New Zealander Has a Magical Bond with his “Birthday” Corvette


New Zealander Has a Magical Bond with his 'Birthday' Corvette
Photo Credit: Robert Charles/Fairfax NZ

Corvettes seem to have a magical bond with their owners.

Just ask Chris Jury of New Zealand.

Despite living outside the United States, Jury has been a fan of the Corvette since he was just a youngster, entranced by its shark-like appearance.

Ironically, two days before Jury’s eighth birthday, what has become a very special Cortez Silver 1969 Corvette was coming off the assembly line in St. Louis, Missouri.

Now, 45 years later, amazingly enough, that same Corvette is owned by Jury, who bought it after a search led him to Dublin, California.

The 427 big-block sports car, which features a Gunmetal Gray interior, became the fourth Corvette he’s owned, but he doubts that he will ever sell this one, especially since it’s his dream car and it was produced just two days before he turned 8 years old.

“I might like to own a newer one as well,” Jury says, “but I don’t think I’ll sell this one. It’s too good.”

Indeed, he’s won “Best C3” at four of the last five national Corvette conventions in Taranaki, New Zealand. He’ll try for a fifth title at this year’s Corvette Nationals set for Feb. 21-23.

Thanks to having possession of the build sheet glued to the gas tank (or petrol tank, as they call it in New Zealand), Jury was able to find out about the car’s options and who the original seller was – a dealer located in San Diego.

Jury’s first Corvette was an ’80 model that had been won by a 20-year-old in a brewery-sponsored contest and was too young to get insurance. Jury stepped in and bought the car, keeping it until he got married. He followed that C3 with a 1985 Corvette in 2000 and purchased a 1994 C4 that he owned for two years.

All the while, though, his dream Corvette was a C3 just like the one he dreamed of owning when he was just a child.

“My plan was that it should preferably be a roadster,” Jury said, “and with a big- block engine, and with the chrome bumpers front and rear that were a feature of the models up to 1972.” Now, he and his “birthright” have been reunited.


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