In 1960, I was 12 years old, living in a small town in the middle of Oklahoma. Yes, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. That was the year I first saw a Chevrolet Corvette. As I recall, it was a 1959 model sitting in a parking space outside the Citizens National Bank. It instantly became my Dream Car. What’s your dream car? Or, more importantly, why?
For those of us teenage boys not raised by a motorhead or shade-tree mechanic, we likely became obsessed because we saw it on television. After all, the Corvette was as much a star on the 1960-64 CBS Television series “Route 66” as primary actors Martin Milner, George Maharis. (Photo: CBS-Screen Gems)
Over the 116 episodes, Tod, Buzz (and later, Linc) cruised the highways and byways in search of work, adventure, and themselves. But it was the Chevrolet Corvette that starred in my dreams. Having first seen one up close, the television series connected my fascination with the styling and design of that ’59 model to the possible adventures behind the wheel.
Freedom Warranty Classic is the only Approved Vendor in its category to exhibit at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. Each year, I arrive a day early for a backstage preview of the show. I roam the aisles seeing what’s new on the floor. With my special access, I can closely examine the entries while they are detailed and made ready for the public. My first instinct is to find all of the Corvettes. I am never disappointed in the variety of ‘Vettes.
At the 2021 Scottsdale show, a 1959 Pro-Touring Corvette was on the block with “No Reserve.” The car had been upgraded with a 2020 Corvette LT1 direct-injected 6.2-liter V8 engine that puts out 460hp and 465 ft/lbs of torque paired with a 4L75E automatic transmission. It was love at first sight.
An Unmatched Gem
Sitting on a Art Morrison C7 independent front suspension, fully adjustable ride height, and Strange coilovers. The frame was powder-coated in a Cadillac Gray color. There were Wilwood brakes with C7 6-piston front calipers with 14-inch rotors and stainless-steel brake lines.
The EVOD one-off wheels were made to look like a modern original style with knockoff center nuts and shaved Nitto tires with added whitewalls for a custom look. It also had power rack & pinion steering, a Rick’s Stainless gas tank, Fragola Teflon fuel lines and fittings, GM wiring harness and factory-programmed computer, electric activated 3-position automatic hood, Dakota Digital gauges, and LED lighting throughout.
Customizing Your Dream
The all-original body was completely stripped with glass beads before being finished in PPG Franny Green and Global High Solids clear. The same attention to detail was performed on the bottom side of the car, which was painted with a black ceramic coating.
All body gaps were nice, body panels laser-straight, and the fit and finish were great. A new stereo made to look like the original 1959 Wonder Bar model with Bluetooth, JL amplifier, subwoofer and focal speakers added entertainment. The convertible top was completely restored, done in Chocolate Brown Stayfast material.
This custom ‘Vette sold with 150 miles on the build. That March of 2020 in Scottsdale, the owner collected his share of the $825,000 hammer price. Its final price was slightly over my budget of $45,000 on that trip.
Actualizing Your Dreams
After all these decades, I still dream of that ’59 Corvette I saw in front of the bank. Doubtlessly, my mind has greatly embellished the moment. But that’s fine. It’s a dream, after all. •
Dan Acree has been in the media for over 5 decades. He is a journalist, radio and podcast personality, and spent a decade as an entertainment industry public relations professional. He still puts his marketing skills to work for select clients. Away from work he is an aircraft enthusiast and aspirational pilot who years ago, decided his poor math skills would keep him out of the cockpit as a pilot.