The weather this weekend left something to be desired, but there were still some car gatherings around if you knew where to look. Take the KCCA Corvette Show at Hendrick Chevrolet in Merriam. Yes, it was a little cool. Yes, it was overcast and damp. But that didn’t stop dozens of Corvette owners from attending this benefit for Camp Quality.
1982 was the last year for the third generation Corvette, so they decided to do something special and introduce these Collectors Editions. These things were fancy in their day, with sort of a champaign-colored leather interior and turbine-style wheels that looked like the Midyear knockoffs. These cars also had the distinction as the first Corvette with an opening rear hatch, and the first Corvette that was priced over $20,000. This one had extremely low mileage and was virtually perfect. It was quite an example of this style Corvette.
As far as the older cars go, I think this ’57 was probably the nicest one at the show. I mean, I can’t imagine that any Corvette ever left the factory this nice in 1957. It was just as smooth and pristine as anything could be. 1957 was also the first year that the Corvette was offered with fuel injection, although not many of them actually had it. This one did, though, and again, it looked absolutely perfect and correct to me. This car was so nice that I don’t know how you could ever stand to drive it again. It’s more like a piece of art than a car at this point.
This ’66 convertible was actually for sale as part of Hendrick Chevrolet’s inventory. It was a pretty stand-up car, though, and it had an interesting history. It was actually purchased new by Walter Davidson Jr., the son of the founder of Harley Davidson. It wasn’t as intense as you might think a Harley guy would order it, though. It only had a 327 small-block under the hood, and more surprisingly, a Powerglide automatic transmission. The car wasn’t completely original, but it wasn’t exactly restored either. It would make someone a nice driver.
The majority of the cars at this show were late model Corvettes, and over the years they’ve made a bunch of special versions of these. Some of them are modified by tuners like Calloway or Hennessy. This one was built by Hendrick Performance in North Carolina, which seems apropos since we were at a Hendrick dealership. The sign said they built four of these, and the Edelbrock supercharger bumped things up to 362-hp. I was actually attracted to it because of the wheels. Performance mods aside, this is one fine-looking Grand Sport.
There were some good looking cars inside the newly-renovated showroom too. This ’61 was wedged right in between the desks that are used to put lease deals together on new Chevy Sonics. It had more of that silky smooth black paint, and two four-barrels under the hood. My dad has a ’61 Corvette, so I’m pretty used to these. But his is not nearly as luscious as this one. That’s OK, though, because I don’t think we would have had as many adventures in his car if it had been this nice.