Club members, Todd & Tena Crook, didn’t buy a vintage Corvette with flight judging in mind. They just wanted a classic Corvette for tooling around town. A few years ago Todd found a 1960 Fuel Injected Corvette in Michigan and jumped at the chance to bring this gorgeous machine home. Not knowing much about classic Corvettes, he hooked up with a Corvette club in Michigan who in turn pointed him to a knowledgeable fellow to perform an inspection. He basically said, if you don’t buy it, I will – SOLD! Todd knew the basics – it was numbers matching in the original colors, with a small restoration done about 30 years ago. He took it to a few local shows and it drew the attention of some National Corvette Restoration Society (NCRS) judges. They kept commenting about what a special car it was and that he should really consider submitting the car for flight judging. So, what the heck – they’re adventurous.
They didn’t do anything to prepare for judging and traveled to the mountains of North Carolina for the weekend event. If you haven’t been to one of these events before – it was something else. Judging can take 3 to 5 hours as 10 people inspect every aspect of your car. There were 5 teams (2 people per team) who specialize in your year of manufacture and a specific system on your car. They go over the operations, interior, exterior, engine compartment, etc with a fine tooth comb. The goal is for the vehicle to be in the same condition as if it first came off the factory floor. At the end of the event, they received a 10 page report detailing every item that varied from original production. Heck, the judges even bring out a special sensor to inspect the paint ensuring it has the same characteristics of a 1960 paint. Good luck passing that one if you’ve had your car re-painted with modern mixes. Remember they went into this with a rather cavalier attitude, they were dinged some major points for relatively easy fixes: the wrong type battery, the wrong type tires, and hadn’t installed the windshield washer assembly. What amazed them was the level of detail the judging took. They were also dinged for something as minor as an incorrect letter stamped on a bolt head. After all was said and done, they came out with a Second Flight award – only a mere 4 points away from Top Flight. What a pleasant surprise! On top of that, they determined there aren’t too many of these particular cars. Only 100 were made with the 250 HP fuel injection and only 500 were made with a factory power top.
So, their whole intent with the car has changed. They aren’t tooling around town so much in it anymore – but rather are taking more of a caretaker approach to the vehicle. Since it scored so close to Top Flight, they figured – why not? They’ll just fix many of the issues found during the judging event (many of which were easy fixes) and then re-submit for judging at a Regional meet. Their goal is to Flight again at the Regional Meet in SC in 2018, which will qualify them to participate in the National Meet. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.