Linda Nace has seen more than a few Corvettes come and go in the 36-plus years she's been married to her husband, Dave. Of course, given that Dave was an NCRS judge (a role he played for 27 years), it was probably inevitable that Linda ended up developing a healthy case of enthusiasm for Corvettes of all kinds. And, as many of us know, someone else may spark that enthusiasm, but it then takes on a life of its own.
Linda's own enthusiasm was fueled by that steady stream of Corvettes that made their way through the Nace household, allowing her to sample everything from new to old. Linda has fond memories of a '62 roadster she and Dave once owned, but after all this "taste testing," only one Corvette would do: a yellow and black '66 roadster.
"They each have a way they sit," Linda explained for us. "I like the seating in the '66. They ride and drive well...it's one of my favorite years." As for the color scheme-yellow with a black top and interior-Linda's reason for her preference makes perfect sense to us. "The color stands out, and makes people look," she says. Therefore and henceforth, a yellow and black '66 convertible became Linda's dream car, and dream she did.
Dream became reality at a car show the Naces attended in June 2001. The couple sells Intro billet wheels for a living, and were "working" the event. Luckily for Linda, all the work didn't exclude a little play, and Dave was on the lookout for anything interesting. As Linda tells it, "Dave came back to the booth and told me that my dream car was there and for sale. I immediately left to go look for it, and it was love at first sight."
What the couple had found was a '66, 300-horse, small-block convertible. Showing an original 95,000 miles on the clock, this four-speed drop-top was fitted with all its original glass, and came with its warranty book and Protect-o-Plate. Better yet, the Sunfire Yellow paint was complemented by the original black interior and a black top. Linda knew this was it, and dove in headfirst.
Linda also vividly recalls what it took to actually bring the car home. "I finally found the owner, only to be put down. We discussed the car, and I sat in it and did all the usual things you do when buying a car. We agreed on a price, so everything was going along just great. But when I told him I would take it he looked at me and said, 'Can you afford it?'" Despite the seller's one-man effort to set back male-female relations several hundred years, Linda stuck with it. "My blood began to boil over this male attitude," she recalls, "but I didn't want to upset him and lose the car."
Linda finally "succumbed to the indignity," as she puts it, and called in Dave, who handled things about as well as he could by simply saying, "If she wants it, she can have it," and walking away. This proved to be sufficient for the owner of the '66, who became an ex-owner in short order, and was off to buy a Viper-which, according to Linda, "sounded sort of stupid to me."
Today, almost a year later, none of that enthusiasm has been lost. It's obvious that the indignity was worth it, hearing Linda tell us about the dream car she now owns. "It's like driving a new car," she says. "Everything fits and works perfectly." The only modification the ol' mid-year has seen is the addition of a set of 17-inch Intro "Twisted Vista" wheels, wrapped in sticky Nitto NT 450 rubber: 215/45-17s up front, along with slightly wider but otherwise similar 225s out back.
And it is absolutely, positively, her vehicle, though she does let Dave drive her dream car. "People will see Dave driving it and ask, 'Does she know you have her car?'" Linda says laughingly. "It's a nice car we enjoy as a couple." There are, of course, no plans for the '66 to join the list of Corvettes that have came and went. The family joke, Linda tells us, is that "When the car goes, I'll be in the front seat." Barring that, she tells us, "The only reason to sell it would be if I found something better, and that'd be hard to do." And isn't that the way it is with dreams that come true?