December 7, 1997

Automobile Appraisal Service

The following is an excerpt from the appraisal of the car completed by Steve Cram at Automobile Appraisal Service of San Francisco in December 1997. This appraisal was requested by Mike DiCola when he was looking to purchase the car from Galen Dae.

Introduced in 1953, the Corvette was considered "cute" little sports car that actually was rather dreary, using a gutless tried and true Chevrolet Six Cylinder engine mated to positively boring automatic: Powerglide automatic transmission (pundits coined the phrase "slip and slide with Powerglide") The public was amused. General Motor's conservative management wasn't.

1955 saw Ford give Chevrolet a terrible thumping with the new 2-seater Thunderbird, which wasn't a true sports car at all. Vette's counter was a V8 and stick shift but possibly too late. Ford finally abandoned the 2-seater for luxury 4-passenger style and left that small marketplace to Corvette. With beefier suspensions and hotter engines, the car just didn't quite have the pizzaz to make for bigger sales.

The 1963 "Sting Ray" did the trick. It was macho and had so much pizzaz that it became a runaway success. By 1964, Corvette division was forced to open another fiberglass body plant at Ionia Michigan to keep up with orders. 63s were a great car but had an annoying suspension flaw that provided wheel hop at 70mph cruising speed and the split window coupe (now a hot collector item) would cook the inhabitants since ventilation was poor. 1964 solved that with a coupe electric blower ventilation system used thru 1965. Sadly, 64s would be on the bottom of the totem pole of values since they still provided drum brakes.

1965 saw disc brakes and created a car that could like hell AND stop.

History of THIS vehicle is trackable follows: 1/14/65 axle assembled, 1/20/65 engine block cast at Flint Michigan 2/1/65 engine assembled, 2/10/65 body 1770 made at Ionia Michigan facility, 2/20/65 car assembled A0 Smith St Louis Mo plant 3/9/65 car detailed for pre-delv inspection 3/10/65 car delivered to first owner a Mr Lee Day (his name appears on owners book hence, only way of documentation). Car's history then is blank until 6/24/91 when longer time owner, one Galen Dea of Alameda Calif obtains car and proceeds with high quality over-restoration, now present on car. Mr. Dea has kept a book of detailed information including receipts for expenses of the over-restoration and photos as car proceeds through restorations. Sadly, State of California has no way or offers any assistance in back tracking through ownerships: hence, the only way would be a person-by-person contact if that were possible. It would be well worth the effort.

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