Justins MY-074

My Corvette addiction started in High School reading Street Machine magazines. A poster of a highly modified white C3 was used to cover my school folder. Later, there was the magazine’s giveaway car photos, of another C3, black and pinstriped, decorating my first bachelor pad. I just wanted one.

This was pre-internet, so I bought a book, the Corvette Buyer’s Guide and researched the best I could. I realised I really liked the original 1959 C1 and also most of the C3 models. As a 4th year apprentice, I decided a C3 was all that was in my budget, maybe? My ultimate Corvette was, and still is an original 1959, but on my wage, a C3 was still awesome. I could always swap to a ‘59 later in life.

I joined the club in 1991, a 21-year-old hoping to get contacts and information on how to get my own C3. I met Frank Rejtano and his mates at Eastern Creek Race Track when it first opened, and was hooked after Frank took me for a hot lap of the track, in his modified Corvette, the famous JAFFA. I sent my membership form off the very next day, apparently, I was member number 14.

My 1974 Corvette was purchased back in 1992 when I was 22, a first-year tradie. I sold all the toys I owned to buy a total mess of a car; it needed a lot of work. Most of my friends thought I was mad, but a select few could see my vision. I spent the next 14 years slowly rebuilding and customising this car, an off-chassis resto using any spare time and money I had whilst living a pretty busy life.

I used to go to as many Corvette shows as I could. I’d drop in, briefly say hello to people in the club, then disappear to do my research, sourcing ideas from other people’s rides. My goal was to build a custom C3 with all my favourite features of each year model. At every car show I would research a different part, wheels this time, paint colour next, badges for the rear, engine accessories etc etc.

MY-074 was finally registered in 2006, with most work done by yours truly, and a very select band of friends. I learnt a lot about C3’s and the joys and heartaches of building one from the ground up. During this rebuild time the NSW Corvette Club was awesome for contacts, recommendations and technical help. My only regret is, I should have participated in more runs. Even though I didn’t have a car on the road all that time, I now know I would have been more than welcome to join in. I’m sure a few more lessons would have been learnt and some restoration mistakes avoided if I had talked to more people who actually owned and drove Corvettes.

Since its’ 2006 registration, this car has done very limited km’s. With raising family, weekend sports etc, the Corvette has done mostly small local trips around Wollongong. I had threatened to sell it, thinking ‘use it or lose it’, but my wife wouldn’t let me (legend). I’d still swap it for an original 59, in a heartbeat, but ultimately would have both. As the kids are getting older, we do get the car out more now and are starting to rediscover this great Corvette Club that I have been a very small part of for the last 29 years. Hope to meet more of you soon out on the road and at car shows.