1979 Corvette Rescue

In 1997, one of my best friends invited me to his house after school. We were in 9th grade and he lived alone with his mom in a high-rise building that had an underground garage.

He asked me if I wanted to see something cool and of course, I agreed.  

We proceeded down to the garage where he removed a dirty car cover to reveal a vintage Corvette. It belonged to his mother.  All I can remember was that he said it was his mother's first car that she'd bought brand new back in the Seventies. 

The Vette was very dusty and hadn't been driven in years.  It just sat there.  At that time, I didn't know exactly what year or model it was.  All I knew was that it was an old Corvette.

Off and on we would go over to his place with our BMX bikes to hang out and I'd see the car over the years just sitting there.

Four years later, I graduated high school in June of 2001, joined the U.S. Army in August 2001, and then got stationed in Germany in January 2002.  

After seven and a half years of Active Duty Service, one Tour to Kosovo, and two Tours in Iraq, my time in the Army came to an end in June of 2009 and I decided to move back home to New York for a while. 

Over the years, I would always ask my buddy what was the situation with the Vette. He would say that it was still there sitting in a garage or at a repair shop collecting dust, etc.  

No one was really taking care of it or wanted anything to do with it.

Unfortunately, his mom passed away two years ago and since I was the only one who had shown interest in the Vette, my buddy saw it fit that I would become the next owner and sold the Corvette to me. 

It's turned out to be a one-owner, matching numbers,1979 C3 Corvette, 27K miles on the clock, base model, small block 350 c.i., automatic transmission, manual windows, a.c., and white leather interior.

Since it has been sitting so long outside in the elements, last year September I flew from Germany, where I reside, to New York, to prepare it to have it shipped to me. 

So, I jumped online and caught up on a few "how to" videos about the 350 engine, all generations of Corvettes, the know-how, what to do, what to look for, etc. 

Once I finally made it to New York, all I had to do was get a new battery and add fresh premium gasoline, and she fired up after three tries. Brake fluid was zero, coolant was full, exhaust was rotten and the tires had massive flat spots from sitting for almost a decade. The last year it was registered was 1994!

So, I wobbled her down the hill to my local mechanic and he said it didn't look too bad. Eight days of turning wrenches and lots of knowledge and experience later, she was pretty close to good as new.

However, I could not ship the car then due to the short time frame window I had while visiting the States at that time. She still does need a lot of TLC, however, the surface blemishes and what's on the rest of the to-do list will be taken care of later.  

The next step is for me to fly back to New York for two weeks in April 2024 and drive the Corvette around for a bit, just to get all the moving parts rolling and in operable condition. This way, I will have less stress with the "drive on/drive off" auto-shipping process.

Once I have the car here with me in Germany, I plan to restore it. The weather in Europe is not the greatest and whenever I finally move back Stateside or to the Caribbean, or wherever life takes me, the car comes with me. I have no intention of selling it.

I am sharing this story to let you know that I love your YouTube channel, love what you do with your cars, and thank you for spreading the knowledge. We have similar passions for these types of cars so I added a few pics so you can see what she looks like.

Raymond Whilby