Published March 21, 2014
This 47 year-old car didn’t just run when it was parked a quarter century ago, it practically still had that new car smell.
A 1967 Chevrolet Corvette with just 2,996 miles on the odometer and one of the most interesting tales to tell is going on sale at the Mecum Auctions Houston event in April.
The 427/390 hp V8-powered coupe was purchased in 1966 by 30-year-old Don McNamara of Colorado Springs, with $5,000 he won on a trip he made to Las Vegas to celebrate his retirement from the U.S. Marines.
For a few months afterward, the very private McNamara was occasionally seen tooling around town in the distinctive white two-door with its red “stinger” stripe on the hood, but soon it disappeared and was never spotted again -- until 2011, when McNamara died and left his estate to his neighbors, who discovered the car parked in his garage under a shipping blanket festooned with American and Marine Corps flags.
Though he’d told anyone who asked that he didn’t own the car anymore, it turned out that McNamara had been secretly driving it at night, having decided not to pay the title and license renewal fees after his first year of ownership. The man who never had a credit card or checking account apparently saw this as his personal version of pure American freedom.
According to Mecum, McNamara finally parked it for good in the mid-1980s, having been the only person who ever drove it. Only two others had sat behind the wheel, and the passenger seat was never used. It’s never been in the rain; it's never been washed with water.
The couple that inherited it sold it in 2012 to Dr. Mark Davis, a collector who has displayed it at a few events and is now sending it across the block in Houston. There’s no telling what it is worth.
According to the Hagerty price guide, a typical top condition 1967 427 Corvette with a 4-speed manual goes for around $114,000, but this one is far from typical.
Along with the extremely low miles, it comes with the original window sticker and documentation, plus McNamara’s driver’s license and other artifacts related to his ownership of the car.
If a picture of this car is worth 1,000 words, the whole kit and caboodle should be enough write a novel with.
And with a backstory like this, someone probably will.