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1969 Corvette

Jerry Clark Shows Us That Being Blind Doesn't Mean You Can't Restore A Corvette

Tom Rounds Feb 1, 2000

Step By Step

After becoming legally blind 15 years ago, Jerry Clark thought his days in the Corvette hobby were over. For years, Jerry has owned and restored 17 different Corvettes, starting with his first in 1972, a ´68 427 435hp. The last Corvette he owned was an ´85 that he purchased new in August of that year, which he had to sell only two months later. Discouraged by his blindness, Jerry decided his involvement in the hobby was over for good. He sold all of his Corvette restoration tools, and gave his repair manuals away.

After 10 years had gone by, Jerry retired, and he and his wife, Marti, moved to Florida. This would be one of the most challenging and exciting times in his life. Jerry learned that a friend was selling his ´69. When it was offered to Jerry, he became the proud owner of yet another Corvette. While in need of a full restoration, the ´69 convertible boasted a 427, 400hp four-speed with a 3.70:1 Posi rearend, and all matching numbers.

Now that Jerry owned the ´69, it was time to start the restoration. With limited funds, and knowing that he’d done this before, Jerry decided to do the work himself. Even with his limited sight, he was still capable of doing most of the work, and what he wasn’t able to do was accomplished by calling in favors from his Corvette-knowledgeable friends. Jerry says, "It’s amazing, they still talk to me."

The paint was done at a local body shop by painter Don Marsh, with a basecoat/clearcoat in Tuxedo Black, the original color. It has won many Best Paint awards since.

While the car was being painted, Jerry had Ken's Speed Shop rebuild the engine. Ken kept everything stock with the exception of the cam, and port and polishing the heads. Jerry tells us the engine now puts out approximately 475 hp. To top the engine off, Jerry had the three Holley carburetors restored by Jerry Luck Motorsports.

You can now see Jerry and Marti cruising down the highway near their Spring Hill, Florida, home with the top down, enjoying the fresh air, and yes--his wife is doing the driving.

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