John & Gerry Vidas' '60 Convertible

They Drive This Cherry Corvette Every Day With Gusto!

Ronnie Hartman Jul 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

Twenty-three years ago, John and Gerry Vidas fell in love with a maroon ’64 convertible. It was followed by a yellow ’73 L82 and a white ’66 coupe. They just couldn’t get enough. When they left their Orland Park, Illinois, home and their friends in the Golden Glass Vette Club to relocate to Venice, Florida, they thought they could live a Corvette-less life and sold the ’73 and the ’66. Of course, they were wrong—the Fever is a lifelong condition, and they soon found themselves driving around Florida in an ’86 Indy Pace Car convertible.

John resigned himself to the addiction, and gave in to his craving for more. He wanted a straight-axle, and he and Gerry made the trek to Bloomington Gold each year, on the hunt. Finally, five years ago they found it, this “COOL 60,” which is the name it sports on its Florida license plate. It was the 729th of 10,261 built that year, but one of only 635 to wear Tasco Turquoise paint. More significantly, only 383 of those had white coves.

In 1991 John, a retired mechanic, decided to give it a body-off restoration, and it came off the road for four years. Because John firmly believes Corvettes were built to be driven—rain or shine—he needed to replace all the running gear and various other parts. The restoration is complete, and this oldie is now John’s only car.

The Vidases missed the company of other enthusiasts, so they joined the Skyway Corvette Club in Sarasota/Bradenton. They’re now getting their fix with full participation in rallies, car shows, and cruise-ins.

John tells a story of how he and Gerry were tooling down the Interstate one day when another driver pulled up alongside at 70 mph and yelled to them that he wanted to take pictures of their car. They watched in horror and fascination as the man proceeded to whip out a camera and shoot a roll of film while keeping pace with them.

That may be an extreme case of admiration, but it isn’t infrequently that total strangers give him a thumbs-up on the road. John expects to be enjoying this ride for a long time to come but, with the passion of a rabid enthusiast, is currently searching for another Corvette to keep it company in the garage.

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