Officers lead “Putting Love & Sweat into the Vette” Restoration Program
While so many of the stories we publish at Corvsport.com feature information and updates on the current Corvette models, highlights from the Corvette Racing program, or historical pieces on the Corvette brand from a national or even global perspective, we thought this story out of Sioux City, Iowa was definitely worth sharing.
This story was originally reported on by KCAU 9 News (an ABC affiliate).
The car, a 1986 Corvette coupe, has belonged to the police department since it was seized during a drug bust in the 1980’s.
After seizing the car, the police department fixed it up and in May, 1996, they started using the car for their D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program.
Over the years of use, the car had worn down, needing major repairs to the engine, brakes and air conditioning, as well as cosmetic repairs to both the exterior and interior from constant use at the many events at which it was showcased. The police department decided to send the car to auction, but Office Kevin McCormick and other members of the police force started and effort to restore the Corvette to its original glory.
With the police department in support of the initiative, McCormick and Lieutenant Brad Bollinger with the Sioux City police department spearheaded a restoration project to bring the Corvette back to its former glory. The project, which they dubbed “Putting Love & Sweat into the Vette,” became a volunteer program wherein officers and members of the community were able to participate in the car’s restoration.
Ben and Joe Knoepfler, or Knoepfler Chevrolet, volunteered to oversee the project, and donated the vast majority of the material needed to repair and refurbish the Corvette. They also donated much of their time to the restoration.
Now, the “DARE Vette” is fixed up and ready to return to service, where it will continue to be used for the Sioux City D.A.R.E. program.
During the car’s unveiling, Officer Kevin McCormick said:
“Kids, they literally see this and light up. And even before it’s fixed up, they don’t see the cracked leather and the weather stripping. They think that this is rocket ship from outer space. They climb in and work the lights, work the sirens, and it’s the most fulfilling part of my job. I love it. I absolutely love it.”
McCormick also said that the car will help engage the youth and “is a real head turner in the community.”
“This is a classic example of the steps we’re taking to increase that support, to get out there with the kids, and build that report.”
Captain Lisa Claeys said the Police Department was grateful to all of the sponsors who had a part in the restoration of the car.
The “DARE Vette” will make a number of public appearances at local parades and other community events.