It's the first thing that grabs you about this Corvette: It is a super-clean car. That's just the way the owner likes it, and he goes to great pains to keep it that way. This '97 Torch Red Corvette belongs to Alan Stout of North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Alan, a member of the Corvette Club of Delaware Valley, purchased the car six years ago. "I found it at a dealership, and it was owned by the dealer," Alan says. "GM was on strike at the time, and they were hard to get hold of."
Alan had his eye on a Torch Red '98, but by the time he sold his '79 Corvette, it was gone. With no new cars coming in, Alan struck a deal with the dealership owner for the '97.
From the beginning, Alan kept the car in immaculate condition, while still driving it daily. "I drive this car every day," he says. His daily commute is about 20 miles total. When he parks it, it sits outside because the garage is occupied by an '03 Anniversary edition convertible owned by Alan's wife, Tina.
"We had an agreement," he says. "Instead of getting a new Corvette, I got a Lingenfelter package for my '97 and she got the '03."
Alan says he spends about six hours a week cleaning his car. "Interior and engine on Thursday night; body, undercarriage, and wheels on Friday night," he says matter-of-factly. But Tina rivals his fanaticism. "We met at a cruise night," Alan says," and the first thing I noticed was her car was spotless."
Alan purchased a Lingenfelter supercharger and shift kit in 2002. Also included was a Blackwing intake from Up Front Technologies, and larger fuel rails and injectors. B&B Route 66 mufflers replaced the stock units. To accommodate the supercharger, Alan replaced the stock hood with an aftermarket fiberglass piece from ACI.
The package was assembled by SK Automotive in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. "They [Lingenfelter] would have needed to keep my car for a month," Alan says. "I couldn't do that because I drive it every day. So I asked them if they could ship the components to a local shop, and they did. Unfortunately, I had to send the computer to them to be programmed because they couldn't send the program out."
It turned out to be a lengthy process. In 2002, when Alan purchased the package, Lingenfelter was no longer doing cars as old as '97 on a regular basis. As a result, Alan had to sit on the parts for about eight months before the package could be installed.
The fully hand-polished rear suspension and the '00 rims are just more of the many touches that make Alan's car such a pleasure to behold. But keeping it that way, despite the car's heavy workload, is a testament to his commitment to keeping the car clean and on the road.
Alan has won 32 trophies with this Corvette. "I always put the words 'daily driven' on it and that just seems to draw people to it," he says. If anyone has doubts, they can see the 70,000-plus miles on the odometer.
When Alan says, "This is one of the cleanest cars around," it isn't a boast; it's a fact.