A Bit About Me - 1957 'Fuelie' Corvette
Everybody has a story, and every acquisition of a C1 has its story. Here's mine.
Born in St. Louis, grew up in the 50's in California where I was exposed to the greats of Rock n' Roll; Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry. What better way to spend your youth? However, I do remember nights with the radio turned down and I was enjoying Nate King Cole and the Platters, when the peace was interrupted by complaints related to the gear shift location? A complaint I never fully understood. I often toured the southern California beaches where I discovered the surfin’ sound of the Beach Boys and that memory remains within me today.
I am a well-maintained California based 1957 'Fuelie', repainted in 1995 after years of exposure to the California sun and subsequently featured in a Sotheby's auction (1997) with 26,000 miles showing on the speedometer. (Frankly, I do not know if those miles are accurate. I lost count sometime in the early '70s.) My next recollection is an auction in a very large facility on Lake Michigan in Chicago a year later.
During the dark hours in storage, I wondered where I might end up, experiencing very little love and having only traveled, on my own, 27 miles in those two years, I felt alone and unwanted…. Abandoned!
Who knows what tomorrow will bring? It has been said "Good often comes to those who wait!". It is what it is…
In February of 1999, I became aware of human traffic in and around my stable mates. Roman hands and Russian fingers touching our curves, opening doors and hoods, investigating our innermost parts without regard of our privacy or feelings.
We understood we were special. We were not jelly beans, ripe for the taking. We were proud C1s and worth the wait for a true enthusiast. We were all descendants of the original created by General Motors in 1953 and we were housed in Proteam's C1 pole barn in Ohio, approximately 40 of us, with birthdays from 1953 to 1962. There was a variety of colors, all were roadsters, and several had the optional removal hard top. The early years were easy to spot, mostly white, with an automatic transmissions and without roll-up windows.
However, Proteam was not interested in lookers or tire kickers, they were only interested in selling Corvettes and do not willingly encourage visitors. All visitors are greeted by a glass enclosed lobby with a pedestal mounted sign-in book. It is noted to sign in and identify what you were looking for. You then wait until you are greeted by "Follow me!". I am told that this is not the friendliest reception that any potential buyer ever received.
After touring my C1 pole barn, which is one of several pole barns each dedicated to specific models, and viewing several of the 'jelly beans' my potential buyer was asked "Are you here to buy, if not, you are wasting my time?" The potential buyer responded "That is not the question, the question is are you prepared to sell a C1?". The seller responded "No games! What are you interested in?"
The buyer, who had passed me several time without stopping, gave me a through look each time. This potential buyer had noted a beautiful silver blue '62, (not my favorite color!) but, was told, "It is sold!" He then spotted a red 1961, but the paint was just OK, not to his liking. Following the "No games!" response, the potential buyer turned and point to me, the only '57 in the bunch and said, "Let's talk about the 1957 'Fuelie'." Finally, the first real expression of interest; .an admirer; I was elated.
I could hardly keep from blowing my horn and I tried not to blush, but the Shoreline Beige cove gave me away. A two weeks later, I was off-loaded at 30120 Lincolnshire E, Beverly Hills, MI. Yes! Beverly Hills.
" AAAH!!, Beverly Hills, Home at Last!"