This month's cover car is clearly something different, if not only for the occupant seated on the decklid. But Norm Nelson's '67 big-block Corvette is constantly surrounded by excitement, often positioned front and center at Norm's own dealership of high-performance cars in sunny Kenmare, North Dakota. Commuting from his home in Southern California where, for many years, Norm was head craftsman at his exotic-car restoration shop, he splits time between the two locations. The restoration work gave him appreciation for not only high performance, but also the car that got him interested in the business-the Corvette.
Currently, Norm is restoring his first car, a '57 Corvette. Full Corvette restorations are something he's been practicing for a number of years, having restored his red '67 Corvette twice in 26 years. He originally purchased it from a customer who had paid him to restore the car. It was so perfect when completed, that when the owner asked if he'd like to own the car, he jumped at the chance. Since that original restoration, Norm redid the work, making it even better the second time around using more state-of-the-art materials.
The '67 features the signature (numbers-matching) 427ci engine with the rare 400hp option and air conditioning. A four-speed manual transmission and Posi-traction-equipped rearend with F41 high-performance suspension and bolt-up wheels make this a great-running, high-performance-option Corvette. The original red paint coloration was retained per code, and interior comfort features, beyond the A/C, include power steering and brakes, and leather seating.
Today the Corvette sits neatly between a Lamborghini Muira and a Dino Ferrari, awaiting its exercise days when Norm runs over to Montana for some flat-out performance runs to dust the cobwebs from the crankcase. Norm, a Corvette fan and enthusiast, not only has plans for his original '57, but several other Corvettes. If you visit the Kenmare area and get passed by some awesome-running classic Corvettes, ('67, '57, or other) there's a good chance it's probably Norm out for a speed run. While North Dakota may not qualify as an exotic location, it's a great place for exotic cars and Corvettes to be used in the manner they were originally intended. Just ask Norm.