Joe Jackson’s 1961 Corvette is a Thing of Beauty


Joe Jackson's 1961 Corvette is a Thing of Beauty
Photo Credit: Rick Cruz/Pacific Daily News

You just never know where a Corvette enthusiast is going to turn up.

Take the case of Joe Jackson, who moved to the Pacific island of Guam way back in the 1980s.

In 1988, after being a fan of the sports car for years thanks to the influence of his Corvette-owning uncles back in the States, he decided to seek out one of his own.

Back then, the Internet was just a dream for folks like Joe, so he had to rely on print media. Once he spotted an ad for a nice 1961 white and silver Corvette in Michigan, he flew there to see it firsthand. He liked what he saw, and after an exchange of $18,000, the vintage car was his.

He promptly put the car through a minor restoration and prepared it for the humidity in Guam.

“It’s an old restoration,” he says. “You can see the chips here and cracks there but that’s what you expect in a restoration that was done some 20-odd years ago.”

Jackson doesn’t go easy on his baby, though he has removed the original V8, putting in another rebuilt motor for now, and has the original in storage.

“I’m scared to break the motor because I drive the car hard,” Joe admits. “People think I baby this car, but I don’t. When the time comes, I can always put it back into the way it was.” And he’ll have plenty of other parts available since he’s been collecting old Corvettes from around Guam through the years.

“Some people call it an obsession,” his wife, Chris, says. “If he hears there’s a Corvette in a jungle somewhere in Guam, he’ll tell us, ‘let’s go drive around the island as a family thing,’ but it’s really to go look for the Corvette in jungle.”

Now the Corvette bug has rubbed off on his youngest daughter, Justine, 17.

“That’s mine,” she says, referring to the ’61.

If her father does let her drive the car, she’d be only the third person besides Joe to do so since 1988. Indeed, over the past 24 years, he’s only let his brother and his father-in-law climb behind the wheel.


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