Corvette C3 One of One

 

How many times have you heard 'Oh, my uncle had one with the rare xxxxxx option'?  We have all heard those stories but never seen any documentation to authenticate it.  In 1968 one Corvette Convertible came off the assembly line with paint code 001 - Special Primer.  It also appears that this car may have sit on the assembly line over the Christmas holiday break as it went into production on December 12, 1967 and came off the line on January 2, 1968.  The car has since been painted white.  This is the story as told to the present owner by the original owner.

Present owner: In the 60's when muscle cars were heard rumbling on every street corner, the most important thing about your car was the beast under the hood. The fact that one car out of thousands that came off the assembly line could be a rare, one of a kind car that had no twin was only heard of but never seen.

Because of its rarity it's hard to believe that one family would be responsible for two of the most iconic cars ever produced. Both cars are one of a kind, special order, special paint and specs purchased from the same car dealer by the same family in 1967 and then again in 1968. Now over 50 years later here is the story of those two special cars told to me by the original owner.

Original owner: It started early in the summer of 1964 in Scotsdale Arizona. Scotsdale was just the northeast edge of Phoenix at that time. It had an old west themed downtown, a few fancy shops and 4-way stop signs at most corners. You didn't need a billion dollars to live there.

My buddy Paul and I had just graduated from high school. Paul had a 1960 Corvette (283, dual 4-barrels, 4 speed, 4.11 positraction rear end, red and white with a removable hardtop) that he had for a year or two. He was headed to college in LA and wanted a bigger car. I really wanted his car, so I talked my father, Leo, into buying it. It wasn't a hard sell. Leo's terms to me were that Leo would drive the car for a year and give it to me after I finished my freshman year.

I took the '60 Vette to school in the fall of 1965. By the summer of 1966, Leo was feeling the effects of a year without a Corvette and proposed doing it again. He would buy a new '67, drive it for 18 months, and give it to me after I graduated in 1968. I'd give him the '60 in exchange.

I had fallen in love with a picture of a 1966 Corvette in a Chevy brochure. It was a light green convertible with light tan interior parked under a leafy tree. We went to the dealer (Brown and Hoeye Chevrolet in Mesa, AZ) where I was seriously disappointed to find that the color (Mosport Green) had been discontinued for 1967. Leo managed to talk the dealer into making it happen (he was good at this). It also had a non-standard wide-ratio 4-speed with a 4-11 posi differential. I cannot recall why I or maybe both of us, wanted this but it sure knocked you back in your seat in first gear. The car was delivered late in 1966 after I was already away at school. I drove it when I was home for Christmas break and again during the following summer.

Sometime during the summer of 1967 the '67 was stolen from the street in front of the apartment where Paul lived with his mother. It was eventually recovered out in the desert north of town with enough striped that the insurance company declared it a total loss. So we did it again, which resulted in the 1968 Vette that you have now. This time the factory couldn't (or wouldn't) do Mosport Green paint, but agreed to ship it in primer with a Saddle interior (discontinued for 1968). The paint job was done by the dealer (Brown and Hoeye) who couldn't do the color either. Looking at paint charts now, I think it might have ended up Ash Gold Metallic. The other options were standard stuff like 327/350 engine, headrests, shoulder belts, a/c 4.11 postraction rear end, tinted windows, power steering and brakes, telescoping steering column, am/fm stereo radio. The car was registered in Arizona early in 1968. We moved to California (SF Bay area) in Sept. 1968 and registered the car there. The original plate number was YJC-142 or YJK-143. I owned the car until I sold it to Ken Loveland in 1979.

   

In January 2013 I was amazed to get a phone call from a fellow in Detroit asking about my old Corvette. I assumed he was asking about the '68, but no, it was the '67. Someone had acquired it from the insurance company and it eventually made its way to him. Reviewing the emails last week gave me the color name. I searched the web for pictures of Mosport Green Corvettes and was even more amazed to find my old car for sale.

It's just like it was when I had it except for the addition of a removable hardtop and side exhausts. From the description of the car I learned the name of the dealer and about the COPO (Central Office Production Ordered) program. Both the '67 and '68 came through that program.