It was a long time coming, but Doug Penn of British Columbia finally has the 1957 Corvette of his dreams. If his two boys have anything to say about it, it’ll be the car of their dreams, too, for a long time.
Actually, Doug has owned the car since 1976, paying just $2,800 for the 427-powered vehicle back then. It served him well as a single man, and he even took his future wife, Doreen, on their first date in the car. It had been stored for 33 years, though.
After Doug retired from his job as deputy fire chief in Burnaby, he and Doreen decided to open up the Absolute Heaven Oceanfront Suites and Spa bed and breakfast, in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. After that was up and running, they then moved on to their next project: restoring the old ’57.
Their budget of $40,000 was soon shattered as once they got into the project, they decided to do it right, with a complete body-off restoration of the car, which was painted in Onyx Black with Inca Silver coves – after some 115 feet of fiberglass mat and 17 gallons of resin had been used to get the body back in top-notch condition.
“The car is phenomenal. It’s perfect,” Doug says. “In the paint, you can see the reflection of cars all the way across a parking lot. Both my sons have driven the car and they joke about me never selling the car as they want it to stay in the family.”
That’s a far cry from when the boys were young.
“I remember taking my two sons, Craig and Tom, for a ride with the top off when they were very young and they hung on tight for fear of flying out of the car.” he says.
While they went far over their budget, Doug says he’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
“The experience was so much fun and I got exactly what I wanted.”
While guests at the bed and breakfast love seeing the car, you too might just get a chance to see it on the road if you ever get on the old Route 66 in the United States.
“I promised Travis Brown, who did the bodywork and paint, that the car wouldn’t become a trailer queen,” Doug says, noting that he and Doreen hope to drive their beauty on Route 66 as well as attend the Coasters Car Club annual Sleepy Hollow Rod Run in Sechelt on the first weekend in August.
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