[ACCIDENT] 1961 Corvette Hit During Final Shakedown Following 15-Year Restoration


[ACCIDENT] 1961 Corvette Hit During Final Shakedown Following 15-Year Restoration

Patience is a virtue.

Just ask this retired businessman from Florida.

Lee Snell was just days away from getting his beloved 1961 Corvette that’s been under restoration for literally decades when disaster struck suddenly in the closing stages of work on Tuesday morning.

Ray Shimak, who’s been working on the Corvette for Snell since 2006, was taking the car out for its final test drive at 9:30 a.m. on South Delaware Avenue in Mason City, Iowa.

“Just taking it for its last test ride to check the shifter adjustment out,” said Shimak of Ray’s Collision.

So what could go wrong in one little test drive?

Well, Shimak found out plenty when the driver of a black Impala swerved into the Corvette while trying to change lanes.

The collision damaged the front end of the Corvette and took a chunk out of the rear passenger side, too.

The car had been stripped down to a drag racer when Snell bought it in the 1970s. He and his son have been restoring it since the 1980s, finally turning the job over to Shimak a decade ago.

“All restorations take a lot of time, especially when you start with one that’s just a shell,” Shimak said. “I just feel for him he waited so long to get it back.”

Now Shimak hopes to have the finished car, once again, back to Snell by the first of the year.

“He’s a patient man,” Shimak said.

Let’s hope so.

GlobeGazette.com and QCTimes.com

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  1. This looks like an innocent victim case but when I see those ‘reality show’ restoration guys drive like idiots on a shake down, I wonder how often they trash a car.

  2. What a shame. Beautiful car. I am sure the restorer will pick up the tab and get the car back in top shape soon. If was my car I would be sick. I hope Mr. Snell get many years of enjoyment from this beauty after it’s finished.

  3. A body shop that takes 10 years to complete a project? Seriously?
    How do they stay in business?

  4. The Impala driver should pick up the tab on the repair. And it might be taking 10 years because the owner might be on the “pay-as-you-go plan”.

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