FOUND: '58 Corvette,290hp, fuel-injected, four-speed with posirearend, and both tops. One of 1,007made.

Back around 1970, my buddy Tom wasin California riding his Harley and enjoyinghis lifestyle. He ran into this kid witha Corvette that he wanted to sell. Tomworked out a trade for his Harley andwas soon driving the Corvette home toMinnesota. The motor was burning oil,but it ran pretty good. Tom was scoffedat along the way by a couple of guyswith `57 Vettes, who told him what amistake he made because the `58s were"junk and undesirable." Apparently, thefactory had added more chrome and awashboard hood that made the car witha lot of "one year only" pieces. Tomstarted thinking he had made a mistake.He eventually got home about 25 quartsof oil later. He drove it around for thesummer before parking it in his shed,while he thought about working on themotor and fixing it up a little.

Around 1977 or so, I stopped by Tom'shouse, and while in his shop, I drooledover the Corvette. As a teenager, Ithought it was so cool. I hadn't ever beenup close to one and now Tom was allowingme to climb in and take a look. Whata dream!

Tom, like so many of us, had a millionprojects to take care of. The Corvette gotput under a canvas tarp and put to theside. Over the years, I visited Tom nowand then, and we became good friends. Iwould always look at the exposed rearfender of the Corvette, but we didn't talkabout it much. Tom had promised to givesome of his best friends the first optionto buy it if it did go up for sale. So I justfigured the Corvette was out of reach forme. I knew it was not for sale; I didn'thave the money to buy it anyway.

Around 1991, I told Tom I would helphim get it on the road if he wanted, buthe declined. He was too busy with otherprojects at the time and couldn't swingextra money for the Corvette.

In 2004, I came down with Corvette"fever" with a `69 Corvette I found inCarlsbad, California, that had been onblocks for 18 years. I flew down there,got it running, and drove it home. Itwas one of those lifetime experiencesthat was a great and fun education.