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Thread: 1957 Corvette

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    Default 1957 Corvette

    The 1957 Corvette

    Kaua‘i Classic Car Club

    By Leo DuBois - The Garden Island
    Published: Friday, March 13, 2009 2:09 AM HST

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    This is the first in a series of spotlights on members of the Kaua‘i Classic Car Club and their unique vehicles.

    Harvey Maeda lives in Lihu‘e and is a collector of fine classic American automobiles. He is part of a group known as the “Kaua‘i Classic Car Club” that meets between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Wal-Mart parking lot on the last Sunday of every month.

    The size of the group that meets depends a great deal on weather conditions. Perhaps twenty cars will come out if the sun is out, but if it rains, you can probably expect around 12.

    Maeda and his classic car lovers also take great pleasure in driving their $100,000 memorabilia mobiles in such events as the Veteran’s and Plantation Day parades, Kukui Grove Christmas parade Christmas parties, auto outings and island cruises around Kaua‘i.

    “The biggest event we have is the Father’s Day auto show in June at Kukui Grove,” Maeda said.

    This year, the Kaua‘i Classic Club has been invited to an Open House in May at the PMRF Barking Sands and as more cars join the classic club, the turnout should be a well worth the drive to experience.

    Asked how he got started with the auto collecting fever, Maeda replied, “My friends and I were hot rodding and racing cars all the way back to the sixties and I have been collecting and reworking classics ever since.”

    With the exception of his go-to-work cars, Maeda has owned a lot of collectible cars and every one has been American made. The oldest car Maeda collected was a 1923 Model Ford Model “T” and today he owns a rebuilt 1931 Model Ford Model “A.”

    When Maeda discovers a classic that he likes, he will negotiate for the best price, alter it cosmetically and once he tires of owning it will put it up for sale then move on to another.

    Maeda believes that collecting older cars is better than playing the stock market because, “You can buy an old car today for a decent price and tomorrow there is probably a buyer ready to buy your investment back and earn you a profit”, said Maeda. He suggests that a mint condition 1957 Chevrolet can sell for between $50,000 and a $100,000 and an older model Corvette with a fuel injection engine, can bring $100,000 and up. With a hearty laugh, he jokingly remarks that when you buy a new car today, it depreciates from the time you put in the key and drive it off the lot.

    Most of the cars Maeda owns were purchased from the mainland, and his pristine 1957 Corvette is no exception. This American Dream car is remarkably well maintained and brings back memories of Rock n’ Roll, Drive-in movies and Car Hops on roller skates.

    Maeda’s classic “Vette” sports a spotless chrome grille, deep luster candy apple red paint job and creamy white interior with 2,300 miles on its rebuilt fuel-injected 283-cid v-8 engine.

    The 283-cid V-8 is one of Chevrolet’s most revered engines. This small-block engine has honored by a generation of car enthusiasts and collectors. It was essentially the existing 265 engine that had been bored out 1/8-inch (to 3.875 in.; stroke remained a short 3.00 in.). In Chevrolet passenger cars, the 283 delivered 185 bhp in base form, but the standard Corvette version with a four-barrel carburetor developed 220 bhp at 4800 rpm. Dual four-barrels took it to 245 and 270 bhp, and GM’s newly developed “Ramjet” fuel injection system yielded 250 or 283 bhp.

    The 1957 Corvette originally came with a one color paint job but for another $19.40 option you could get the bodyside coves finished in a contrasting color. The classic two-tone look and the curvaceous body styling, gave the 1957 Chevrolet Corvette its sexy desirability that still holds up forty years later.

    Maeda said, “When a collector owns a classic car like the Corvette that is worth thousands of dollars, rain spots and road dirt bring a shudder of disgust every time he has to clean it, but he still has take it out once in a while to enjoy it.”

    Maeda also owns a 1957 Chevy with an LT1 engine in it and a C4 suspension, a 1955 Chevy Bel Air with a body-off restoration and a 350 engine, a 1964 Chevy II Super Sport two door hardtop, a 1931 Model A Ford that will be featured on a later date.

    Maeda said anyone who would like to share their classic auto can find out more information by calling club president Richard Aki at 482-0688 or Harvey Maeda at 651-2813 or via e-mail at harveyskoi@juno.com

    The Kaua‘i Classic Cars meet at Wal-Mart on the last Sunday of every month.

    Watch the short video of this classic Corvette at thegardenisland.com

    • Leo DuBois, contributor, can be reached via news editor Nathan Eagle at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or via e-mail at neagle@kauaipubco.com
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    I spent about two weeks there and it's one of my favorite spots in the world.

    But .... Oh my freakin Gawd! That guy is a criminal. A car like my C-5 that is common as a cow flop ... fine ... but ... makes me want to scream, rant, cry or throw stuff!



    That salt air is going to chew up every metal component of that sweet ride ... and it don't take long in the islands!

    I lived on Guam for a couple of years .... that is a death sentence for that car!

    Sorry, it's his car, his money .... and I should MYOB I guess but, but, but ...

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