Like Charlie, Ralph has also had several Vettes in the past, but he had always wanted a '63 split-window coupe. While he was away on a business trip in Niagara Falls, New York, in 1999, Charlie found it for him in the classifieds of a Dallas morning newspaper. It was quite a unique find. Ralph is only the fourth owner of this Stingray, and it is endowed with an uncommon package of goodies. The Corvette was ordered brand new by a woman who wanted America's finest sports car complete with all the amenities. The Vette came with the base 250-horse 327 engine and two-speed Powerglide automatic, 3.36:1 ring-and-pinion, factory air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, an AM/FM radio, and the unusual gold-hued Saddle Tan with Saddle interior color combination. Ralph estimates that it is one of fewer than 250 '63 Vettes with air and an automatic, a logical supposition since just 278 '63 Corvettes were built with air conditioning.
After a couple of years, the woman traded the Vette in, and it was grabbed by a zealous college professor who pampered the split-window for the next 30 years. The professor chose to rebuild any components that wore out rather than replacing them, thus all of the Stingray's casting numbers still match! The car survived the tests of time in very respectable condition, but Charlie's crew went through it from bumper to bumper to bring it up to concours quality.
Ralph spends most of his time traveling around the country and other parts of the globe practicing his profession in paintless dent repair. When he ventures home, though, he is nearly as happy to see his mid-year as he is to see his wife, Debbie. The '63 is primarily a show car, but it is also a great cruiser. "When I go home, I definitely want to drive it," says Ralph. "And the automatic is great for cruising. I have other cars with manual transmissions for playing, but when I'm just cruising, I don't want to be working." Charlie's '58 is also primarily a show car but, "I never build a car I can't drive," he states, "and its longest run so far has been to Houston, more than 200 miles from home."
When it comes to car shows, the two twins with very similar interests have been very different. While Charlie has been showing many of his cars since his teenage years, this year's Lone Star Corvette Classic was Ralph's first car show ever. Charlie has entered his roadster in 15 shows over the past four years, and earned 15 first place awards, and even a Best of Show, as well. Although Charlie has more show experience under his belt, both brothers took home best in class awards at the LSCC show in Ft. Worth. Texans had better watch out-it looks like a new dynasty is coming to town!