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1966 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe - Rare Corvette Finds

You Just Never Know Where You Will Find Your Next Corvette

Steve Vandenberg Mar 1, 2008
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TREASURE ::: Cool Corvettes can still be found in barns.

FOUND: '66 Corvette coupe, 350hp 327, four-speed, posi, telescopic steering, teak steering wheel, power windows, leather interior, and A/C. My girlfriend, Cheryl, and I went dancing one night and decided to join an older couple that we knew. At some point in the evening, the conversation turned to cars, and my friend Buzz asked if I needed any parts for my Corvette. He had a wrecked '74 that was for sale. I told him I didn't really need anything from a '74, but I would like to take a look at the car. I then asked, "What else do you have?" Buzz replied, "Well, there is another Corvette in the barn that has been sitting for over 20 years or so. I don't remember what year it is, and I haven't looked at it or even talked about it for years."

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RATTY :::Lookin' pretty ratty.

What Buzz had was a very nicely optioned `66 Corvette coupe with a 350hp 327, four-speed, posi, telescopic steering, teak steering wheel, power windows, leather interior, and A/C. The car had been wrecked and placed in the barn in 1978-- the same year I graduated from high school. I decided to buy the car.

I found out the owner at the time ofthe accident was Jerry Winnepenninkx. With the help of the Internet, I tracked him down, just 20 miles away. He was quite excited and surprised when I called to tell him that I had his old Corvette. He had always wondered what had happened to the car.

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ENGINE FUN ::: Intake and carb are gone, but the rest is salvageable.

Jerry bought the car in June 1978. In December 1978, he had just finished painting the car and had given it a custom stripe. He had driven it out of the shop and only got halfway across town when a young kid ran into the Corvette and knocked it into another car.

That night, the Corvette was at the body shop, and someone stole the wheels, valve covers, intake, and carburetor. The police caught the thieves red-handed. The last time Jerry saw the stolen parts, they were in a bag marked evidence. The insurance company totaled the car, which led to its disappearance until I found the car in July 2006.

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SHADES OF 1978 ::: Looks like the car was last driven in 1978.

My cousin Kal, my brother Merle, my uncle Carl, and my friend Larry helped me dig out the Corvette. I had Jerry come over to look at his old car. He told us stories of how magnificent the car performed, and how he had thought that the car had been parted out after the accident. He didn't remember the damage being as bad as it looks today, but nearly 30 years sitting in a barn definitely took its toll.

Twenty-eight years later, the Corvette got a long-awaited wash, and then we loaded it up to take it to its new home. As it sits today, it still needs a ton of 'glass work, but I think I'm up for it.



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