4 wheels there were 3 different ones. Almost all the bolts and screws were wrong, as they had been replaced over the years.
My first experience taking her through the judging process I received a 2nd flight score. I finely achieved my Top Flight my third time thru.
After working on the car for years and laying underneath it with everything falling into my eyes and busting knuckles. I made the decision to do a body off. The club helped to pull the body off in Oct. and we sent the frame out to be straighten, sandblasted, welded and powdercoated. I replaced the gas tank, and gas lines and a major cleaning of the under carriage rebuilt the rear end. All while sitting on the frame. The body was remounted in April. Now Jeannine and I can drive around without worries.
Life is Good
April 2020 Member of the Month
My name is Jerome Lardy and I have been an NCRS member since 2006.
I joined the board in 2011 and took on the positions of Membership Chairman and Chapter Top Flight Administrator.
As you can see, I had an early fascination with Corvettes.
I was 10 years old when this first picture was taken in the summer of 1968 at the Third Armored Division Convention in Des Moines, IA. My sister, Yvonne, joined me for this photo.
In 1981, I purchased a 1979 Silver Corvette and drove it all the way to Jasper, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. One moment stands out while on the road from Banff to Jasper. We pulled over to stretch our legs and admire the beautiful scenery. A motor coach pulled up and all the foreign tourists got off. It did not take much time and my Corvette was surrounded with people taking pictures of themselves with my car. My sister joins me on that photo too.
After about 3 months, I decided that insurance was too expensive for this vehicle, when you are a single 23 year old guy. I traded it in on a 1981 Turbo Trans Am. Guess what, my insurance did not go down. Chalk that up as a learning experience. I soon purchased a Baja I/O boat and realized the Trans Am was not a good tow vehicle so now came my truck phase. I got into hunting and fishing with many different trucks and SUV’s over the years.
In 1989, I married my wonderful wife, Doreen, and we adopted little Sarah in 1997. A cabin purchase soon followed, along with other boats, so I still needed the trucks.
In 2006, I got the Corvette bug again. Doreen knew nothing about this disease that had been in remission for so long and claims it was not part the prenuptial agreement (just kidding).
I started looking for a ’65 Coupe but a co-worker found an ad in the Minneapolis paper for a local ’63 Split Window. I went to look at it with another co-worker who also owned a Corvette.
We determined that it was mostly original and looked nice. I then enjoyed it for a few years going to local shows like Back to the Fifties. Sarah loved going to those shows and always commented that people were mentioning it was a split window. She realized there must be something unique here.
In 2006, I had it judged for the first time and it received a 2nd Flight Award. Obviously it was not as original as I thought. After talking it over with our Tech Director Bob Lund, I decided to take on the challenge of a body-off restoration. In the fall of 2010, the project began. Thanks to the help of Bob and other chapter members at the many tech sessions I hosted, the task was completed 3 years later. It was judged again in 2013 and I received a Chapter Top Flight Award. Sarah started showing interest and helped with the restoration and now claims the ’63 for herself. She still needs to learn how to drive a four speed.
In 2015, I decided to purchase a 1995 C4 Corvette with an automatic transmission so that Doreen and Sarah could drive it (Needless to say, that has only occurred a couple of times).
Paul Burski knew of a low mileage C4 that one of his clients was selling so I went and took a look at it.
The Corvette still had the original front tires so immediately I am thinking it could be put through NCRS judging.
After a thorough cleaning and help from John Ulrich to bring back the shine on the hood, I brought it to our fall chapter judging meet. The judges were confused. They had no idea what a C4 was. All kidding aside, we had not judged one of these in quite a while. Since then we have judged several more.
It received a Top Flight Award and it went on to earn Top Flights of 97% or above at two regionals.
The car also received the Performance Verification Award at our North Central Regional in 2016.
The Dave Hill Mark of Excellence Award was earned at the National Convention in San Antonio, TX in 2017. We will be pursuing the Crossed Flags Award at the National Convention this year in French Lick, IN if all goes as planned.
The chapter has been very helpful in assisting me on the restoration and pursuit of the awards I have sought. I appreciate that very much and I have made many new friends over these past 14 years.
May 2020 Member of the Month
Once Upon a Corvette.
I had never envisioned myself a Corvette Owner. I grew up in a family of Fords. My first auto was a 1969 VW Bug. But that was short lived, because I still wanted something sporty. When Dad would not let me buy a Camaro, he relinquished and I found myself in a Triumph GT6. And why not. I had watched all the British Spy Films and wanted to own a British Sports Car. The one I could afford was a 1968 Triumph GT6. Bright College Days.
But I sold the GT6 with its wire wheels and sleek handling for a convertible Bug. Ah, the open road. Then I bought my first American machine- a 1974 El Camino. But that was replaced by one dull car after another. I was in a rut.
Then Mark Swanson entered the picture and asked if I wanted to join the local Corvette Club. Well, that started me thinking and we started looking, but what we saw in 1998 was so inconsistent that I bought a 1973 Triumph TR6. My wife Edrie just smiled. We kept looking, but nothing turned up.
Every time I drove to a Chapter event, I got the same question. When are you going to buy a Corvette. Then in March or April of 2002, Mark Swanson said he saw an ad in the Mpls Tribune for a 1966 Roadster and that I should call. It was winter! Who buys a car in Pipestone Minnesota in the winter? Each week Mark asked- did you call? It took me three weeks to call and then another couple of more weeks to drive down and look at it. Mark had gone down with me to look and we did our homework. Once Mark said it was the car to get, I made an offer. It was a matching number ‘66 with factory air. We went back down and bought it and we found that it came with a hard top. My wife’s requirements were simple- it must be Nassau Blue. The car I bought was painted Laguna Blue, but underneath was the original color from the factory – Nassau Blue. Edrie just smiled.
Thus, began my journey through a paint job, re-chroming, cleaning, replacing parts, cleaning, judging, cleaning, 2nd Flight at Chapter in 2011, Top Flight at Chapter in 2012, and Top Flight at the 2016 Regional in Rochester. All with the help of my Chapter friends.
What a journey- Edrie my bride of 35 years, has been very supportive every step of the way. The boys thought it was cool and my oldest used it in his High School Graduation pics. We don’t drive it a lot, but on those nice days in Summer you can hear me fire her up and we go for a cruise. Edrie is still smiling as there is very little I can do in the way of improvements. I can’t get this tune out of my head – See the USA in a Chevrolet.
June 2020 Member of the Month
I joined the NCRS in January of 2013. I was working with my uncle restoring a 1964 corvette coupe and had purchased some parts via Craigslist. I met Bob Lund and he turned me on to the North Central Chapter.
My love of corvettes goes back to grade school, where I built dozen of models after seeing my uncle’s 1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette, which he still owns today. On May 30, 2008 my dream came true when I purchased my first Vette, a 1980 red coupe. In the years since I did an engine rebuild, switched to a 3.55 rear end and in 2017 upgraded to a 200r4 overdrive transmission.
On July 21, 2012 my wife Annie and I expanded our family with the addition of our son Henry. The math did not work out as there were now three of us and only two seats in the corvette. So, the saint that my wife is, gave me the best wedding anniversary gift there could be when on August 29, 2012 she allowed us to purchase my dream corvette, a red 1969 big block convertible.
In 2014, we were blessed with little Josie and we took both cars out to shows, the kids exchanging rides in the big block roadster and the other in the fulling enclosed, nice and warm, coupe. In October of 2017 Maddie joined our family, and car shows don’t happen near as often, but she too enjoys a ride in either Vette. The kids don’t call them coupe or convertible, or 69 or 80, but rather, “Big Block” and “Small Block”.
July 2020 Member of the Month
Hello everyone! I joined NCRS in November 2006 and it has been a great ride so far!! Being one of the “Two Generation” families in the North Central Chapter, I will start my Member of the Month story where my Dad’s left off and fill in a few highlights. The most recent months of social distancing have allowed me to reflect on 14 years with NCRS. I’ve had a great time and want to share some highlights with all of you.
I bought my first Corvette in 2001, a red/red 2000 automatic coupe. Amanda and I were married in 2003 and left the church in the 2000. Her first car ride as an Enstrom came in a Torch Red Corvette coupe. A few friends of mine with their Corvettes followed us from the church to the reception in a parade of sorts. It was fantastic. We were married in St. Paul, MN after dating for a few years. She has smiled through my Corvette passion for many years and I’m so thankful for her patience and support. Her kindness has allowed my Dad and me to do some really great things with cars and I am forever grateful for those amazing memories we are creating. This was the car that went to my mom and dad, and I took the ’67 home.
The best Corvette trip my Dad and I have shared has to be the Novi, MI NCRS National Convention in 2011. At that point the ’67 had undergone a full restoration in my garage, scored two Chapter Top Flights, and two Regional Top Flights. I had my 97% Regional Top Flight requirement for the Duntov Mark of Excellence Award, and now I needed the PV Award. Novi was my first attempt. Unfortunately, the car failed because of a ride height issue. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Here are the highlights of that trip.
We went to the Performance Build Center in Wixom, MI. This is where they built the C6 Grand Sport (coupe, manual transmission only) dry sump LS3, the Z06 LS7 and ZR1 LS9 engines. Back then, GM started a program where you could build your own engine when buying a new Corvette. This was the place you did it. Then your motor was shipped to Bowling Green to be put in your Corvette. We missed the NCRS sponsored tour of the facility, but called up the facility and the plant manager agreed to a PERSONAL tour of the facility. We saw the 2011 LeMans 24 Hour race winning C6R engine, my dad got to hold the titanium connecting rod and piston assembly for an LS9, we saw the engine test cell where they verified every engine, and we learned about how they build the high-performance Corvette engines.
After that mind-blowing experience, we realized that we had also missed the NCRS sponsored tour of Pratt & Miller. That is the company that has built GM race cars for decades. (C5R, C6R, C7R, C8R, Pontiac GXPR, Cadillac, etc). They were just up the road in New Hudson, MI. We got as far as the lobby, and the receptionist informed us that was all the further we could go. So yours truly peppered her with questions. Finally, I stumped her. She called someone in the back, and that person gave us a PERSONAL tour of the engineering and manufacturing facility that makes these world-beating race cars. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed in the back at Pratt & Miller. All I have is photos from the lobby showing their IMMENSE trophy collection from their years of race victories.
Ok, mind blown again. But surely that was enough? Nope, there’s more. The entire group at the convention went to the GM Heritage Center. That facility is by invitation only and it is where GM houses many of its concept cars, prototypes, and very special production cars. There, we met Dave Hill, former Chief Engineer for Corvette, and saw multiple Corvette concept cars and prototypes in person. Cars such as CERV III, Corvette Indy, the 2009 Stingray, the 1961 Mako Shark, the 1969 Manta Ray, the 1973 Aerovette, and more. Here is a photo of the Corvette concept row and of Dave Hill and I shaking hands. What a thrill to meet the leader of the C5 development effort.
One of my absolute favorite cars there? The 1931 Cadillac V16 Dual Cowl Phaeton. It was purchased new by Augusta Little. When she was done with the car in 1975, she gave it back to Cadillac asking that she “take care of her baby”. It is one of 86 cars built like this.
Well, there was one more piece to the puzzle for this memorable trip and that was to come the next day AFTER the Convention. Everyone was invited to drive their Corvettes on the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, MI. My Dad and I did a “follow the leader” style tour in the ’67 of the proving grounds with the rest of the NCRS members. I bet there were 150 cars there. I also was fortunate to be one of the few selected to get a ride in a bright yellow 638hp ZR1 by a Corvette team Chassis Development Engineer on the Proving Grounds. I have never felt acceleration so violent than that thing. A trip like that will never be topped for me.
Another point of pride for me was when my car was selected to share the cover of the NCRS Judging Guide for the 1967 model year. It only held that post for a couple years before they updated the manual and it lost its placement. However, it is still the featured car on the NCRS.ORG website. The photo used there was taken in Dallas, TX, just after I passed the Performance Verification test with the car.
Another really fun trip was when we went to the NCRS National Convention in Kansas City in 2014 via the National Road Tour. There, I earned the Founders Award with the ’67. But one of the real highlights for me was seeing Ron Hendrickson receive his 300 point Master Judge Award. He and I and a few other members were on the Road Tour together. He has since passed away. Ron was always there for me and volunteered to trailer my car to its first Chapter Meet in 2009 in Iowa. He was so generous. When I asked him how I could ever repay him for all he had done for me, he said “Pay it forward”. And so here I am, your North Central Chapter Judging Chairman since December of 2012. This photo isn’t the best one of me, but it is a great one of Ron. I really miss him; he was such a wonderful part of the Corvette hobby. He was one of the first stewards of the Member of the Month program for the North Central Chapter. I’m so thrilled that other chapter members have followed in his footsteps and continued this great tradition. Our current wizard behind the curtain is Kevin Sullivan. My sincere thanks to him and all that preceded him in this effort. It has really brought our Chapter together.
Being the Chapter Judging Chair has put me in the leadership role for hosting numerous Chapter Meets and a few Regionals. I’m sure Ron would be proud. Here is a great photo of my Dad and me at the 2014 Rochester Regional.
Another memorable day was Father’s Day in 2015. I know almost every owner of the ’67. The first owner was either the dealer owner or his wife. After driving the car for a little over a year, they sold it to the first public owner. I had tried to connect with him a number of times. Finally, I drove the ’67 over to my parents’ house and picked up my Dad for a ride. It was a beautiful sunny day and we drove down to the prior owner’s home and waited for him. After only a few minutes he pulled up on his Harley-Davidson. I think he was a little surprised to see us, but we had a really nice conversation about the car. He gave us a few original photos he had of the car from the late 60s.
My Dad and I shared a trip to San Antonio, TX in 2017 to the National Convention. I wanted to bring the ’67 there to be a part of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Corvette display. While we were there, we saw the VERY FIRST small block Chevrolet V8 ever built. I also had a chance to speak with Dave Morgan, who drove the ’67 L88 race car at the 12 Hour of Sebring amongst other races. (pictured below) He was the 1967 SCCA National Champion. He told the story of driving in the rain at Sebring in the dark. The car leaked so bad that it partially flooded the floorboards. So, to fix that, when coming out of a corner he’d open the door quick so the water would all slide out. That’s back when race car drivers were RACE CAR drivers.
As my Dad mentioned in his writeup, he is pursuing the Hill Mark of Excellence. For that effort we drove the 2000 to the Ohio Regional in the spring of 2019. On the way, we stopped at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. And on the way home we stopped at the Chevrolet Museum in southern Illinois. Two great experiences.
Most recently I have purchased a 1994 ZR-1. The car came out of Texas where it spent 20 of its 25 years of life. I picked it up from the owner after that in Florida in November 2019. My friend and I toured the National Corvette Museum and then trailered it home. So far, I’ve put 2,000 miles on the car this spring and it is a HOOT to drive.
The photo above is an our latest North Central Chapter cruise down the Wisconsin side of the river.
Not including about a dozen North Central Chapter meets, my Dad and I have been to 3 Chapter Meets, 12 Regional Meets, and 5 National Conventions together with his car, my car, or both. I am looking forward to going to as many more as we can together. Seeing the cars, hearing the stories and learning about Corvettes is so much fun.
I’ll close my story with my two boys, Lucas and Joshua. Here is one of my favorite photos of the ‘67 with Lucas who was about 6 at the time. He loves going for rides with the top down in the ’67, and going fast to baseball practice in the ZR-1.
And here is a photo of Joshua next to a C7 at the Minneapolis Auto Show a couple years ago. Sadly, it was not our car. But now since we have a red one and a white one, maybe Amanda will let me get a blue one? I’ll let you know, but don’t hold your breath……
August 2020 Member of the Month
Hi there – my name is Kevin Sullivan. I was born in St. Paul – and grew up in Cottage Grove. I have always had an interest in all things mechanical as my Father was a United States Air Force mechanic.
He would always be working on his stuff and show me how to do it. I didn’t always remember, but it was fun hanging out with him. As a kid, my family had a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500, and my Dad would show me how to change the points, tune the carburetor, change the spark plugs, etc …. He was also a member of the Confederate Air Force (now called the Commemorative Air Force) which was a club dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of WWII aircraft. He would bring me to the club meetings, and the guys would show me what they were working on – and I would serve as their tool runner. As a reward, I would get to fly in the planes when they would be at the local air shows. It was fun.
When I was in high school, it seemed like most everyone had a cool car. The school parking lot was filled with Camaros, Mustangs, Impalas, GTO’s …etc – and I wanted a cool car too. So, I started shopping. My first stop was at the local used car dealer in Cottage Grove. And in the show room, there was a 1963 Split window Corvette and a yellow/black 1970 Boss 302 Mustang. My buddy Al Loosbrock placed “dibs” on the vette, so I pondered buying the Boss. Sadly, I could not quite afford the Boss, but Al scooped up the ‘vette – and swung by and gave me a ride. That was the coolest car I have ever had been in. I was officially hooked on Corvettes and vowed to get one someday.
My first Corvette was a 1972 Coupe. It needed a paint job, but it was an original motor car and ran pretty well. After it was painted back to its original color of Bryar Blue, I decided to start going to car shows. One of the first car shows that I attended was the local GTO Muscle Car show. It was at this show that I met Bob Lund – he was the Corvette judge – and told me about the NCRS. I joined the NCRS that weekend.
I really liked that car but decided to try a convertible – so the hunt was on again. After a quick search of Craig’s List – I found a 1961 convertible for sale. The owner of the ’61 was looking for a C3 – so we made a trade. I now had a convertible.
I quickly discovered that C1’s are not like C3’s. So, I immersed myself into learning everything I could about my new car – and then sent it out to be painted. Once that was done, I worked with a speed shop that rebuilt and re-installed the engine back into the car. It was now time to get it judged at an NCRS Chapter meet.
For those of you that have never had a car judged at a NCRS judging meet, my first time was very stressful. Luckily the judges kept me appraised throughout the process and were very thorough with their notes on the judging sheets. I learned so much and I earned a third flight and had MANY notes on my judging sheets. Thank you to the judges that looked at my car that day – they earned their pay with that one! With the use of the judging sheets, and some modifications, I was able to achieve a TOP Flight at the following Chapter Meet.
Our chapter has a great group of guys (and gals) that are kind, helpful and are willing to answer any question that I may have. I hope to be a member for many years. It has been a great ride so far!
September 2020 Member of the Month
I’ve been married to my wife, Gina, for 27 years. We have two grown children, Cassidy in St Louis Mo., and Jamie, in Jamestown N.D.
I have a 1978 Pace Car, a 1996 Collector Edition coupe, and a 2002 convertible, and a few other non-corvettes in my collection.
The Pace Car is mostly original. The brakes, tires, and mufflers have been replaced. It’s still running the original plugs, wires, caps, hoses, etc. It’s a 15,000 mile car. I was made aware of it in the early 1990s but the owner wouldn’t sell until 2018. It was up the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, Minn. and bought new from Two Harbors, Minn. I had hoped to get it judged this fall but COVID has interfered. I’ll shoot for next Spring.
My 1996 is a LT4 CE that I bought in Mesa AZ about 6 years ago. It took 3 years to locate one that was up to my standards. This one is nice, and original with only maintenance items being replaced over the years. My 16 year old daughter flew to AZ and drove it home together. One of the funnest road trips I’ve taken.
My 2002 convertible is actually my wife’s car. We saw it 6 years ago while buying a set of wheels for one of my other cars. She said she wanted one like it, Electron Blue, black top & interior, with an automatic, It was beautiful but the owner wasn’t selling. After 5 years of looking and not finding one to my standards. I was paging through my NCRS Driveline when I found one fitting the bill in Fargo ND…..it turned out to be the very same guy we bought the wheels from and he’d decided to put the car up for sale. We drove over in the morning and couldn’t get a deal done. We drove home without it, boy Gina was heartbroken. He called me two days later and we bought it.
I’m always looking for a 1982 CE, a 1995 ZR1, and a 1974 454, but I don’t think I’ll buy any projects. I don’t mind doing some minor things these days but I don’t get as much enjoyment building cars anymore.
I got my first taste of Corvettes as a kid in 1973 or 1974 in a then new blue 454 4-spd car. I always had Chevelle’s and Camaro’s when I was younger mostly because of my budget, but I always liked Corvettes. I stumbled into a 1969 convertible, small block, 4-spd, when I was about 20 years old. I fixed it up and sold it as I did with a few others over the following years.
My automotive interests have been predominantly drag racing, collecting, buying & selling at Mecum, and shows. My rural location makes it difficult to attend many of the day events but I love showing people my cars and always welcome visitors to my shop!
October 2020 Member of the Month
John Hall Sr.
John Hall Sr. is our October 2020 North Central NCRS Member of the Month. He owns a 1958 Roadster (283, 4 Barrel, Convertible); a 1990 ZR-1 (LT5, 390hp, Removable Roof Panel) a 1993 ZR-1 (LT5, 405hp, Removable Roof Panel NCRS Chapter Top Flight, NCRS Performance Verification) & a 2011 ZR-1 (LS9, 635hp, Coupe).
He bought his first Corvette in 1990. It was a Red & White 1958, powered by a 327CI. In 1960, while attending school in Mississippi, his older sister had a boyfriend from Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi who had a Red & White 1958 Corvette. That was when he fell in love with the 1958 C1 .
His 1958 was a “driver”. He drove it back and forth to Arizona where he kept it for winters three times, once joining Route 66 in Chicago to Prescott Arizona. He also drove it back and forth to Orlando for one winter. The 1958 had a solid top only, leaving the top in Minnesota, many nights were spent at hotels with porticos where he could park under.
He will be going for NCRS Regional For Top Flight & NCRS National for Award Of Excellence for his next judging. He is currently installing a new DeWitts aluminum radiator in his 1958 due to prior owner loading it with stop leak. He joined the NRCS on April 12, 2018 to get to know the members and for the activities to learn more of the originality of the Corvette. He enjoying the judging; car cruises and tech sessions the North Central NCRS Chapter offers.
November 2020 Member of the Month
My name is Sarah Lardy and I am the daughter of Jerome and Doreen Lardy. My dad introduced me to the NCRS at a young age, and in March 2020 I became an official independent member! It’s safe to say I’ve grown up with the NCRS. My dad remembers driving through the fairgrounds during the Back to the 50’s Car Show, and how excited I became at how many people would stop and point at our car. I think that’s when I started to realize how special these cars really are. I still love attending the Back to the 50’s Car Show, but now I generally wear 50’s style clothing and drag a friend or two along for the day.
My family has two Corvettes. I like to say that they’re really mine, or at least tease that they are my siblings based on the amount of TLC they receive. We have a 1963 Stingray Split Window coupe, saddle tan in color, and a black 1995 coupe. The 1963 is what really sparked my interest in Corvettes, as I was able to help my dad with the full body-off restoration we completed back in 2013. Of course, in the beginning my version of “helping” was bringing him more Diet Cokes and standing inside the engine compartment, but throughout the process, I helped with more tasks. He taught me a lot about how the car operates and the different components, and at this point I became interested in attending tech sessions and judging meets. I’m proud to say I have now started judging Corvettes at the chapter meets, both in 2019 and 2020. It’s always fun explaining to my friends what I’m doing over the weekend and that yes, I’m in fact interested in judging Corvettes. I love that these meets and other NCRS functions allow me to spend quality time with my dad; it means the world to me.
My next goal is learning how to drive a 4-speed manual transmission! I’m not so sure my dad will let me practice on the Split Window, but I’ll see what I can do. I also look forward to future tech sessions, judging meets, and other activities like cruises, and I hope to attend next year’s National Convention. I’ve enjoyed the regional and national conventions I’ve already attended. A unique thing about me is I graduated in May with a BFA in Graphic Design, so I tried my hand at designing the 2021 National Convention logo. My design was not selected this time around, but I will definitely keep trying in the future. I am also working toward a MS in Marketing, with a focus in Digital Marketing and Advertising, and I am hoping to somehow use these skills to benefit the chapter. My art skills also enabled me to paint the ‘63 on a ceramic plate when I was a sophomore in high school!
I appreciate all of you for the kindness you’ve shown me in the past, and for your explanations and patience as I become more involved with judging. I am honored to be Member of the Month, and I look forward to seeing you at future events.
December 2020 Member of the Month
I bought my 1971 C3 Sport Coupe in March 2018 from the online auction site Bring A Trailer. It’s the only sports car I’ve owned. The car was out of the Seattle area (no salt) and had two previous private owners, one of whom worked for Boeing. I named her Cliona, after a Celtic goddess who fell in love with a mortal named Kevin. Cliona also means “shapely,” which I think is a great description for a C3 coupe. She’s Brands Hatch Green (one of 3,445) with the dark green interior and has the original 350/270 h.p. motor and M20 four speed. The only options were power brakes, a tilt and telescopic steering column, AM-FM stereo radio, and white-lettered Goodyear tires. Basic, the way I like it.
I took delivery of the car in the middle of a snowstorm. The driver called me from the road and said that his eight-car transporter was too long for our downtown Minneapolis neighborhood, so we met up in the K-Mart parking lot on Lake Street. My wife Tricia graciously drove me there. The driver warned me “be careful, the brakes are not so good.” He was right about that, but we got home through the snow without mishap, even though I had to pull the brake pedal up with my toes.
Getting the car re-titled was a total DVS PITA hassle. I was registering the car as a collector vehicle, but the clerk kept demanding the MSRP. Uh, OK, that would be $6,130.30! After multiple trips to the “service center,” the title was finally in my name. Now for the fun stuff: getting Cliona safe and roadworthy. I quickly discovered I would be doing all the work. (Does anyone out there repair these things?) First up were the brake booster, master cylinder, flex lines and Wilwood D8 calipers. A prior owner had cut the shoulder belts off, so I replaced those. Then the radiator sprang a leak, so I installed a DeWitts unit. A few months later, during rush hour on University Avenue, the car stalled out in the middle lane. The carb float was stuck open and raw gas was pooling on the intake manifold. Bobby & Steve’s to the rescue. I’ve rebuilt carbs before, but this one looked like an old coffee urn inside, so I bought a rebuilt Q-Jet. All of this was before I joined the NCRS in 2019, so I wasn’t considering how these new parts would look on a scoring sheet. I’ve also replaced the horn switch, turn signal switch, horn, water pump, belts, hoses, wiper blades, ignition points and condenser, and shocks. Up next: de-bugging the vacuum systems (the wiper door does a little dance and one headlight refuses to retract), adjusting the balky shifter, and diagnosing the clunking rear suspension. The car also has its cosmetic challenges, as it sat in a garage for almost 20 years and had accumulated many scratches and gouges from being used as a storage shelf. But I’m going to get all of the mechanicals sorted out first.
What do I like about being an NCRS member? I had my car judged at the 2019 North Central Fall Meet. What a great bunch of folks, and did I learn a lot about my car! I also enjoy the driving events, because that’s what these Corvettes are for, even if it seems to rain every time. I’m also looking forward to attending a tech session soon. Glad to be a part of the group.