Darren Brown is a “Corvette guy” in West Des Moines, Iowa and the owner of Nostalgic Enterprises in Valley Junction – a Corvette repair shop.
“It’s what I do…there’s probably not half a dozen Corvette shops left in this country, anyway,” he said.
In 1961, Richard Helverson bought a 1954 Corvette and brought it back to Iowa from Florida where it spent the following 40 years just sitting in the garage.
“My family’s been bugging me for I don’t know how many years to do something – what are you going to do with that car? Why don’t you just pedal it, or get it fixed? So I finally decided it was time to get it fixed,” he said.
That’s why Helverson brought it to Darren Brown’s shop.
“It’s like atrophy – it’s like someone sitting on the couch for 35 years, expecting they’re going to be able to get up off the couch and run to the mailbox,” Brown said. “They’re going to get off the couch and be lucky if they can walk to the front door.”
As Helverson turns the key, the 1954 Corvette comes alive. It’s running, but still needs plenty of work such as faulty brakes, and seats that have been destroyed by mice.
“It has a heartbeat, will roll down the road, it will stop sometimes too abruptly,” Helverson said. “So we’ve got a lot of work to do. The interior needs a lot of work.”
Although Helverson has never really been a car fanatic, he’s always liked Corvettes and says it feels good to get the 1954 Corvette back on the road.