Before our story concludes, we must share the anecdote behind the nickname "Handy Kandy." Jeff tells VETTE that every car at a car show needs a gimmick to attract the attention of adults and kids alike. Knowing this, Jeff began putting fake rubber hands in and around his Can Am and saw instant success from the results.
The hands are everywhere-on the hand brake (see accompanying photo), in the engine compartment, in the exhaust pipe (for show only, naturally), and anywhere else he can find a place for them. Jeff tells us the hands are the perfect addition, bringing people right up to the car and giving Handy Kandy the gimmick its name deserves.
While it's already spent 29 years on the show circuit, Handy Kandy is sure to figure prominently in many more show seasons to come. Jeff is confident that his son Matthew-already a car-show veteran and Corvette-trivia expert at age 13-will continue to campaign the car when he ultimately inherits it.
It looks like Jeff Plotkin was immune to this case of Can Amnesia. His Can Am Corvette's creation spanned six presidents and 27 years, outliving the culture of the era in which it was born. Maybe we're glad we can't remember those bell-bottoms and Adidas tube socks, but we're grateful for this reminder of a very special era in Corvette customization. The next time someone asks us, "What's a Can Am?," we'll send them to this story of Jeff Plotkin and his Zaino Brothers-built, Eckler's-based Can Am Corvette-and in turn solve yet another mysterious case of Can Amnesia.