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Dan Carbonaro's '67 Corvette

This Owner is a World Trade Center Hero—Twice Over

Ronnie Hartman Jul 1, 2002

Step By Step

Dan Carbonaro is a Vietnam veteran, and a police lieutenant whose 23-year career with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority has included many challenges. Before the events of September 11 brought new tests, Dan had already been through the fire.

In February 1993, Dan was working at the World Trade Center when terrorists struck. He led one of the first rescue teams to the area where the bomb had exploded, and played a key role in the evacuation and rescue effort. He then served as the liaison with the FBI/ATF Bomb Investigation team. Later, Dan was awarded the Port Authority Medal of Valor for his actions. Little did he know that seven years later, he’d be called upon again, in that same place, in an even more dramatic way.

By 2001, Dan was in charge of security at JFK International Airport. He was not scheduled to work on September 11, but when the planes hit the World Trade Center, Dan raced to the scene. As he approached Building One on foot, Building Two began to collapse. Dan dove behind a concrete barrier, but couldn’t escape the falling debris. Blinded by pulverized concrete, he managed to free himself from the rubble. His face and legs sustained lacerations, but he continued the mission.

Many more lives were saved than lost that day due to the courage Dan and so many others exhibited. He recently flew to Paris to accept an honor from the Senate of the Republic of France on behalf of all Port Authority Police for their valor and sacrifice on September 11. Dan has returned to the challenging task of overseeing security at JFK Airport. His duties include the protection of employees, customers, and the physical assets of Kennedy Airport; providing aircraft crash fire rescue services, supervising the airport’s Crime Prevention Unit; and serving as tour commander and community affairs officer.

You’d think with all that, Dan wouldn’t have much free time, and he doesn’t; but he’s been carrying on a love affair with his Corvette for the past 13 years just the same. He found this Rally Red ’67 with the help of his friend Kevin Mackay, a Bloomington Gold judge and the owner of Corvette Repair Inc.

Dan and his wife Toni wanted the “right” vintage Corvette, and had spent two years traveling around the country looking for it. Frustrated, they enlisted Kevin’s help, but it wasn’t till they’d given up and ordered a new one that Kevin hit pay dirt. The “right” Corvette was just 30 miles from Dan and Toni’s home! The Rally Red ’67 small-block convertible was equipped with a four-speed manual transmission, a 3.36 Posi-traction rear axle, power steering, power brakes, tinted glass, an AM/FM radio, headrests, a vinyl-covered auxiliary hardtop, Redline tires, and a side-mount exhaust system. Dan knew this was the Corvette he’d been looking for.

The car passed the Corvette Repair team’s rigorous inspection, and Dan cancelled his order for the new Corvette. He began restoring the ’67, doing most of the work himself, and trusting Kevin and his restoration team for the rest. The engine and engine compartment were returned to their original state, the interior and dash restored, the bumpers rechromed, and the suspension refurbished. All parts that were not correct were replaced.

So far, the car has taken two national and two regional NCRS Top Flight Awards, a Performance Verification Award, and numerous awards and trophies locally. Dan drives the car mainly in the summer, but indulged us by bringing it to Kennedy Airport for this shoot in March. We’re proud to include Dan and his Corvette in CF’s tribute to our heroes in uniform.

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