When asked if having his Corvette under the knife so many times was hard to handle, Yancy just smiles and shakes his head. "It's a process. It has evolved over the years, and is still doing so. The hard part, as my painter Carl Burns can vouch for, was matching the shade of BMW Winter Silver. He chose the color, painted the car, put on the Vette Brakes & Products suspension parts, and more. He really helped to finalize the car." With the paint dry, and some "Viper Sniper" graphics applied by Wilton, New Hampshire's Toad Carpenter, the '69 was ready for its close-up when we spotted it at a recent "spring fling" show thrown by the Gate City Corvette club.
While at the show, with its mix of old and new Vettes, we asked Yancy how his noir period piece compared with modern supercars like today's action-packed Z06. "Thirty years ago, I was running the same times as the Viper is now. Yes, there were quicker cars, but they weren't streetable. Mine ran on pump gas and regular tires.
"I can fit in the new Vettes much better," admits the six-foot, three-inch Yancy, "but every time I see mine-and especially when I turn the key-it's an exciting experience. Mine is missing a few things I'd like-A/C, power assists-but it really takes me back to the Golden Age."
While some Vette enthusiasts undoubtedly feel that such a lack of amenities went out with black-and-white movies, there is one thing we can all agree on: Part of the fun of owning America's premier sports car comes from the car's suitability to personalization. Another part comes from telling each Corvette's unique story. This story was written, directed, and produced by Arthur Yancy himself. And with over 600 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque ready to be unleashed at any given moment, this production sounds like "a wrap" to us.
Special thanks to the management of the Milford Drive-In, for providing the site for our photo shoot.