Most Original Unrestored 1960 Corvette May Be a Victim of Hoarding

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Have you ever sat down and actually watched a full episode of Hoarders on the TLC channel?  If you have, chances are, your jaw was hanging on the floor wondering how anyone could get that bad.  Now imagine, seeing a totally original, unrestored 1960 Corvette in a barn underneath a ton of garbage – the headlights and front grill only visible in the front.  That’s pretty much what happened to a 1960 Corvette in West Frankfort, Missouri.

This 1960 Corvette isn’t just any low mileage, original, unrestored Corvette, but in fact, has an incredible story to tell.

Gary Skinner, the current owner of this special Corvette told HotRod Magazine that Ed Graye, the original owner, ordered the car just the way he wanted it; equipped with a 283 fuel injected V8 and a 3-speed manual transmission instead of the 4-speed manual because he intended on drag racing the car.

After only two weeks of ownership, he realized that his Corvette only had 250 hp and he really wanted the 290 hp fuelie instead.  So what would any good Corvette owner do worth his salt?  Go back to the original dealer in Eldorado, Missouri and tried to get the upgraded engine installed.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Chevrolet couldn’t supply the 290 hp fuelie motor and the original owner wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

As a result, the dealer loaded Mr. Graye’s 1960 Corvette on a trailer and hauled it back to the St. Louis Corvette Assembly Plant.  The St. Louis Plant yanked the original 250 hp 283 out of the car and installed a 270 hp, dual-quad 283.  This engine swap also necessitated the installation of a new tachometer, a larger radiator and other items that would be required for this new engine.

Mr. Graye, happy with twenty more horsepower, drove the 1960 Corvette until 1968.  Something at that time that made Mr. Graye park the car in a shed.  Gary Skinner is totally sure what happened but relayed the following story to HotRod Magazine:

“He told me at 150 [mph] the left front tire went down and he almost flipped it. That was in 1968. He never drove it again,”

Fast forward to 1981/1982 and Graye was finally ready to let the car go.  His sister and son didn’t want it, so Gary Skinner – Graye’s next door neighbor, ended up with it.

For more information on this incredible Survivor Corvette, head on over to MSN Autos and check it out.  It’s an incredible piece of Corvette history!

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Rob Loszewski

Robert M. Loszewski is the Owner and Site Administrator of the Corvette Action Center; a quality-driven Corvette news and information web site that he started in 2000. Over the years, Loszewski has built the Corvette Action Center into one of the largest online repositories of Corvette information going all the way back to 1953.

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