Saturday, December 14, 2013

Returning a Favor - 10+ Years Later

As my close friends know, I “pick up” new friends in gas stations.  I suppose it is a habit I started at Beltsville Shell.

About 12 years ago I was putting gasoline in my 1962 Corvette at the local Chevron station when I noticed a beautiful new 2002 Torch Red Corvette coupe.  I walked over to the owner, Jeff Smith, introduced myself and told him what a great car he had and that I have never driven a C-5 Corvette.  Jeff complimented me on the 62 and offered to give me a ride in his car.  We drove our Corvettes to my house and Jeff let me drive his car.  I was instantly impressed with everything about it.  Nan came out to see the car and she liked it too.  Right then we realized that the next model year would be the 50th Anniversary Corvette and we began making plans to buy one.  So you could say that it is Jeff’s “fault” that I have a C-5 Corvette.

Jeff and his wife, Sherri, became friends with all my Corvette buddies and they have attended virtually all of our Corvette events for the past 10 years.  Shortly after we acquired the 1967 Corvette Coupe last year Jeff stopped by the house to inspect it.  Although he didn’t say anything to me at the time, his mind began to wonder if buying a 1967 Corvette might produce a more satisfying and profitable return on investment that his bond portfolio.  And as readers of Beltsville Shell know, Jeff’s first ride in a Corvette was when he delivered a 1967 Corvette from a car dealership to its owner back in 1967.

Jeff began searching the country for the perfect 1967 Corvette for him and he located it in Chicago.  

Jeff’s car had been in storage for about 12 years in Michigan.  A buyer (Buyer #1) purchased the Corvette and moved it to Chicago with the idea that he and his son (along with a restoration shop) were going to restore the car as a family project.  Unfortunately Buyer #1 died and the son didn’t have the heart to complete the project.  Then a fellow named Mike Bianco, also a Chicagoan, became Buyer #2 when purchased the car and completed the restoration in about four years.  When Mike decided to sell the car Jeff became the new owner (Buyer #3).  The restoration is beautiful and the car is fully supported with full documentation.   Mike is even providing Jeff with photos of the restoration to authenticate everything that was done for the car.

So I guess you could say that after 10 years I have “returned a favor” and it is my “fault” that Jeff Smith has a 1967 Corvette! 

Enjoy you “new “ Corvette Jeff – it is a beauty!

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