Buddy Barrett wowed us with this beautifully kept '59 Corvette convertible. Though an enthusiast for sentimental reasons, Buddy was a novice when it came to the stringent rules and regulations of Corvette judging. It was a good thing he had a dead ringer on his hands. His Corvette is a gorgeous survivor of over 46 years. We let him tell his story.
"Marilyn, my wife, and I had been looking for a C1 for several years, starting in the late '90s, but we couldn't reach a meeting of the minds. She had her sights set on a '62 Fawn Beige fuelie and I, being the caring husband, was desperately trying to track down and purchase that same color and model; but, as fate would have it, this would prove unsuccessful.
"The '59 was decided upon, and ended up in our garage-not only because of the merits of the vehicle, but because it was the same color and horsepower as my first ride in a friend's Corvette back in 1959. In addition, the VIN, J59S100351 (351 of 9,670 produced for that year), correlates with everything, making it an all numbers-matching car, and most components are believed to be original. The paint code is 506A/518B. It was also from the same year I received my driver's license, finished high school, joined the U.S. Marine Corps and, most importantly, my 59th birthday was only a month away from the purchase date.
"I brought the '59 to the NCRS Regionals at the Wildwood, New Jersey, Convention Center, thanks to many of my friends who pushed me in that direction. I was thrilled beyond words when the little red Corvette won its Top Flight Award, but the highlight of the show was talking with many NCRS judges and learning so much more about what makes these classics what they are.
"The dual carbs, according to NCRS, are believed to have never been rebuilt and appear almost factory fresh. This corresponds with the mileage on the odometer, 16,400, which is also believed to be original. I am the second owner of record, and I purchased the '59 in June 2002 from an individual in California who had the car in storage for many years. It had 12,009 miles. The NCRS also stated that the engine stamp pad and number F923CT was one of the finest examples they had ever seen. Another national judge said the body and body panels were rare because they were exceptionally straight and fitting for that year. The judge also said this particular NCRS meet was unique because they had never before seen the original hood and deck ornaments on the '59 in such as-new condition.
"As we are still making corrections and doing restoration work, our future plans include the NCRS National Convention in Park City, Utah, in July, then the Duntov Award judging for operations and performance in 2006. Owning this '59 Corvette is seemingly a never-ending, nerve-shattering, but well-rewarding hobby and ongoing experience."
Entering a Corvette in the gauntlet of judging may seem a bit daunting, but Buddy went into the game with a stacked deck. His '59 convertible is a prime example of a survivor, having endured over 40 years of life on the road without a blemish, dent, or scratch. Even for those who might not like the idea of garaging these vehicles, you have to admit it's gorgeous.