On August 12, 1957 Bill Hatch walked into Bates Chevrolet in Alhambra, California and purchased a new 1957 Corvette.
65 years later, Bill is still the original owner of this car!
Bill wanted a new car and had his mind set on the (now) classic 1957 Chevy BelAir. The salesman asked Bill if he knew that Chevrolet offered a sports car? Bill said, "Let's take a look". There were three Corvettes on the lot at Bates Chevrolet, one white, one red, and one black. Bill chose the black car with the red interior. It was "basic" -- three speed manual transmission, the base 230 HP 283 CU IN engine, removable hardtop, and no heater (who needs a heater in Southern California?).
Here is the documentation. Bill purchased the Corvette for the total price of $3,430.72. He made a down payment of $1,863.72. He traded in his 1950 Ford convertible and received a trade-in allowance of $200. After fees, Bill financed the net cost of $1,400 with 18 payments of $83.03.
I have written about this amazing longevity of ownership many times.
Ten years ago (2012), I chronicled Bill's ownership with this article:
In February 2013 an article appeared in the magazine of the National Corvette Museum, "America's Sports Car". Here is my post about that article:
In 2019 I challenged anyone to find a person who has owned one Corvette longer than Bill -- so far, no challengers!
In 2020, at one of our "Burger Run" events, we had a surprise party for Bill and another North Coast Corvette Club member.
Last year (2021) I took Bill to lunch for his 89th Birthday and we took his classic Corvette.
Bill is now 90 and his Corvette is 65 -- both are "classic survivors" - and in "running condition"! Bill and Marylyn, his wife, went on their honeymoon in the car. No trailer queen, Bill has consistently driven his Corvette around Carlsbad on a weekly basis. He has lost track of how many miles they have traveled together -- but it is a lot!
Below are some of my favorite photos of Bill, Marylyn, and his Corvette.
Congratulations on this milestone event, Bill. Here's to many more miles and smiles!
Cary & Nan August 11, 2022
P.S. If you are a writer for any Corvette or Auto magazine and want to write an article about Bill, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org