Anyone who knows anything about American cars knows that one of the most loved and popular American classics must be the Chevrolet Corvette. This two-seater Corvette first arrived on the scene in 1953 to compete with the arrival of more and more European models into the states such as MGs and Triumphs. Style was a major factor for the Corvette for the engine was very underpowered with a 3.8litre six cylinder with just 150bhp. But V8s were soon to be introduced and engines were beefed up to 5.4 litres with 360 BHP and from there on the Corvette would go from strength to strength such was its success that Chevy still produce the Corvette today in the shape of the Z6 and the zr1
Although the car went through a lot of changes over the 6 decades of manufacturing; the recipe still remains the same. Two-seater, fast lines, long front and lots of horses.
Our feature car is a car that I am very familiar with, knowing its current owner and its previous owner, and the car is stored under lock and key in my own lock up. It’s Brian Healy’s 1978 Anniversary Edition Sting Ray Corvette. Known to us as “The Hump”, Brian has longed for a Corvette ever since he first came in contact with American cars when I arrived home from the UK with my own yank nearly six years ago, Brian first looked at corvettes on old issues of classic American which he picked up while visiting my home place. First page was turned on the mag to reveal adverts from Claremont Corvette he would scroll down the rest of magazine stopping only on any Vettes. After speaking and wishing for a Corvette for now over five years Brian finally decided to bite the bullet and go purchase his Vette and got himself a white T-Top 78 Corvette in June 2008.
Brian brought his Corvette from Club Chairman and one of the founding members of GAScc John McCarthy. Mack had a white 78 and black 80 Corvette and also a 69 Chevelle so you could say that Mack is a bit of a Chevy fan. He originally purchased the black 80 corvette from the states and a few months later his brother in law Pat o’Riordan contacted him to say that he spotted this 78 anniversary T-top. Pat and John purchased the car and proceeded to ship it to Ringaskiddy port in Cork to be collected. The car was only bought to be sold again and turn a small profit. Before the car left the states there was a staggering $7000 spent on the mechanic side of things. Although the cars running gear was in top condition, the body a and interior was a far different story,
In June 2008 Brian travelled with myself to Mack’s place to take a look at the Vette, at the time the car was covered in green grime and had not seen a cloth or wash in about 6 months and was now sitting over the pit getting a new stainless steel straight through exhaust system fitted by Kevin Spillane. Brian could see beyond the grime and dirt and fell in love with the 78 Vette. We worked through the night to finish the car for a show in Limerick the following day, ran a sponge over her and gave it a lick of polish. Brian sat in with Mack the following day and travelled to Limerick after the journey was done and we were back in Cork, Mack had made an offer and Hump had purchased his Corvette. Since Brian bought the car he (or should I say Patrick) has done a lot of work to it. She got a full service, new leads and a set of twin resonators to dampen the sound of the straight through exhaust. Next came a full new interior including new carpets, new CD player and finally a new coat of high gloss white paint and new badges all round, The car now is transformed from the shabby neglected moss covered Vette to its original formal glory.
This car can now sit proudly between any other classic’s and is sure to pick up a few prizes in the coming season.
She is a 1978 T Top 5.7 litre V8 with 3 speed automatic box, stainless steel exhaust with twin hooker resonators which gives it a great growl. It’s got a 1980 front end and it looks and drives like it just came off the production line.
Hopefully this old girl will remain in the Cork region and hopefully stay within the Club
If you wish to contact Brian about this car you can send him a private message through the web site under hump or you can contact me under Jayooh
Jason O Driscoll