Keith Litavsky served fearlessly in Vietnam. His son Matt recalls his father’s last mission, “It was one that haunted him for the rest of his life. His entire unit, including his commanding officer, became engaged into a firefight. Unfortunately, the majority of his unit was lost. His commanding officer was shot so my dad carried him out of the firefight and he survived. Unfortunately, his commanding officer was killed in a helicopter crash.”
His father received two Purple Hearts for bravery under fire for his heroic actions in combat. During his tour of duty, Keith dreamed of buying a new Corvette when he was discharged from the military. He sent every paycheck home in order to save enough to purchase his Corvette. When he returned, he picked up his new 1967 Corvette at Jack Douglass Chevrolet in Hinsdale, Illinois, on December 23, 1966.
This was no ordinary Corvette; Keith loaded his Marina Blue coupe with the following:
427/435 L71 Tri-power engine
M21 close-ratio transmission
F41 special suspension
Keith treated his new Corvette like a newborn baby. He never drove it in the rain or parked it in the sun to prevent the paint from fading. He used a damp, soft cloth to clean the always-clean car. When he parked his Corvette in the garage he raised it on four carpeted jacks to remove the pressure from the tires and the springs. He kept meticulous records of his maintenance and logged how he used his Corvette. His logs included each time he started the Vette, how it ran and how many rpm the engine turned. He bought a second vehicle and instructed his wife and five children to not tell anyone about his Corvette. He was fearful that it would be stolen, which was common in that era.
Keith led a productive life until he contracted cancer. During his time in Vietnam he and his unit came into contact with the chemical Agent Orange, a known carcinogen. He died in 1993.
After his dad’s passing his son Matt trailered the Corvette to his home and put it on a lift in his climate controlled garage. He continued to maintain the Corvette the same way that his dad did to preserve his memory. Matt saved all the paperwork that was ever associated with this 8,533 original-mile survivor Corvette. This year he made a tough decision to part with this special Corvette. He believes the Corvette needs a new home, but admits that he and his family will miss this piece of his father’s legacy. Even when it’s gone, Matt’s memories of his dad and the Marina Blue Corvette will live on forever.
Photography by David Newhardt, Courtesy of Mecum Auctions