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Corvette – My Labor Of Love

Date: 3 July 2019
Author: Allan Cornia

It’s a labor of Love

“Intelligence is the ability to break down the problem to its simplest element.”

Apple tree mechanics, gear heads, car enthusiast…what ever you want to call them, it’s a Labor of Love.  Restoring a Classic Car is satisfying, gives that feeling of accomplishment and a sense of Pride.

Starting a Project car, or just maintaining your daily driver can be very intimidating.  Get yourself reference manuals – Specific Year Assembly Manual, Specific Repairs Manuals – and understand the problem and process.  And buy a 6 pack, or more, of patience.

Currently restoring my brothers’ 1972 Corvette. He had this Corvette since 1976.  He couldn’t maintain it for several years.  It had many electrical, vacuum and mechanical issues from age.  Tackling automotive electrical issues is intimidating.  After spending weeks of trying to trace electrical shorts, it was easier to ‘blow it up’ and start fresh. As a Design Architect for over 45 years, I learned that putting a ‘band aid’ on doesn’t really correct the problem…it just postpones the inevitable. Sure, it may take a little longer, but you don’t have to correct the problem 2, 5, or even 10 years down the road. ‘You can do it right the first time. Or waste time doing it right the second time”.    

I have owned C1, C2, and C3 Corvettes for 46 years and never regretting a day.  My daily driver is my 1975 Corvette for over 42 years.  Monthly maintenance a couple engine rebuilds has been “A Labor of Love”.

For me, restoring a Classic Corvette is meditation. There is a peace of mind, accomplishment, Pride when you are driving, and people acknowledging your achievement.

My son grew up and learned how to drive in my ’75 Corvette. He ‘caught the Corvette Bug’ from watching me and helping me work on them before he was able to drive.

I had a 1981 Corvette 4 speed that he got for his 16th birthday on the premise he would maintain and treat it right. He still has it after 20 years and an engine rebuild.  He learned early on that his accomplishments and Sense of Pride from maintaining ‘his’ Corvette was priceless.  He now has the sense of Pride by passing the ’81 down to his son.

We found a 1971 454 c.i. ‘barn Corvette’. He wanted to get it and restore it. We spent almost two years and a lot of weekends.  He discovered that satisfaction, that feeling of accomplishment and a sense of Pride.

Restoring a Classic Corvette, for us, goes far beyond the Car.  It is the Pride of a Family Tradition being handed down through 3 generations.


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