Four years together in a Corvette can provide a lifetime of memories.
Bill Ogden is proof of that.
His miraculous story begins way back in October 1961 when he was in his 20s and bought a white 1962 Corvette with red interior, a 327/340 engine in the bay. Proving the power of marketing a car with a TV show, Ogden had been infatuated with Corvettes ever since he saw one on “Route 66.”
For the next four years, Ogden and his Corvette were never separated, and they made memories for a lifetime cruising all over Southern California. He even met celebrities like Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, and Gene Autry. The Corvette can even be seen in the classic movie, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”
“It was the best of times,” Ogden said. “To be young, single and male driving a new Corvette in Southern California… I couldn’t lose.”
But like so many Corvette owners, he had to grow up and decided to do the sensible thing and buy a boring 1967 Olds Delta 88, getting a little over $2,000 for his beloved ‘Vette on the trade-in.
He never expected to see the car again, but then fate stepped in more than 35 years later. At his 50th class reunion in 2003, his sister gave him a box of items she’d found at their parents’ house years earlier.
“Back when I bought the Corvette, I took everything and sent it home to my Mom and Dad, along with some photos of me and the car,” Ogden said. “I’d forgotten all about it. I didn’t even know that stuff still existed.”
Inside the box was a photo of Ogden washing his 1962 Corvette, along with the paperwork for the car. He soon had the fever to own another Corvette similar to his first one.
For the next three years, he searched high and low but just couldn’t find the right Corvette. Then in 2007, a man called him from California and said he had a white 1962 Corvette for sale. Ogden thought the man was asking too much for the car – until he got some NCRS paperwork on the car, including the VIN. He compared it to the paperwork his sister had found and discovered that miraculously it was his old car!
“I never would have known I’d found my car if I hadn’t sent that bill of sale to my parents,” Ogden said. “I know how lucky I am. My story is unique. It rarely ever happens.”
Having his old friend back at home brought all those wonderful memories of their good times together in the 1960s flooding back, so much so that Ogden decided to share the stories with other Corvette enthusiasts in what has quickly turned into at least a four-book series called “When We Were Young with Our Corvettes: California Adventures in the Early 1960s.”
At age 76, Ogden is living proof that once a Corvette enthusiast, always a Corvette enthusiast.