How many times do you get a chance to buy a one-owner 1967 Corvette?
That’s what our friends at Van Bortel Chevrolet in New York recently did, and what a back story this Corvette has.
It seems that the original owner was Anthony C. Capozzi Jr. of New York, a hard-working fellow who decided in late 1966 that he wanted to buy his very own Corvette and ordered it through Mac Merritt Chevrolet in his hometown of Geneva, N.Y. After serving his country in the Army, Anthony had returned home to help his father over the coming years with several family businesses, including a grocery store, a restaurant, and finally an antique shop called Nino’s Antiques starting in 1974. As that business began to grow, Anthony’s time spent with the Corvette began to lessen, and the car was stored inside the family’s finished barn and rarely brought outside.
When Anthony passed away in April 2016, this Corvette eventually went to auction, where staff members from Van Bortel purchased the car after getting instructions from Howard Van Bortel “to do one thing, come home with the car.”
While an initial inspection before the auction hadn’t generated much excitement, once they got the car in their possession, they began to appreciate what a treasure they had.
That first look had made them think the paint left much to be desired, but after a good wash job, they discovered it “was everything you’d want it to be, original.” Likewise, the engine, carburetor, distributor, alternator, water pump, and radiator were all correct and original. Also included with the car was the original fuel tank with tank sticker, the owner’s letter, and the dealer’s order copy.
A few days later, Van Bortel received even more documentation, including the original dealer’s sales worksheet, the original auto loan agreement, the auto loan coupon book, the original check used to pay for the car, a stack of receipts for repairs and maintenance since day 1, the original registration and many others from years after, many years of insurance ID cards, and more.
Over the winter of 2016-17, the new owners carefully cleaned, researched, and preserved the car, finding very few non-original items after studying the NCRS 1967 Judging Guide. Even though Anthony’s brother had talked him into installing a side exhaust in 1973, the original back panel, tail pipes, and side rocker panels were never thrown away and came with the car!
In May, Van Bortel attended the WNY NCRS chapter meet, where Nino’s Corvette – as it came to be known – scored a 91.6 percent, or Second Flight, in flight judging, which the chapter’s judging chairperson noted was their high scoring unrestored 1967 Corvette ever.
The good news continued at Bloomington Gold in June, where Nino’s Corvette earned Bloomington Gold Silver Certification and Survivor Silver awards.
Those high rankings are due to the preservation efforts of the original owner, Anthony C. Capozzi, who practiced great care in preserving and documenting his Corvette.
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