Little white Corvette a fitting tribute

By Mike Berry
The Wichita Eagle

Rick Mast knows his late mother would be the biggest fan of this beautiful 1961 Corvette
that he and his brother bought less than two years ago. She had ridden in a brand new
white '61 Vette as a young woman and never forgot the experience. “I've always thought
this car was a tribute to our mom,” Mast says. Mike Berry/ The Wichita Eagle

DERBY, KS — Sometimes, a car just speaks to you. That’s the way it was the first time Rick Mast spotted the Ermine White 1961 Corvette at the Devlin-Starbird custom car show a couple of years ago.

“I just kept going back to it,” he recalled. “I told my brother, `I think I want this car,’ He said, `But we’ve already got four Corvettes and there’s no more room in the garage.’”

Rick Mast figured they could sell one or two of them to make room for this one. There was just something about the all-white roadster. His brother, Russ, knew what the attraction was.

“Our mom had talked about getting a ride in a brand new, white ’61 Corvette when she was young,” he said. “She said, `Now that’s a real car,’” he recalled.

This particular Corvette had languished for some time in a barn in Nebraska and then apparently wound up in Lawrence, where it was restored by Mike Maples, another auto enthusiast, beginning in 1997. At least that’s according to a note on an index card that came with the Corvette when the Mast brothers finally bought it from Fred Shanks in Derby.

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