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- Les Dunham, born in 1941, started to customize cars in 1957.
- Factory built between 1979-1982, by Dunham Motor Coach Co. in Boonton, NJ.
- Only 50 were built, 5 of which were convertibles.
- Starting price was over $60,000 new, in 1980.
- Powered by a 350 V8 5.7 liter Corvette engine.
- Options included: automatic, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt-telescopic wheel, power windows and locks.
The following advertisement and pictures appeared in an EBAY auction a while back:
"You are viewing a Limited Production 1979 Dunham Coach Caballista Corvette. This is one of only 50 built by Les Dunham Coachworks. It is also 1 of only 3 built with a 4 speed (m21) transmission, 1 of only 2 built with an L82 Engine (matching numbers), and 1 of 10 with color scheme. This car is in excellent and is showing 8200 original miles. It features a Oyster leather interior, grey carpet, air, Tilt and Telescopic Wheel, power steering, power disc brakes, factory installed AM/FM stereo, delay wipers, Fine Wire wheels & Vogue tires. This car is a show stopper and it runs and drives like a dream. One of the finest examples in the country and a rare collectible. Garage kept and well maintained it is located in Bristol Tennessee and it is currently looking for a new home. How about yours? Opening bid? 17,500!
Les Dunham and Caballista #51 at the Stutz Meet 2005
Other Caballista Corvettes
The following advertisement and pictures appeared in an EBAY auction on August 3, 2003. The "Buy Now" price was listed at $35,000.
"ONLY 3,201 miles since NEW!!!!! VIN: 1G1AY8788C5106204. Built by Dunham Coach Booton New Jersey. Dunham built all the cars for the James Bond movie Live & Let Die. This is the last Caballista produced. No 2 of these cars are alike. Color is Champagne and Claret exterior with a Claret interior. Powered by a 350 Fuel Injected engine, 700R4 Automatic Transmission, PS, PDB, PW. True Wire Wheels on Vogue Radials. 2 Sets of Roof panels, Glass and Solid.
The following advertisement and pictures appeared in an EBAY auction on February 26, 2007. The "Buy Now" price was listed at $27,500.
VIN: 1Z8789S432297. This auction is for a 1979 customized L-82 4 speed Corvette with only 10,900 original miles. I can hear many of you saying that's no Corvette but I assure you it is! I also hear others saying big deal, it's only a kit car but I assure you it is not.
It is what is called a Corvette Caballista, hand constructed by world renowned Les Dunham of Dunham Coach in Boonton New Jersey. Yes he is the same Les Dunham that made cars for James Bond's Live and Let Die and the movie Superfly among others. The car is all hand glassed. The grill has been mistaken for a Rolls Royce, Stutz Bearcat, Bentley and others. The truth is that it is all handmade by Mr. Dunham in his shop which in itself is quite impressive.
What separates this car from all his others is that it is #1 of 50 in the world that he made between 1979 and 1982 on Corvettes of the same years. It is on his original business card which I think I have and will include.
No 2 of these cars are alike. Furthermore, I believe there were only 3 that were 4 speeds and only 1 or maybe 2 1979's.
I got this car out of Florida where it sat in the sun for quite some time. Though the pictures look great, there is some sun damage. The clearcoat is wearing thin and there are some crows feet and a little fading on top of the left front fender. There are absolutely no dents or dings. It doesn't smoke at all and runs beautifully. The clutch went bad I guess from sitting and has been replaced and is brand spankin new!!!. Also the exhaust needed to be replaced from the cat back which was done. The emergency brake froze and was drilled out and replaced by Corvette specialist Larry Malloy. It also had new platinum plugs installed. She now runs beautifully. There is no frame rust at all. It's like brand new! It sailed through the very tough "regular" New Jersey inspection process, not the easy classic car inspection.
These cars sold for a whopping $60,000 dollars back then. They will still command big money today and in perfect cosmetic condition would probably be a big hit at the Barrett Jackson auction.
She does come with the original yellow fog lights which I removed in order to install the mandatory front plate here in New Jersey. The original Vogue tires were repalced with Goodyear's before I got it probably due to sun damage. They are almost brand new. It is missing one center Caballista hub. The wheels are Appliance and show a tiny bit of rust and will need to be rubbed out. Just trying to be as accurate as possible. The pictures were taken in November of 2006 just before putting her in the garage.
No further information is available on the Dunham Motor Coach Co. If you have more information, please Contact Us so that we can update the information provided here.
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