This story comes from Pat Scorzetti who is the owner of American Hydrocarbon and he tells us about the one Corvette that got away and how it finally came home after all these years.
In 1969 while driving passed Degnan Chevrolet in Philadelphia, I spotted a new big block Corvette in their showroom, next to it was a ZL1 Camaro. I went in and made a deal for the Corvette. It was a 427/390 four-speed Fathom Green convertible with the optional hardtop. I waxed it every few weeks with DuPont No.7 new car wax and washed it almost every other day before going out cruising through the Hot Shoppe Drive-in just like in American Graffiti.
Street racing in Philadelphia was a big deal back then. When the Atlantic City Expressway opened the speed limit was 70 MPH so I decided to see just how fast this big block would go. One Friday after work a buddy of mine, who at the time had an SS 396/375 Chevelle and I took off for a weekend in Atlantic City. I had the Vette buried at 160 and it was still going until the front started lifting so I backed off. I just wanted to do it one time. What a thrill. Back in 1969, we did not care about preserving the originality of our cars, we just wanted to race them. I sold it in 1972 when I got married and we had a baby, could not afford both.
I found the car around 1980 still in Pa. and went to the owner’s farm to see the car. It was pretty much how it was when I sold it and he was the third owner. I gave him my information and told him that if he ever wanted to sell it I would be interested. I never heard from him. Fast forward to 2010 when one of my American Hydrocarbon customers who just happened to be a Deputy in Florida and I were talking trash and I mentioned that I still had the Corvette Owners Card with the VIN that you received when you bought a new Corvette back in 1969. He offered to run the number and low and behold the car was still in Pennsylvania but had not been registered for several years so I knew it was sitting somewhere. I sent a priority mail letter to the current owner with a little history, a picture of that Corvette Owners Card and that I was the original owner and if he ever wanted to sell it to please contact me. No response.
Just before Thanksgiving this year I received a call for an estate liquidator stating that he had the car and was given the letter by the owner who was in ill health and had to sell all his cars. I was in shock to think that I could possibly now be the first and last owner of my first Vette! The car was now 51 years old and still alive. He told me that he cleaned the points (I had removed the transistor ignition and replaced it with a Mallory dual point unit) and it fired right up. I wanted to share this story because all these years gone by, I never gave up that dream of getting it back.
Thanks for the great story Pat!
Want to see your Corvette featured on RIDES? Pick your Corvette’s best photo, or a photo with a really good back story and send it to [email protected]. You must include your name and city/state and give me a great caption or details that tell us something about your car or the setting of the photo.
Photos by Pat Scorzetti