• '63 Sting Ray fuels a man's Corvette craze
  • '63 Sting Ray fuels a man's Corvette craze
  • '63 Sting Ray fuels a man's Corvette craze
  • '63 Sting Ray fuels a man's Corvette craze

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  1. #1
    Site Administrator Rob's Avatar
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    Default '63 Sting Ray fuels a man's Corvette craze

    '63 Sting Ray fuels a man's Corvette craze

    Colin Brodie
    San Francisco Chronicle
    Sunday, May 10, 2009


    Colin Brodie and his wife, Ethel, live in Discovery Bay. They tour the world together, but equally enjoy their shorter trips around Northern California in their Corvette.

    It all began with the '60s television show "Route 66." The first of the four Corvettes that I have owned over the years was a tan 1958 convertible and cost the huge sum of $2,750. When I joined the Army, the Corvette was sold, but I had felt the thrill of the open road and was hooked! A brand-new '65 red two-top convertible arrived a few years later, but within a couple of years it also had to be sold - a sacrifice for marriage and children.

    Even during the years when I didn't have a 'Vette, I still looked longingly at them. I followed the changes in body style from the 1960s to the 1990s - I even had a '70 for a short time - but I wasn't thrilled, because none of the later Corvettes intrigued me like the early ones. When I remarried in the early '90s and told my wife about the love affair (of Corvettes), she patiently went along to car shows and put up with my admiring, drooling and daydreaming. Sometimes I would drive one, and the initial thrill would always return. I watched the Barrett-Jackson type auto auctions on TV and always imagined what it would be like to bid on one.

    There have been six generations of Corvette since the car was introduced in 1953, and fans have pretty strong opinions about which ones they love and hate. The original version, which was produced from 1953 to 1962, is the most prized by collectors and can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars in mint condition. But the 'Vette that has always spoken to me was the second version (also known as the Sting Ray) that was made from '63 to '67.

    Finally, my wife said "please get a Corvette and stop talking about wanting one! New, old, whatever - just buy one, please!" I agreed that it was time to get serious. It took over a year, but finally there was a 1963 Corvette advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle. The car was located in Medford, Ore., and I talked my friend Don, a Ford mechanic, into a road trip to check it out.

    It was the one I wanted - the body and paint were in great shape, it ran well, underneath was mainly new parts and it was a numbers-matching car! I bought it and had it trucked to our home in the Bay Area. With the help of my friend we began repairing or replacing some of the needed parts and generally having fun with the little things that either needed work or ones that I just wanted to tinker with. One thing about older cars is they are basic, not computerized, and can be worked on by a novice like myself.

    I thoroughly enjoy the time working on the car and have met many neighbors when the garage door is open and the car is visible. My wife says she always knows where to find me (I even bought a flat-screen TV for the garage, just "to keep the Corvette company.") We regularly take road trips, but most of our drives are one-day adventures or overnight trips, because the trunk size limits us to one small bag each. Whenever we park in a town or at a store, someone usually stops to admire and talk about the car.

    The thrill is back. I feel very fortunate to have fulfilled a dream and gone back to my youthful desire of owning a Corvette.

    -- For more My Ride columns, visit sfgate.com/cars.

    CARS is produced by the marketing department of The San Francisco Chronicle.
    Rob Loszewski, Owner & Site Administrator
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    "Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt." - Sun Tzu

    1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 , 350 Stock ZF 6-speed. Stock Bright Red

  2. #2
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    Default Passion for SW 63's

    For me - it all started with yellow Corgi Toys model of a 63 Coupe. It was a customised, engine hung-out thing with 'Lazy Bones' on the back. From then on there has been no other car. It's like an illness, and sadly all that can be done for it, is to buy one.

    Regards

    Emphatuated of England

  3. #3
    Member bwing's Avatar
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    Default

    For me it started in my senior year of high school, 1967. At the time, I was working at a gas station and was driving a '66 Mustang, hi-perf 289, w/ 4 sp. During a drive into Hayward a friend and I passed a used car lot and noticed a white/red '63 Corvette coupe parked in back. We stopped to look at it and before you know it I was driving it home to show my parents. Drove back to the lot with my parents and bought myself my first Corvette. Since then I've owned a '77 (which I sold), an '03 Z06 (which I still have), and my most recent purchase, a '66 Corvette coupe (white/red). I feel like a 17 yr old all over again. Thanks for letting me vent.

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