Vettes in Glasstown 2009 and
a Wonderful 63 Corvette Coupe Surprise
by K. Scott Teeters
Beautiful Day for Vettes in Vineland, NJ
There’s an old saying about the weather in New Jersey. “If you can live in Jersey, you can live anywhere!” We can get 2-feet of snow in a snow storm with sub-zero temps in the Winter and 100-plus degrees temps with humidity in the Summer. This year, it’s been unusually mild with LOTS of rain. The week before the Vettes in Glasstown it was cool, cloudy, dank, and rainy. But as morning dawned on September 13, 2009, the sky cleared up and it turned out to be a stunningly beautiful, late Summer day here in the Garden State.
Sponsored by Corvettes Unlimited of Vineland, NJ Car Club
We had been to the Corvettes At Carlisle Show a few weeks before and as usual, the show was enormous, with sensory overload and almost too much to take in with just a one day visit. But we “suffered” through! LOL. The 30th Annual Vettes At Glasstown show was held in Wheaton Village in Millville NJ known for a long history of beautiful glassmaking crafts. It was sponsored by the Corvettes Unlimited Car Club of Vineland NJ and was a delightful little show that had a personal element of surprise for me.
“That’s Jonathan Settrella’s Corvette!”
As we were enjoying the cars and talking with owners, always on the lookout for a good story for Vette magazine, I noticed the front of a white ‘63 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe – ‘63 or ‘64. I wasn’t sure because I couldn’t see the back. But those mag wheels looked like a blast from the past. I said to my wife, Karen, “I think I know whose car that is.” When I saw that it was a Split-Window Coupe, I said, “That’s Jonathan Settrella’s Corvette!”
Scott and Jon go way back!
I met Jon back in ‘75 when I was showing some of my early car art at an art show that was held at the Moorestown Mall, in Moorestown, NJ. Jon had his collection of beautiful art pieces on display and as what usually happens to car people, he struck up a conversation with me about cars. Not only were we both artists, but we were also into Corvettes. In between our displays was a delightful gal named Paula who offered flower arrangements. We were all talking about cars – I had a ‘65 Corvette Coupe and Jon was telling be about his ‘63 Split-Window Coupe Custom. Then Paula said, “Well, I have a 56 Thunderbird!” We both looked at her and said together, “You do?” (She didn’t look like a car gal.) She said, “Oh yes, my husband bought it for me.“ One of us said, “Wow, you have a very nice husband.” She went on to explain that she used the car to haul around her flower arrangements to shows and that’it had dirt, flower petals, and leaves all over the interior and trunk. Now we were REALLY confused. One of us said, “You can’t put much in a T-Bird, how do you do that?” She said, “Oh, it has a HUGE back seat and big trunk.” I asked, “Are you sure it’s a ‘56 Thunderbird.” And she replied, “Oh, I’m sorry, it’s a ‘66 Thunderbird!”
Jonathan STILL had his beautiful white, customized Corvette
We all had a good laugh and Jon and I got to be friends. But as they say, “Life got in the way” and as the years rolled by, I lost touch with Jon. So I was totally floored when I realized that Jonathan STILL had his beautiful white, customized Corvette. When we finally got to talk and reconnect, I told him how good it was to see that he still had the Corvette. Then he told me, “Oh no, I sold that car quite a while ago. This is a replica! Yeah, I missed my ‘63 so much a few years ago, I decided to build another ‘63 Coupe and make it just like my original one.” WOW! I was double floored! Because he had taken lots of pictures and he vividly remembered what he’d done on the first car, he didn’t have much trouble making a replica.
He didn’t have much trouble making a replica
Jonathan then shared with me the story of how he sold the original car and how he REGRETTED it as soon as the car left his house! (“WHAT was I THINKING?!”) I have heard that same story SO many times. I asked how he found the ‘60-style mags and he said, “eBay!” And what I thought were classic Stromberg carbs turned out to be specially modified Holley carbs made to look like Strombergs. As I looked at the car and took in the details it was like looking at an old issue of Hot Rod or Car Craft Magazine from the mid-’60s. Being a child of the ‘50s, Jonathan turned his artistic eye and attention to detail to a near basket-case ‘63 Corvette Coupe and turned it into a show car-winning beauty.
Although you can’t say that he’s got his custom ‘63 Split-Window Coupe “back” because he never heard from the young man that bought the car way back when. Instead, he’s got a better custom ‘63 Split-Window Coupe. How cool is that?
Best of Show for Jonathan and 63 Coupe at Glasstown 09
We had to leave the show early so we did not know who won Best in Show. Wouldn’t you know a few days later we learned that Jonathan’s car won “Best in Show.” Congrats and three cheers for Mr. Settrella!
We had a terrific time at the Vettes in Glasstown show. How can you go wrong with dozens and dozens of beautiful Corvettes and reconnecting with an old car/art buddy? You can’t! – K. Scott Teeters
PS – Jonathan Settrella’s ‘63 Corvette Split-Window Coupe Custom will be appearing in VETTE Magazine some time in 2010.
Here is a Photo Gallery of some of the other
great Corvettes at Glasstown:
Save the Wave!
K. Scott Teeters