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Jack Di Piazza's '62 Corvette

To Drive a Classic

Ronnie Hartman Jan 1, 2002

Step By Step

Back in 1964, Jack Di Piazza drove his older brother’s Fawn Beige Corvette down Main Street in Passaic, New Jersey. It was an experience he never got over. Although he subsequently owned a number of nice older cars, including a ’41 Cadillac, ’61 and ’62 Pontiacs, a ’65 GTO, and a ’58 Impala convertible, that Fawn Beige straight-axle had made an indelible impression.

In 1989, Jack saw a poster of a Fawn ’62 at a car show and it intensified the itch. He had to have one! Jack saw this stunning example at Manchester Motors in Connecticut. Deflated when told it had already been sold and was headed overseas, he pounced 18 months later when it reappeared in the same showroom. The deal had fallen through, and this time Jack came away satisfied. His years of searching were finally over.

Jack’s dream car sports an optional four-speed transmission and narrow whitewall tires. 1962 was the first year for those tires and, more important, for the higher-displacement, 327ci engine. The fuel-injected model had a 360hp rating, a real boost from the 283’s maximum 315. Airflow was increased from 580 cfm to 680 cfm with the introduction of the 327. 1962 was also the last year for exposed headlights, contrasting coves, and a standard-style trunk (which didn’t reappear until ’98). The ’62 is technically considered the last of the “classic” Corvettes, at least for now, but Jack’s enchantment was born of something more emotional than that designation.

The previous owner, Vince Giaquinto, had meticulously restored the car and collected some impressive honors: Bloomington Gold certification, a Performance Verification award, and two Top Flight awards. Jack captured a 98.6 Top Flight award himself in May 2000 at the Central Jersey Chapter event in Eatontown. Of course, he drove the car to the show. Before the restoration, the car had just 25,000 original miles on it. The clock was rolled back when the car was restored. By the time Jack took ownership, Vince had put 1,300 miles on it, a number Jack’s been adding to ever since.

A lot of folks wouldn’t drive a fuelie. They are prone to problems like leaking and a tendency for the cable that drives the fuel pump to break, but Jack has no qualms. He says he drives it just about every week when the weather permits. The odometer reads 2,550 today, but Jack is more concerned with smiles than miles. He waited long enough to find his dream ride and he has no plans to put her under wraps. Jack’s living his dream of driving a classic. Who says you can’t drive a fuelie?



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