A love affair with 1957 Corvettes has stirred the heart of Bob Drews since the 1960s.
That’s when he first felt the passion of the ’57 that belonged to a neighbor who eventually let Drews help him in the pits when he was racing the car.
A few years later, Drews decided he wanted a ’57 of his own and, in the classified ads, unearthed what he termed a “worn-out” Corvette from under a canvass top in a barn back in 1971. It took all his money plus a few hundred more dollars borrowed from his dad, but he was able to bring home his Corvette after paying the owner $2,400.
“When the cover came off, there was my dream car,” Drews recalls.
Despite the fact that the interior gauge lights didn’t work, the brake and license plate lights were out, and his wife complained about the stinky exhaust, Drews says he “couldn’t wait to get up early the next morning and start working on it.”
For years, he didn’t bother to restore the car, content to simply maintain it and keep it fit for cruising around town, including the McDonald’s in Des Plaines that was one of his favorite hangouts.
Finally, in 2010, after owning the car for 39 years, he decided it was time to take his old friend into the shop for a frame-off restoration to “get it back to its glory days.”
Tired of the old Polo White exterior, Drews decided to let D&M Corvette in Downers Grove lay down a new coat of Inca Silver.
“I saw it on another vehicle and found it to be one of the prettiest colors I’ve ever seen,” Drews said. “I had grown tired of the white and was ready for something new.”
Twenty-four months passed, and the Corvette was finally completed thanks to what Drews termed “a pretty easy restoration” since the car was “dirty but not rusty or abused.”
Drews is glad now that he resisted a couple of urges to sell his old friend over the years.
“Whenever I tried, something nagged at me,” he said. “As I looked back on our time together, that diamond in the rough had become part of the family.”
Photos courtesy of Prestige Motorcar Photograhpy