Classics Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years

20:19  06 april  2018
20:19  06 april  2018 Source:   HOT ROD

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  1966 427 big-block 425hp Corvette Found in a Cornfield David Engler had no idea a simple question at work would turn up a 1966 Corvette convertible tucked away in a container inside a shed for 40 years. He also never thought the price would be within his reach. Research chevrolet corvette See All Model Years See Pricing "I wanted a Corvette my entire life. I'm 66 years old now and my wife said, 'Well, you'll probably never have one,' and then I found it, this one."Engler couldn't have been more ecstatic. The Corvette was a convertible with the hottest 427 offered that year, the 425-horse L72 backed by a four-speed transmission and a set of 4.

We’ve all heard stories of soldiers that went off to war and in their time overseas dreamed of the car they were going to buy when they returned home, or “state side.”. John Adornetto turned 21 in 1968, the year he got drafted.

David Engler had no idea a simple question at work would turn up a 1966 Corvette convertible tucked away in a container inside a shed for 40 years . The modified tops in the movie had a border of about 3-inches painted to match the body. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette - Ocean City Beach Rescue

We've all heard stories of soldiers that went off to war and in their time overseas dreamed of the car they were going to buy when they returned home, or "state side."

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Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years . "I've always been into mid- years and sharks, and we were working on a C4 conversion," Bob says. "But we said, 'Why do that when the C5 is the best thing out there?'

Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years . When I was 4 or 5 years old my dad, Wayne Senior, bought a blue 1972 Corvette with a Targa top with aftermarket side pipes.

John Adornetto turned 21 in 1968, the year he got drafted. Living in Jersey City, New Jersey, John didn't have to travel but 66 miles to get to Fort Dix, where he spent three months in boot camp followed by about the same amount of time in AIT, short for Advanced Infantry Training. The Vietnam War was raging and the Army needed boots on the ground.

"I was stationed in what they called Quang Tri. Don't ask me how. It was a small station. I was a 'leg man.' I was in the infantry."

Strangely enough, when we asked Adornetto if he and his friends in the Army got together to dream about what car they would buy when they got back home, he said, "No, not really. I was mostly out in the fields and I really didn't get chummy; chummy with people."

Adornetto did say, "I always wanted a Corvette, even before I went into the Army."

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Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years . Chevrolet produced 2,722 L71 Corvettes in 1969 . Like many symbols of American ingenuity, this iconic muscle machine is revered and protected.

Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years . 1969 Chevrolet Corvette - Ocean City Beach Rescue. Dewey Powell's 4WD, Hemi-Powered C3 Kicks Up Plenty Of Sand. K. Scott Teeters May 19, 2010.

05-1969-corvette-C3-rare-finds-adornetto-vietnam-vet.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 05-1969-corvette-C3-rare-finds-adornetto-vietnam-vet.jpg

Apparently, a Corvette was his dream car. His monthly pay was not much. An Internet search revealed $133.20 for basic monthly pay in 1970 for less than two years of service.

"I got combat pay, overseas pay, plus my Army pay. I sent all that money over to my mom. She saved it for me."

About a year into his Vietnam experience, Adornetto said, "We went out in the truck in the fields, the truck hit a mine. I just happened to lean over and got sprayed with shrapnel, which went into my shoulder."

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Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years . The most noticeable is obviously the black-over-silver paint scheme, separated where the two colors meet by thin silver and red tape stripes.

Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years . The '78-82-style moonroof T-Tops have been replaced. The modified tops in the movie had a border of about 3-inches painted to match the body.

The Army sent Adornetto to a U.S. Army Hospital at Camp Zama in Japan for an operation and to recuperate, and from there to Fort Hamilton, New York, where he got out of the service two weeks early.

"I took a job in the post office. That's when I met my wife and got married."

Next up was a Corvette. The year was 1971, and Adornetto had all that money his mom had saved. Oh, to be young with a pocketful of money in 1971 and a thirst for a hot Corvette, like maybe a real Grand Sport or an L88? Adornetto didn't go shopping or have a specific Corvette in mind. His wife began "talking about her cousin having this Corvette," a 1969 model, that he ended up buying for $1,300.

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"It was a 350/350 with a manual shift, not a coupe, but a convertible, white with 50,000 to 51,000 miles," Adornetto said.

08-1969-corvette-C3-rare-finds-adornetto-vietnam-vet.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 08-1969-corvette-C3-rare-finds-adornetto-vietnam-vet.jpg

John's daily driver was an older Camaro. The Corvette was his fun car to modify. He installed an Edelbrock manifold, a 650 Holley carburetor, a low-restriction air cleaner, a set of valve covers and side pipes.

"I bought a lot of body parts from Eckler's Corvette in Florida. I flared out the wheelwells. I had a small scoop in the front, all molded on."

He replaced the stock rims with Cragars and repainted the flaking white paint with flashy red. John remembers having to drive clear to Long Island for the L88-style hoodscoop. He changed the headlights from folding to fixed. He kept the stock four-speed, but mounted a Hurst T-handle on the shifter.

Most of the time the car stayed in John's garage at home, and he almost sold his Corvette 30 years ago (for $1,900) when he moved from Jersey City to Freehold, where he lives today.

"It was always running. I never had insurance money and I never had time to register it."

That's why a friend told him once, "You've had the car 40 years and never even had it on the road yet."

Adornetto did manage to run the odometer to 58,000 so the car saw some street use. John retired five years ago and has recently put his '69 Corvette, complete with the old modifications (he did replace the rusting side pipes), back on the road.

This is one vet's Corvette that didn't get away. We'd like to hear stories and see photos (especially vintage photos with people and cars) of other Corvettes that vets bought using their pay they saved up. If you have a good story to tell, even if you sold the car (but still have photos) send me an email so I can do an interview with you. Vette

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Vietnam Vet Modified 1969 Corvette Stored Over 40 Years .
We've all heard stories of soldiers that went off to war and in their time overseas dreamed of the car they were going to buy when they returned home.John Adornetto turned 21 in 1968, the year he got drafted. Living in Jersey City, New Jersey, John didn't have to travel but 66 miles to get to Fort Dix, where he spent three months in boot camp followed by about the same amount of time in AIT, short for Advanced Infantry Training. The Vietnam War was raging and the Army needed boots on the ground.

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