Restored Corvettes used to be just that, restored. But recently with the improvements in restorative technology and date coding, what would have passed for Bloomington Gold winners and NCRS prized ponies twenty years ago are looking very different today. With the bar raised every year at these shows, people are looking for different avenues. many want to enjoy their Corvettes, and others cherish and prize these cars like Monets or Van Goghs.
Christopher Cole, a Corvette enthusiast, wanted himself a first-generation Corvette, but wanted to enjoy the unrefined ride as well as show it off. That is what brought him to this '56 convertible.
Christopher was only 32 when he discovered this white roadster at a Lexus dealership. The Corvette was on exhibit as a show piece for the best part of its time in Ramsey, New Jersey. Amazed by finding a classic piece of Americana on display with some of the most opulent of Japan's executive sedans, Christopher picked up the drop-top for $46,000. Seeing the price that many of these cars were bringing at shows like Barrett-Jackson, Christopher was no fool and sought out a NCRS judge to appraise the roadster.
With the nod from the judge, Christopher took the C1 home to his heated garage in Cresskill, New Jersey. The judge told him it wasn't often Corvettes of this year and fine condition survive for so long in the Northeast. The judge tried to sway Christopher to replace the period-correct, three-speed transmission with the correct automatic, but Christopher wouldn't have it. He purchased this roadster to enjoy it. In fact, much to the chagrin of the friendly judge, Christopher rarely shows the Corvette, opting instead to drive the factory power-top convertible as much as weather permits.
Aside from the transmission, the rest of the car is perfectly restored to working condition and numbers-matching quality. The stout small-block still rumbles with its dual carburetors and rear exit exhaust.
Even after fourteen years of ownership, Christopher has yet to weary of sliding behind the thin red wheel and cramming down the gas pedal with a drop of the clutch. Sure it's a stiff ride, and, yeah, it's noisy, but if Christopher wanted a soft, pillowy ride with tomb-quiet sound deadening, and hundreds of computer-controlled bells and whistles, he would have driven home a Lexus that day fourteen years ago.