When she was only 10 years old, Sharon Johnson saw her dream car—a brand new Elkhart Green ’73 Corvette. It was owned by the businessman who lived next door. After purchasing the car, Sharon’s neighbor had it repainted to Amber Firemist Gold (a ’65 Cadillac color), making it even more irresistible to the young girl. Sharon decided she would own that car by her 16th birthday.

She went to work at her father’s restaurant and frugally stored away every penny, hoping all the while that her neighbor would agree to sell the car when the time came that she could afford it. When Sharon turned 15, she asked her father to speak to him about selling. His answer was a firm “No.” The Stingray had just won the Wash and Show Championship at the NCCC National Convention, and its owner was in no hurry to part with it.

Sharon looked at other Corvettes that year, but couldn’t seem to forget the beautiful ’73. Then, finally, her luck changed. The Corvette’s owner appeared at her father’s restaurant and announced that he and his wife were expecting a baby. The Corvette was for sale! Sharon brought the Stingray home and named it “Jojo,” after an Elton John song.

Driving the Corvette to high school was out of the question, and Sharon tried to keep her new Stingray a secret. She kept it in the garage and drove it only to local shows and Corvette club meetings, never mentioning it to any of her friends. Like most high schools, however, rumors ran rampant. One day in drama class Sharon was reading an issue of Corvette Fever (she’s been a loyal reader for over 20 years!) when a young man sat down next to her. She reluctantly let him share her magazine. That man is now her husband of 17 years, Alan. The gold Stingray now sits in the driveway next to Alan’s copper ’94, which was featured in our July issue. The ’73 is mainly a pleasure vehicle, used only for road rallies, shows, and the occasional autocross. It has all the options available in ’73, a Holley 650 carburetor, a custom steering wheel, and a recently added rosewood dash. An avid Star Trek fan, Sharon has also added the words “TO BOLDLY GO…” to the car’s door sill, and has hung a miniature replica of the Starship Enterprise from her rearview mirror.

Recently, Sharon and Alan returned to the business that first earned them their ’73. They’re building a new restaurant, Fish Tales Southern Seafood, on the same site that Sharon spent six years saving for her dream Corvette. If you’re ever in Haines City, Florida, stop by for some great seafood—and maybe a look at a great ’73!