Arctic White 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible - Me & My Vette

Philip W. Salas 1993 Convertible

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I had to buy my Corvette. It was fate.

My father had been in the automobile business since he was 16, working his way up from the grease pits, through parts into sales, eventually becoming a Chevrolet dealer in the '60s. He worked at Potamkin Chevrolet in Philadelphia in 1953, the year before I was born. As a kid, I remember hearing that my dad used to drive a Corvette, but I never believed it.

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Fast forward 40 some years...my dad had long passed away, and after my mother's death in 1998, I was going through some old photographs, and came upon the photo you see here. My dad is driving his "demo," a '53 Corvette. Apparently, as part of their service to the community, the dealership used to take a group of kids to the circus every year, and a brand-new '53 led the motorcade of busses down Broad Street in Philadelphia.

I had been looking for a new toy for quite a while. Having owned a variety of Jeeps and British sports cars (now rust spots in someone's driveway), I was torn as to what to look for; I was done with Jeeps, I didn't want to spend my weekends synchronizing the carbs on a Triumph or Jag, and I wanted some practicality. Although I had always loved Vettes, I didn't ever consider buying one, until I realized one day that a Corvette was the answer. Beautiful, fast, practical, comfortable, easy to get parts for, and relatively affordable. And they don't rust!

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I bought the Black Book and did my research, figuring that based on my budget, I was looking at a late C4. It had to be a ragtop. Low miles. Pristine. After six months of following up on classified ads, I found the car. Not just a car, but my father's demo, 40 years later. A '93 Convertible, Arctic White, Torch Red interior. 40th Anniversary logos embroidered on the headrests. The car had 22,000 miles on it, and it was perfect in every way. The previous owner provided all service and maintenance records, the window sticker, the 40th Anniversary pin, the video, and even the '93 factory sales brochure that featured the car in it's "centerfold," autographed by Zora Arkus-Duntov.

The car is a bone stock LT1. Options include sport seats, Bose Gold CD, and an automatic trans. I've put only 3,000 miles on it in almost two years, and plan to keep it for a long time. Ultimately, I would like to locate a white factory hardtop.

My daily driver is a '97 Chevy Tahoe. I didn't follow my father's career into the car business, but he would be pleased that I'm driving two Chevys, especially the one that's Arctic White!

Editor's Note: This series spotlights reader experiences with their own Corvettes, described in their own words. To be considered for publication, submit 20 vertical-format 50-100 ASA slides and your own typewritten Corvette experience in 500 words or less to: Me & My Vette, Vette Magazine, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870. Please send your submission on computer disk when possible. If we use your story, we'll pay you $75.

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