Norm S' Story about his '95 Torch Red Corvette Coupe
I found my recent Corvette, a 1995 Torch Red Coupe, on Craigslist a few months ago. It was located out in James Creek, PA, which is about 250 miles due west of central New Jersey. I contacted the owner, asked for a few more pictures of the car (inside, front, back, engine compartment, undercarriage, etc.) and received the pictures within a few days. After reviewing the pictures and running a Carfax on it which came back “clean”, I decided to take a ride with my girlfriend and go see the car in-person.
We made a two day “vacation” out of the trip, leaving New Jersey on a Sunday afternoon. Most of the ride out to James Creek was highway driving, so no big deal. However, once we got off the highways, we found ourselves on back roads winding through the PA mountains and back-country, and passing though rural communities. In fact I am sure that some of the houses we were passing had “stills” in the front yard. My GPS had trouble locating the roads we were on, and of course I had no cell phone service either. After getting lost for about 2 hours, and having to back track a bit, we finally got into James Creek and located the Corvette.
The car’s current owner, Joe, met us and I immediately started looking the car over. To be honest, the car looks much better in person than the pictures showed. While speaking with Joe, I discovered that the car has been sitting in his garage for two years, untouched, due to health issues he has developed. It was still bearing its 2014 PA inspection sticker, but it had no plates on it. Joe put a set of expired PA plates on the car and we took it out for a drive – illegally and with no insurance. During the time we had it out I discovered the car needed some engine work, and a few other things. But the cars condition far outweighed the mechanicals that need attention. After a bit more looking at the car, and asking a lot of questions of Joe, we were finally able to settle on a price, and I made the purchase.
Now, because this was an out of State car purchase, I realized I needed to get the PA title to the Corvette notarized. So Joe, me and my girlfriend piled into my SUV and we headed over to the next “town” where there was a used car dealer that was also a PA notary. That was an hour drive – each way. We arrived at the used car dealership, walked into a showroom that was about the size of a three-car garage, and my mouth instantly dropped to the floor. Sitting in the showroom were FIVE perfectly restored Corvettes. Along the far opposite wall facing me were three C2’s (light blue, sliver gray and a white one), and angled into the side of the showroom where we entered were two C3’s (a torch red convertible, and a dark blue, flat back window big block coupe with chrome side pipes on it). In a corner at the front of the showroom were two rather large gentleman reading newspapers, and a small picnic table. On the table was a large steak, all the “fixin’s” and bottles of beer. I was offered some food but politely refused. I later found out that these guys were “regulars” there and do this nearly every day. In the back of the showroom was a walk-up window that was part of an office where a “very short, little old lady with white hair and coke-bottle glasses” (literally) was doing paperwork for a customer that had arrived just ahead of us. I was told “she” was both the local DMV and the notary we needed to see. And at the speed she was working we were definitely in for a bit of a wait. So while we waited, I had a chance to look over these five Corvettes very closely nearly drooling on each one - all the while praying nothing bad was going to happen to the woman we needed to see. About 45 minutes after we arrived, we were finally able to get Corvette’s title notarized, and then headed back to Joe’s house.
I told Joe I was going to have the car transported back to New Jersey in a few days. So we put the Corvette back into Joe’s garage, and my girlfriend and I headed for home, notarized title in hand. The next day I contacted a local transporter located in New Brunswick and made arrangements for him to go get the Corvette and bring it here. He has an open trailer and it rained the day he was supposed to go get the Corvette, so we waited two days for the weather to clear and the roads to dry. But finally he was able to go and get the Corvette and delivered it right into my driveway.
The “new” Corvette went right into my garage alongside my 1999 Corvette. It took a few days to get it titled and insured, but I have had it out now several times, and it gets all the usual “looks”, “wows”, “tell me about it” and “what did you pay for it” questions you’d expect. And when I tell people what I paid for it, everyone to a person tells me I stole the car. And recently just for fun, I entered it into a judged local car show put on by the Hollywood Night Cruisers, and just like that it won its first trophy. And there were six other Corvettes in the show as well, but mine got a trophy. I will be taking it down to Platt’s Performance Plus in a few weeks to have the mechanicals fixed that need attention, which should result in a near perfect summer cruiser.