[ACCIDENT] Owner Starts Up His C3 Corvette that Survived a Building Fire in Illinois


Owner Starts Up His C3 Corvette that Survived a Building Fire in Illinois

This mid-1970s Corvette coupe took a cue from the old slogan for Timex watches: It took a licking and kept on ticking.

The white Corvette had taken a ride on an industrial elevator so it could be stored on the second floor of a historic building in Rantoul, Ill., where a mechanic’s garage had once operated for decades.

Unfortunately, on New Year’s Day, the structure, once known as the old Frazier building on South Tanner Street, was destroyed by fire, forcing its demolition last week.

First, however, Marion Valentine, who owns the building and the Corvette, had his car removed from its second-floor home, and believe it or not, despite being covered with soot and likely damaged by water, the classic Chevy still cranked right up.

Valentine says the interior of the building was badly damaged by water while the fire was being extinguished, but the car apparently managed to remain in operational condition. He’s not sure if he will restore the Corvette, however.

The building had been used in recent years for a workshop and storage, as well as the location of TT Distribution Fasteners & Tool Sales, which has moved to East Sangamon Avenue since the fire.

During the demolition of the building last week, a service support pole nearby was snapped, shutting off power to residential apartments and a commercial property.

Investigators believe the fire started near a wood-burning stove in the building, which was deemed a total loss.


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  1. Mid seventies Corvettes are virtually worthless if not in pristine condition. Take the insurance money and run.

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