When a man named Lee dropped by the Advance Auto Parts store in Macon, Georgia, to buy a fuel pump for a 1967 Corvette convertible, Jared Howard, who worked the counter, got very interested.
Howard became a whole lot more interested when he found out the old Vette was a 390-horse 427 with a four-speed that Lee’s father, Eugene, bought in 1971 and parked outside since the early 1980s at his home in Savannah. He cranked it every once in a while until the early ’90s, but didn’t register or drive the old car.
“My dad had always wanted a 1967 Vette. It’s just like his bucket-list car,” Jared said.
So Jared asked Lee if the car was for sale. Lee was trying to fix up the Vette. He did not want to sell. Lee came in the parts store about once a month. And every month Jared would ask the same question and get the same answer. The Vette wasn’t for sale.
“On the eighth month he came in and finally opened up and told me the Vette was his dad’s car, and when he was a kid he would ride in it with his dad, and etcetera.”
Jared got the idea he might buy the car because Lee’s father’s health was failing. That’s why they had moved the car from Savannah to Macon. Jared wondered why the car just sat month after month in the same spot with the same cobwebs.
Jared got the idea he should go over and look at the car when Lee told him a friend had tried to buy the Vette. The friend’s offer was laughable at $800. But, Lee did mention he “wasn’t doing anything” with the car. Jared thought maybe he could buy it at the right price.
Jared offered to come out and look at the Vette and see what it needed to get it running. Lee was going out of town, but would give Jared a call the next week when he got back from his trip.
Lee called on a Tuesday and Jared set up an appointment for the following day. The car was in Lee’s backyard under a “small shed with a little canopy on the front.”
When Jared saw the Vette, he could hardly contain his excitement. He just wanted to smile, but he kept his poker face. But, the sight was “just so unbelievable.”
“I never saw the car when it was at his dad’s house. But, all he did was simply transport it to his place and put it in his son’s backyard. He never washed it, never did anything to it. So it still had the same dirt from when it was at his dad’s house.”
Jared noted “stuff piled” around the car and chickens roaming about. The top was with the car, but not installed, which explains the soiled interior.
Jared told Lee he was probably looking at “$5,000 to $6,000 to get the car up and running.”
Jared figured that Lee, in his mid-40s with a big family and a “nice house,” probably did not have the time or know-how to get the car going. This time, Lee said he would “consider” selling the old Vette. Jared was ready. He pulled out a big wad of cash his father had withdrawn from the bank.
“He almost took it. I mean he was eyeballing it. But, he said he would have to talk to his wife and she was not home.”
Lee did agree to give Jared an answer in the morning. The next day at the auto parts store, Jared was “sweating bullets,” waiting for his call.
“He never called. So, at 11:00 o’clock I called him and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on, man? Do you want to sell the car?’ That’s when he backed out. So I said, ‘Well, let me ask you this. Is money the problem? If so, give me a number and I’ll see if I can work with it.”
Lee had made some calls and had a much higher figure in his head for the 1967. Jared does not want to disclose the price, but the car was still very reasonable, and since this Vette was on his father’s bucket list, he negotiated a price.
“We brought it home in June of 2016, and started working on it, ordered parts, put on new brakes, new wheels and tires, got the motor tuned up and started driving the car,” Jared said.
On August 5, 2016, Jared and his father took the Vette to its first car show.
No Title For This 1967
Jared did not receive a title with this 1967 Corvette, which would be a major problem in most states. However, in the state of Georgia, Jared said, “We don’t have to have titles for the old vehicles. We do a “Bill of Sale.” He had the tag receipts for this car, and we just took them down to the tag office with an official Bill of Sale. What happens is the sheriff comes out and inspects the VIN. They read it back and make sure it’s not stolen. And once that happens, you just take that form that the police fill out up to the DMV and they issue you your tag and your tag receipt. So that’s how it works in Georgia. We’re one of the fortunate states that don’t have to have titles.”