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1969 Chevrolet Corvette - Orange Twist

Greg Spangler Got More Than He Bargained For

Alan Colvin Mar 1, 2005
0503_CORP_01_z_69 2/1

The first thing that strikes you when you see this beautiful Corvette roadster is the rare, one-year-only Monaco Orange paint job. When we first spied this car at the Bob McDorman Chevy Show, we knew we had to feature it in Corvette Fever. In fact, due to the judging schedule at the show, we had only about an hour to shoot it so we had to move fast. It was a harried event to say the least, but we pulled it off. While the paint combination is amazing, the story behind the car is even more intriguing.

While being the owner of this Corvette for only several months, Greg Spangler made sure it was the one for him. Greg says, "In late July 2004, after searching the state of Ohio for an excellent original or restored C3 Corvette, I narrowed down my search to a couple of cars at a Corvette dealer in Springfield. One Friday evening, my wife and I visited the dealer and two similar cars were on the showroom floor. One was this '69 Monaco Orange with Black interior, and the other was a '71 Ontario Orange with Saddle interior. We must have walked back and forth between the two cars at least 20 times. It was obvious both cars had been restored, but it wasn't until a few weeks later I realized to what extent.

"We finally decided on the Monaco Orange car. We negotiated the price and returned to pick it up after the dealer installed new black leather seat covers and a new convertible top. I was somewhat disappointed there wasn't more information available from the dealer concerning the extent of the restoration. We knew the engine had been rebuilt and the body had been off the frame; but other than that, I had bought the car on appearance."

Greg continues, "Here's where the story gets sweet. On Friday night of the Bob McDorman show, I was paged to return to my car and the previous owner was there to introduce himself. His name was Kelly Burnside and he lived 30 miles from my home in Ohio. He purchased the car in 1991 from a classic car dealer in Columbus, and said he had owned it for the following 13 years. During that time, he did a frame-off NCRS restoration over a three-year period.

"First, the body was separated from the frame, stripped, then repainted the original Monaco Orange in a basecoat/clearcoat. When Kelly purchased the car, the original smog pump and carburetor were missing, as were several other original underhood components. He researched what would be needed to make it a matching-numbers car and purchased a correct smog pump and carburetor. The original 350/300hp engine was then completely rebuilt. When reassembled, he detailed the engine compartment to original specs, right down to the hose clamps.

"Kelly invited me to his house a few weeks later and gave me the complete restoration file, which included every receipt, 80 photos of the restoration, and a host of original parts from the car. It was a buyer's dream to be able to locate this documentation. Unfortunately, neither of us knows any of the history of the Corvette prior to 1991. From here on out, it will be driven occasionally as I continue to work on its minor remaining flaws."

Another unfamiliar option on the car is the rear luggage rack. While greatly increasing the Corvette's capability to carry extra luggage when the car was new, not many are seen today with the option. But the luggage rack balances out the car and separates it from the norm.

This Corvette turned out to be a great combination of driveability, form, and function, while being served with an Orange Twist of fate.

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