1974 Chevrolet Corvette - One Sweet Deal

When Dad Says "Let's Buy A Vette," How's A Young Man To Say No?

John Nelson Oct 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0110_11_z 1974_chevrolet_corvette Happy_chevy_driver 2/8

Rocky Isbell doesn't yet have his driver's license, but he's more than ready to get behind the wheel of his '74.

Though the car ran and drove, it still needed some work. Rocky is the wrench-man in this operation, so he got to it. Spending time on the '74 after school and on weekends, he's proved his mettle. When asked what he's done on the car, Rocky mentions two things he's justifiably proud of: fixing the alarm wiring so that the device works properly, and temporarily rigging the boots on the vacuum-activated headlights so that they would work as well. But he's done more than that. Rocky is an enthusiastic auto shop student, and plans to attend the "Hot Rod" program at Wyoming State University when he graduates from Redlands High School. He has also replaced the '74s alternator, carburetor, hood latches, window handles, and power steering lines. With help from Dave Hart, a friend from Corvettes West, Rocky replaced the coupe's brakes. He also installed an electronic tachometer in the Vette to work with the later-model truck block the previous owner had dropped in, and also touched up the coupe's paint. Rocky deferred to more experienced hands when it came to rebuilding the differential and installing the Flowmaster exhaust system. Working on the car has had another benefit, by providing a chance for what Rocky calls "father-son bonding stuff." Under the extension that Bob built onto his garage to house the Vette, Rocky does the work, and Bob hands over tools while enjoying a cold brew. But there's also some frustration for this young Corvetter. Although he's 16, Rocky hasn't had the opportunity to take Driver's Ed and get his license. "I own it, but Dad has to drive it. I can trust him, but I don't know how much...he sure likes to drive it." Rocky has gotten to drive his Vette, but only briefly, and in out of the way places. You only have to watch him around the car to know that is hasn't been enough-which comes as no surprise.

Though he's not sure that he'll use the car as a daily driver (much as he'd like to), Rocky's anxious to drive his Vette to school, where he can utilize the auto shop facilities and maybe even paint the car. And though Rocky claims to be joking when he says he only bought the car because it's a "chick magnet," there's no doubt that he's looking forward to being seen at school in a first car this cool.

Vemp 0110 13 Z 1974 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Interior 3/8

The original deal has certainly changed, and it could change more (Bob maintains that the '74 should be kept close to stock; Rocky wants to add a '78 Pace Car hood and spoilers, and has youthful visions of side pipes and a black-with-blue-flames paint job). The only things that are certain is that Rocky has a great-running car, and he's thrilled to own it. The rest? It's all part of the fun. You may know you're getting a great deal, but you don't always know how it's gonna turn out.


Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print