When the 1970 model year rolled around, the Corvette was poised to be the best that Chevrolet had produced in over a decade. Unfortunately, the establishment of the new General Motors Assembly Division (GMAD) created some major headaches leading up to the launch of the model year. Previously, each GM division would build its own cars, sometimes working in conjunction with Fisher Body. From this point forward, GMAD would be responsible for building all GM cars, while leaving the five GM brands as marketing arms for the business giant. This dispute wreaked havoc time-wise on the Corvette production schedule, with no cars being built from April 10 through June 9, 1969.
This eight-week shutdown caused not only many unfilled Corvette orders, but the parts had already been manufactured and would not carry-over into the new model year. The normal August '69 model changeover was therefore delayed until January 1970. Adding fuel to the fire was a Teamsters Union strike that ran from April 6 through May 6, 1970, shutting the assembly line down for the second time in one calendar year. the final Corvette production in 1970 was 17,316, making that year the lowest production since 1962. Only 6,648 cars were convertibles, making this Corvette one of the rarest Corvettes ever built. for owner Dan Aseere of Cincinnati, Ohio, all this low production is a good thing since he owns this immaculate piece of Corvette history.
Dan has always been a connoisseur of fine automobiles, previously owning two Vipers, a '69 COPO Camaro, and an '84 Corvette. About 16 years ago, he ran across this sharp Vette. The car was an original 95,000-mile Cincinnati car, and the first two owners had kept the car in nearly untouched original condition for almost twenty years. Much to the delight of Dan, the seller thought that a Corvette with this many miles would not be worth much, and Dan struck the deal of the century. This rare Laguna Gray convertible was the perfect car to restore since it had all the right equipment and had never been modified. The car had been ordered with the 350/350hp engine, a Muncie four-speed, and topped off with factory air. What a combo! The car was also equipped with the deluxe black leather interior.
By GM edict, the '70 model year ended up being the last year for high-compression engines until the '89 ZR-1. Dan drives this car everywhere, and in 16 years has only seen a few Laguna Gray cars. It is probably safe to assume that most Laguna Gray cars have been repainted other colors since 1970. Back in those days, most people ordered either green, red, or yellow cars. The rare paint scheme was only used on about 8 percent of 1970 production cars.
Dan has restored his treasure from the ground-up, completing a one year frame-off restoration in his garage. He rebuilt the whole car himself, excluding some engine machine work, installing the new convertible top and the repaint. Against some advisors, Dan rebuilt the original engine with the same high-compression internals, simply because he didn't want to lose that distinct "rock and roll sound at idle."
Due to the excellent restoration, the car has won numerous awards around the country. Dan has also attended Bloomington Gold for the last 20 years, which is where we caught up with him. In fact, when Dan pulled up, the distinct hi-performance sound preceded him quite nicely. Don't even think this Corvette is a trailer queen, as Dan has racked up tons of miles driving the car, just for the sheer fun of it. Now that is what we call a true Road Warrior!