Everyone in the Corvette hobby probably has a story about the one thatgot away. You know--the '67 L88 Corvette you saw behind a guy's housewhen you were a kid that sat there for years, then disappeared the daybefore you figured out what it was. Or the '62 fuelie hardtop that satin the local junkyard for 25 years, complete with the original engineand tranny, only for some dude to buy it and turn it into a glorifiedgo-cart two weeks before you came up with the cash to buy it. Thesestories seem to haunt us as time marches on. Many of us still hope tostumble upon a mother lode of cars or parts that have been waiting forus to show up with a briefcase full of cash.
This is one such story. Charlie Lillard of Woodland, California,recently shared with us the story of how he bought five Corvettes out ofa Brooks, California, barn and garage. While this is probably theCorvette find of the decade, we'll let Charlie tell us what reallyhappened.
"The Corvettes were in an old service station and barn in Brooks,California. All the cars were hauled up here from Southern California20-plus years ago to be tucked away as investments by a fellow who's nowin his eighties. They have been a legend around here for years. Peopletried to see them, but the owner would very seldom let anyone in. I hadknown about them for at least 15 years, but had never seen thempersonally.
"All were California cars; four had black plates and the fifth had ablue personalized plate. There was a '56, two '63 split-windows, and two'67 coupes in the group. The blue '56 was a hot rod. The red '63 was anumbers-matching 75K-mile car with paperwork. It had a 250hp engine witha Powerglide, power steering, power brakes, and windows. The green '63was a hot rod that's a numbers-matching 300hp/327, but with an addedfuel-injection unit that was originally painted Tuxedo Black. The silver'67 was a 51K-mile, original-paint, numbers-matching, 327/300hpfour-speed car. The yellow '67 was a 327/300hp numbers-matchingautomatic with 48K miles, A/C, and power steering."
Charlie continues, "When the family decided to sell them, somehow afriend of mine was told about it and I got a phone call. I droppedeverything and was there within the hour. I was able to reach anagreement with the owners to buy them all, including the parts they hadaccumulated over the years. It was exactly 19.6 miles from my drivewayto theirs, and I made five trips to get the cars home with my one cartrailer. It was kind of a quest to see who would end up with them. Allthe cars have now found new homes. Four of the five Corvettes ended upgoing to Musclecars Northwest in Renton, Washington. I have to say thatthe adventure of finally buying the Corvettes was well worth theeffort."
What a story. Let's take a look at what Charlie found in that barn.