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If you were a young boy in the late 1970s in my neighborhood, you collected baseball cards and played with Hot Wheels cars. We were 8 years old in 1979, and that’s what my friends and I did.
The baseball cards spilled over to our neighborhood games of baseball, or in many cases an altered version played with a tennis ball to avoid breaking neighborhood windows. We pretended to be the players we saw on our cards, the ones we thought we had to have.
When it came to playing with Hot Wheels, the miniature cars that zipped down the long sections of the orange racetrack we assembled in the house of whoever hosted that day’s races, things were much the same as with the baseball cards. We all wanted to play with the cars we would pick if we could have any one we wanted in real life. Some of my friends chose the odd vehicles with the souped-up engines and funny body styles.
Somebody always chose the General Lee, the car from TV’s “Dukes of Hazard.” Not me. I always wanted a Czorvette. I was sure if I got that car, I would win any of the races we had that day. That wasn’t always the case, but it didn’t change my choice.
I knew a man in my hometown who owned a Corvette, and as a young boy, to see that car in town was a big thrill to me. It was black, and looked like it was going 100 miles an hour even when it was parked in his driveway. I always imagined having one just like it someday.
My son, who is 15 and will be driving in just over a year, shares my love of Corvettes after hearing me talk about them, and then recently taking a tour of the Corvette factory in Bowling Green. I’ve told him and my wife for the past few years that for his college graduation, I was going to get a present for myself, and that would be when I finally got my own Corvette.
Recently, I was at a high school basketball game when a friend of ours who owns a car dealership jokingly told my wife that he had a car for her boy. He was talking about our son, but when he told her it was a blue Corvette, she smiled and told him that car would be for her other boy, and pointed toward me.
I quickly started asking questions, and when I heard it was a 1979 with just over 80,000 miles on it, I was very interested. I could instantly see that car I had always admired when I was a kid.
From the moment I went to look at it, I was hooked. My plans had been to eventually buy a newer Corvette some day, but to find one that was the body style with which I had fallen in love made this opportunity even better, and it was one I couldn’t pass up.
I bought the car, and since have found myself joining multiple online forums to learn more about the C3 Corvette, which is the name given to Corvettes produced from 1968 to 1982. I’ve chatted with other Vette owners, and found out all kinds of interesting things.
Now, I’ll continue to work to take it from being in really nice condition to giving it that brand new look it had when it was made 33 years ago.
My dream of owning a car like the one I had admired for years has finally come true, and it’s even more special because mine was made around the same time I started to love Corvettes.