This 1967 Corvette Has a Story That’s Almost As Cool As the Car Itself!
If you’re a car aficionado than you’ve probably dreamed of finding a rare, one-of-a-kind classic automobile buried in the back of a barn, or in a field behind someone’s house. For many of us in the collector’s car community, it’s a “Holy Grail” of sorts. To find a low mileage, all-original, numbers-matching car from decades long past would be a pretty uncommon event. But when it’s a rare, 1967 Chevrolet Corvette – its something truly remarkable!
This 1967 Corvette – a convertible – was originally ordered and purchased new by Larry Shank, operator of his family-owned Shank Farms in Hagerstown, Maryland. Shanks purchased the car from Hoffman Chevrolet, also of Hagerstown, in 1967.
The convertible came finished in Sunfire Yellow and featured a 427 cubic inch, 435 horsepower engine, which was the largest available engine in production Corvettes from that era. When ordering the car, Shanks selected the “side pipe” exhaust option. Of the 22,940 Corvettes built that year, only 4,209 of them included the sidepipe option. More uncommon still, it was of only 740 Corvettes built in 1967 that didn’t come with a factory radio.
Jack Evans, owner of Jack Evans Chevrolet in Front Royal, Virginia, remembered growing up in Hagerstown, Maryland and seeing Shank’s Corvette as a boy.
“That car never left my mind,” said Evans, “I mean, it was stunning.”
Unfortunately, the car was doomed to a relatively short life on the open road.
Not long after he had purchased the car, Shank had driven it to meet some friends at a local restaurant in the Long Meadow Shopping Center not far from the family farm. While hanging out with his friends in the parking lot, he was approached by a man who owned a 1962 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport. The man began challenging Shank to a race.
Despite repeated requests, Shank declined.
Shortly thereafter, Shank headed home and it wasn’t long before he noticed the Impala trailing him. Within moments, the driver of the Impala had pulled alongside Shank. The two started to race.
Shank quickly pulled away from the Impala during the drag race. As Shank approached his driveway, he slowed quickly to make the turn. As he pulled his Corvette into the driveway, the Impala struck the rear of Shank’s Corvette. It would be the last time that Shank would ever drive his car.
After being damaged in the collision, Shank took his beloved Corvette and stored it in his garage with the hopes of eventually repairing it. When the family decided to move to a new home in Maugansville, Maryland, Shank had the Corvette towed to their new residence. Because their new home had a drive-in/drive-out basement (with garage doors), Shank was able to store the car there…and there it remained for many years.
All the while the car sat, Evans continued to ask Shank if he’d ever consider selling the car. Each time Shank would decline.
Larry Shank died in 2014 without ever restoring his Corvette. After his death, Shank’s family felt it was time to sell the classic convertible. They knew that the car could potentially sell for a large sum of money, so they contracted a broker to help them sell the car. While at a car show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the broker who’d been contracted to sell the car for Shank’s family connected with an associate who had an affiliation with a known California car collector. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to Shank’s 1967 Corvette, which peaked the interest of the collector. The collector, who chose to be identified only as “Kelly”, stated that he would purchase the car “sight unseen” and immediately issued a down payment on the car.
It should be noted that Kelly chose not to provide his full/real identity for this article because he did not want to be overwhelmed by people who might learn of this story and seek out an audience to see this car. Afterall, in the current world of social media, the announcement of a rare “barn find” second-generation C2 Corvette would travel quickly, especially given the unique and rare nature of this particular automobile.
After working a deal for the Corvette and presenting the down-payment on the car, Kelly flew to Washington County the following week to complete the transaction and to pick up the Corvette.
“My main thing was, ‘ let’s just get it on the truck and get it out of here'” said Kelly (in a phone interview conducted sometime after the transaction was completed and the car safely shipped to California.) The car was loaded onto a flatbed truck and, later, in an enclosed transport for its trip back to California. Before departing with the car, Kelly (who admits to have about a dozen cars in his collection), declined to comment on the price, simply stating “enough” in response to the question.
Meanwhile, John Evans was also asked about the Corvette, and he shared a good deal more than Kelly. Evans acknowledged that the basement in which the Corvette was stored was damp, which is hard on any vehicle. Additionally, its important to note that the car’s condition was the same as it had been the day it was hit by the Impala. Evans acknowledged that the Corvette would need “to be cleaned, carefully taken apart, and re-assembled.”
However, Evans also provided some insights into what the car might actually be worth. He indicated that a car in the condition of this 1967 would put the asking price around $100,000.00 in its current condition. He stated also that the 1967 Corvette would fetch upwards of $400,000 after the car was thoroughly cleaned and overhauled. What made the car so valuable (besides all of the aforementioned options) is the fact that the car had just 1,293 miles on the clock!
“It’s probably one of the best Corvette stories out there. It needs to be shared,” Jack Evans has said many times about this Corvette….. Jack, we couldn’t agree more!