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After 40 Years of Storage, Joe Munch’s 1966 Corvette Ready to Shine

by Mitch Talley on July 21, 2012

After 40 Years of Storage, Joe Munch's 1966 Corvette Ready to Shine
Photo Credit: Yfat Yossifor | Mlive.com

Some folks can’t understand the love affair a man can have with his Corvette.

But Joe Munch and his family understand it oh so very well.

Sunday, Munch will show off his one-owner 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at the Old Town Motorfest in Saginaw, Michigan.

Always a worker and a man dedicated to his family, Munch held down a job from the time he was 5 years old when he would help repair rides and games at the now defunct Wenona Beach Amusement Park. After his father died when he was 9 years old, Joe worked two jobs to help support his family. By the time he was a senior in high school, he decided to do something for himself and convinced his mom to let him buy a 1966 big block 427/435 Corvette.

It was the beginning of a never-ending love affair between Joe and his fiberglass companion.

The love affair was soon put on hold for a couple of years, however, when Joe was drafted into the service and headed to Vietnam in 1967. He credits the thought of his beloved Corvette waiting for him at home with helping him make it through those tough times.

After returning home with a Purple Heart, an Army Commendation Award, and several Bronze Stars for his heroic service, Joe soon married the real love of his life, Marsha.

Ever the family man, Joe parked the Corvette and moved on to more practical transportation when children began to arrive. It would stay in a friend’s garage for the next 40 years.

But then just before Thanksgiving 2010, Joe suffered a heart attack, underwent triple-bypass surgery, and then had a series of mini-strokes two days later.

The health problems made Joe think about his life and he began to remember the passion he had for his old friend, his 1966 Corvette. It was now or never.

He decided to ask Steve Snow, the owner of Saginaw-based Dynamic Corvettes, to help him get the Corvette running and back to its former glory.

“The key thing that really got me: The first day that we looked at the car, I’m standing there with him behind me, and he made a comment to me that I won’t forget,” said Snow, himself a veteran. “He said, ‘This is what got me through the jungle.’ And I did not realize until that point that he was a Vietnam veteran. Over the years, I’d heard a lot of stories about veterans and their cars. Joe was ready to drive his car again.”

Snow and his team brought the car back to life over the next two months, getting rid of the dust and grime and replacing the gas tank, brakes, motor belts, and a few other parts.

“When we brought it home, it was a couple weeks ago, and I was driving behind him, and it looked like him from the back when he was 18 again,” Marsha Munch said.

Joe unveiled his pride and joy to his family the day before Father’s Day this year, and his two sons then let the world in on his secret during Bay City’s Cool City Car Show on July 13 and 14. Now Joe is ready to show it off at the Old Town Motorfest on July 22.

After 40 Years of Storage, Joe Munch's 1966 Corvette Ready to Shine
Photo Credit: Yfat Yossifor | Mlive.com


Source:
mlive.com
Photo Credits: Yfat Yossifor | Mlive.com

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