It only has two seats, there isn’t much of a trunk, and its body is made out of fiberglass instead of metal.
But the Chevrolet Corvette, called America’s only true sports car by some, has inspired the dreams of young (and old) men for decades.
Recently, an ad appeared in the Buckeye seeking the owner of a 1967 Corvette coupe that was sold new at Christy Motor Sales.
The ad was placed by Bill Gould of Auto Ancestry, a company based in Plymouth, Mass.
Gould’s company specializes in researching the history of cars, particularly Corvettes.
While Corvettes always have been expensive, some have now become highly desirable collector cars.
In some cases, ‘Vettes have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Because of federal privacy laws, Gould can’t simply call the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get a list of past owners of a car.
Instead, he will use a variety of techniques, such as placing ads in local newspapers.
A retired owner of a jewelry manufacturing business, Gould said he’s always been interested in Corvettes.
He researches the histories of about 150 cars a year, he said.
With Corvettes, cars with certain options are much more valuable than others.
For example, a 1967 car that was shipped from the factory with a 435-horsepower engine is more valuable than one that came with a 390-hp engine.
Gould said the difference could be $40,000.
He said the 435 horsepower cars, equipped with three two-barrel carburetors, are the “Holy Grails” of the Corvette world.
Disreputable sellers can try to pass off an original 390 hp car as a 435 hp model by changing a few parts.
In some cases, they will actually grind identifying numbers off original parts and forge new ones.
In the case of the Corvette originally sold in Archbold, Gould’s ad led him to the original owner, who asked not to be identified.
A Florida resident for 20 years, the man said he was in Archbold in June, and saw the ad– so he called Gould.
“That car made me more famous than anything I’ve ever done,” the original owner said.
He said he ordered the car from the factory in what Chevrolet called “Marlboro red” with a “saddle” interior.
He ordered it with a fourspeaker AM-FM radio, and rally wheels.
The man, who said he always wanted a Corvette, ordered the car with the 390 hp, 427 cubic-inch engine. It had a single four-barrel carburetor and hydraulic (valve) lifters.
He and his wife were coming back from a visit to an area lake when the engine developed a tick.
He took it back to Christy’s, where Chevrolet me- chanics rebuilt much of the power plant.
“They blueprinted the engine,” he said.
Blueprinting is the process of going through an engine to make sure all components are within very specific tolerances.
The process can increase an engine’s output.
The man remembers the late Eddie Huffman, Archbold, was the service manager at Christy Motors.
Eddie’s son, John, is a veteran kart racer.
“When Johnny Huffman was seven or eight years old, he went for a ride in that car. That might have gotten him started,” the original owner said.
After two years, the man said the two-seater “wasn’t the car my wife wanted.”
With children in their future, he traded the Corvette to someone from Defiance.
“The kid had a ‘67 Impala (a Chevrolet full-size passenger car) SS (Super Sport, a high-performance option package). I traded him for that and some cash,” he said.
Gould said he placed an ad in the Defiance Crescent- News, and located the second owner, who sold the car in 1971.
Gould found the Archbold Corvette in 1990, when it went to Ontario, Canada.
In 1995, a car dealer in Ohio purchased it from an Ontario man, and the ‘Vette was back in the Buckeye state.
In 2008, it was shipped to Australia.
There are quite a few Corvettes down under, he said.
The original owner remembers the Corvette well, even 44 years after he sold it.
“It was super fast,” he said.