Barn Find Corvettes
Michael Prince could hardly contain his excitement. He’d heard stories of his father’s ’59 fuel-injected Corvette all his life, and now he was the winning bidder for the car, walled up inside a barn for 44 years. As Prince stated, “I had to chain saw trees that were 16 inches in diameter.” Then, once inside the barn, Prince had to tear down wooden walls the owner had placed around the ’59 Vette to keep lookie-loos away from his treasure.
But, the story gets even stranger. For most of his life Michael Prince actually knew the owner, Carroll Johnson. “There was a period of time of about three years, from 2004 to 2007, when I saw him almost every work day.” The two worked for Prince’s uncle. Many times, Prince would ask if he could take a look at it or if he’d be willing to sell it. Continue reading
You remember the first time you saw a Vette and said to yourself, “What’s that?!” Sure you do!
Let’s hear your “First Time” Corvette story. Use the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of this post.
There’s a first time for everything, right. Do you remember the first time you became aware of a Corvette? I’ll be you do, I certainly do. Although it was a very long time ago, I never forgot it. Here’s what happened.
It was the mid-’60s and like most boys, I was into building plastic models. There was something magical about seeing those kit boxes wrapped in plastic with artwork of the models, photos, and all kinds of interesting information, most of which I didn’t have a clue about. I built all kinds of models, as I wasn’t into anything specific, just the experience of building a model kit. I built ships, airplanes, boats, rockets, monsters, Rat Finks, and a few cars.
And opening the box was a real kick to. You break open the plastic, carefully take the lid off and inside was all this interesting stuff! Military models often had mostly silver-gray parts on trees, or sprues. Model cars were usually white and there was always one sprue tree that was bright chrome (vacmetalizing was just a total mystery to us kids), one was clear plastic, usually for the glass and headlights, and a clear red sprue for the taillights. Plus a decal sheet and an instruction sheet with wonderful exploded isometric technical illustrations that showed you how to build your model. It was all a delightful kid’s experience. But I wasn’t really into the car thing, just yet. Continue reading
A rare Silva short-tail Maco Shark goes from orphan barn find to show car beauty!
Every year the Corvettes at Carlisle show has a theme. The theme for the 2011 Chip’s Choice Display was “Barn Finds.” Who doesn’t love an old barn find story? It’s a topic that cuts across all car interests. Today, barn finds have become a special interest category of its own. It seems that barn finds have sifted out into two groups. First there are the cars that look like they were just taken out of the barn – dirt and everything. What was once decades of dirt, blistered paint, animal droppings, sticks, and twigs has now become “patina.” And second are the cars that a normal human would have let rot back into the earth, only to have been beautifully and lovingly restored back to running and sometimes show car condition. For these cars, the “before and after” photos are a lot of fun. “You started with THAT?” Is a common comment.
Here at CorvetteReport.com and BaldwinMotionReport.com we’re a little partial to not only Baldwin Motion Phase III Supercars, but also the Motion Maco and Silva Maco Shark Corvettes. Unfortunately, there are probably more barn find-type Macos than there are finished and running Macos. it’s just part of the nature of kit cars. While Motion offered turn-key Macos, Motion and Silva also sold the body kits. As is the case with all kit cars, about 80-percent of the kits are never finished. What usually stops project kit cars are electrical systems.
While any barn find car being nursed back to health can be a daunting task, a kit car barn find is definitely a few notches up on the difficulty scale. That’s what makes Rick Walker’s 1976 short-tail Maco Shark so interesting. Like a typical barn find car, the Maco had been left out in the elements (in this case, the blistering Florida sun) and had been through several floods, such that the radiator had about 6-inches of sand inside the core, as well as sand packed into the frame and suspension. Although the primer and paint was in bad shape, the fiberglass was unmolested. At one point, the city of Sarasota declared the derelict Vette an eyesore and required the owner to erect a stockade fence so the neighbors wouldn’t have to look at the hideous sight. (that is, from THEIR perspective!)
After three years of work and unspecified expense, (Walker did all the work himself) the Silva short-tail Maco Shark Corvette is now a street machine/show car! All Maco Corvettes are technically “kit cars,” so they are all different,.Walker’s Maco maintains the classic Bill Mitchell “Shark” blue with faded light gray, simulated shark coloring and the unique nose vents. “Custom” touches include Continue reading