It seems like very close siblings usually want to do everything they can to differentiate themselves from the other. Sometimes that means being absolute opposites. After all, everyone, to varying degrees, wants to be seen as a unique individual. Yet Jeff and Adam Childers don't seem to mind being somewhat similar.
Jeff and Adam are about as close as two brothers can be, especially since they and their families live only a few houses apart on the same quiet street in Independence, Kentucky. In fact, they actually seem to boast how alike they are-right down to the taste they both share in cars. Adam and Jeff each own a Daytona Yellow '70 Corvette convertible!
Although there is never any shortage of good-natured ribbing back and forth between the brothers about whose Vette is better, faster, prettier, et cetera, it's plain to anyone who meets the pair that they thoroughly enjoy showing off their toys together.
Their father, Ken, would proudly take the blame for getting both of his sons hooked on Corvettes at an early age. "I'm sure that when our dad drove home his brand-new '73 Corvette convertible, he didn't realize he was starting a family tradition," Adam tells us.
Nonetheless, that's exactly what happened. He and Jeff grew up loving Corvettes, and each of them would eventually have their own.
In fact, Jeff and Adam have both had a couple of Vettes-Jeff a '69 convertible and Adam a red '71 convertible, in addition to their nearly identical '70s. We somewhat doubt it's coincidence that all the Childers clan's Corvettes have been metal-bumper Shark convertibles, and Ken's white '73 Shark convertible-with metal bumpers on one end-started it all.
Jeff, the older brother by four years, became the third owner of his '70 convertible in July 1977-right after he graduated high school. Mechanically, Jeff's Shark was sound, but it showed very heavy use. Just about every piece has had to be replaced at one time or another. "There were times that I thought the car would never be completed," Jeff recalls. "It was frustrating when I had to keep working on it just to keep it running. At one point, the rear axle broke while I was driving on an interstate highway, and it caused a small fire on the rear wheel. I considered selling it at that point! But I'm glad I kept it and was persistent in restoring it!" he says.
Over the years, Jeff has driven his Vette daily, and gives many thanks to his mechanic and good friend Boz Collins of Independence, Kentucky, for helping. Gradually, Jeff worked on the interior and engine compartment himself, cleaning and replacing parts as necessary. "Finally, in the summer of 1994, I was in a good position financially to restore the body and paint. That work was done by Rod Stryker of Quality Automotive in Cincinnati, Ohio." Then, at long last, Jeff considered his '70 to be nearly perfect.
Jeff and Ken actually found Adam's matching '70 in 1997 while attending the Corvette Homecoming at the National Corvette Museum. "A guy approached my brother Jeff and said he had a car exactly like Jeff's-and it was for sale," says Adam.
Ken then joined in the conversation and made arrangements to meet and view the car. "My dad drove to Cave City, Kentucky, in July 1997, purchased the car, and trailered it home. Then he called me, knowing that I would want the Vette. He was right. It was perfect!" The Childers "boys," Ken, Adam, and Jeff, spent the next several years restoring Adam's Shark and refining the others. Adam's '70 took considerably less time to complete than Jeff's (only six years!), and the finishing touch was to have the body completely stripped and painted by Quality Automotive, who had done Jeff's Vette in 1994.