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Larry Reed’s ’62 Convertible

In Some Ways It’s Just Like Any Other Pristine Corvette

Ronnie Hartman Jun 1, 2000

Step By Step

It’s the typical story. Always wanted a Corvette. Had one, but then came the wedding, and mortgages and babies and college tuition bills. First things first. But then, inevitably, the last kid graduates. The wife agrees. The dream is fulfilled.

In a nutshell, that’s Larry Reed’s story. This soft-spoken insurance man from West Virginia finally recaptured his dream in this ’62.

This is the first Corvette Larry’s been able to hang onto. He’d owned a ’61 briefly, but he got married in 1962 and, as he puts it, “The wedding bells were louder than that Corvette could roar.” Larry realized he couldn’t grow a business and a family, and at the same time properly care for his Corvette. He made the supreme sacrifice.

His wife, Karen, knows how long that dream was on the back burner and has encouraged the love affair as it’s developed since Larry bought the car in July 1993. That was just two weeks after his youngest offspring graduated from college. At first, he thought of the car as a driver, but before he’d put much mileage on it, he got bitten by the NCRS bug and began collecting awards.

Larry’s pride and joy has evolved into the sort of Corvette that evokes an involuntary double take as you pass—even when it’s sitting in a sea of Corvettes. That’s where it was when we happened upon it at the NCRS Winter Meet in Florida this past January. A very impressive collection of perfect Corvettes was assembled at this event. It’s no exaggeration to say that strolling through the judging area was like a mosey through Tiffany’s. One jewel after another.

Still, this one leapt out, testimony to its exceptional nature. What was it? The perfect Roman Red paint? The painstaking restoration that made it look like it just rolled off the line? The fact that it did some time as a driver? It’s all those things, but something more. This little honey has attitude.

While in some ways it’s just like any other pristine ’62, it actually radiates personality. You can see the tender loving care that Larry’s put into it. As grand as this car is, though, it’s equally impressive that Larry and “some of his Corvette friends,” as he calls them, did all the work to bring her to the shape she’s in. And remember, Larry doesn’t own a resto shop. He’s into insurance.

He’s spent the last seven years perfecting this car. This July, he’ll go for a Duntov Award in Bowling Green. What next? Back to the beginning. He wants a driver. “Maybe a ’63 split-window,” he says. Yeah. One with a lot of attitude.

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