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The $400 Corvette

Josh Gierke

Every car has a history, and every owner has a story as to how they got that car. My 1979 Corvette is no different. It all started last summer, when I decided I wanted to buy something relatively cheap, and try to trade up on Craigslist to see what I could get. I did some searching and found a gentleman who had a slightly beat-up, early 1990s Honda 300ex ATV. His right arm was broken from an accident on the 4 wheeler and he was asking $400.

When I met him, I shook his left hand, paid him and went on my way with my new treasure. I listed the ATV in a few different spots on Craigslist, advising in my ad that I would trade for a vehicle, as long as it was road worthy. After a week of waiting, I received a text from a young guy, who owned a 1996 2 door Blazer. He was very interested in trading for my Honda, so he would have an ATV to destroy with his buddies. I told him that if he could drive the Blazer to me, the 4 wheeler was his, and so he did.

As I looked over my new acquisition, checking out every little dent, scuff and coffee spill that it had acquired over its 280k miles of existence, I realized that I was on to something. The Blazer had a short, 6 day stay at my place, before it was finally traded for a 1981 Camaro. It had been owned by a guy whose recent run-ins with the law made his insurance on the car a little too much to handle.

It was a decent looking car, but needed some work. I considered keeping it, until I started looking into the wiring. After a night of rewiring everything that could potentially burn the car down, including replacing the speaker wire used to ground the alternator (not even joking), I said goodbye to the Camaro, and hello to an 1985 CJ7 Jeep.

The guy who traded it to me was all excited about making a Z/28 clone out of his new found project. It was at this point, that I realized I may actually have a shot at trading for a Corvette, so I put the ad on Craigslist, and crossed my fingers. While searching the cars for sale, a few days later, I came across a Corvette that was open to trades. After a few days of talking, and working out a time, I sat patiently one evening, waiting with the Jeep. Then, I heard a slight rumbling, which gradually got louder, and eventually a 1979 Corvette came into view. We spent about an hour checking out each other’s vehicles, when the guy’s dad suggested we trade, and after a trip to the credit union, to notarize a few titles, I finally did it. I finally traded up for another Corvette. Even though its styling and paint are reminiscent of a Hot Wheels car, its brakes were a little soft, and the interior looked like it had seen much better days, I had no complaints.

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