Source: Sherman Publications

Lovin’ those Vettes
Chevrolet Corvette turns 60-years-old, plenty of memories

by David Fleet

July 17, 2013

Atlas Township-Cynthia Delbridge’s 1959 Chevrolet Corvette was parked under an apple tree in rural Shiawassee for five years.

“I just had no money to get it fixed,” said Delbridge, a township resident. “The car was very tired when I first bought it in 1973—but I just loved it.”

Delbridge, along with millions of others, continue to have a love affair with the Corvette— the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car. And now after six decades—the Corvette, which debuted from an assembly line in Flint, June 30, 1953 at a cost of $3,498— continues to be a part of automobile history. In fact according to General Motors, of the 1.5 million Corvettes produced since the debut of what was initially a concept car, 1.4 million still exist.

Delbridge’s love for Corvettes started in 1973 after she had just purchased a brand new Pontiac LeMans.

“I was driving on M-15 and had just crossed Davison Road—it was dusk at the time,” she said. “And I saw this 1959 Corvette sitting on the northeast corner of the road. It was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. However, the poor light at dusk covered the dents and dings on the car. Still, I traded my new 73 LeMans for the Corvette. I was happy with the trade—my dad was not,” laughed Delbridge. “He asked me, ‘What are you going to drive in the winter or to work?’ I said, ‘You’re looking at it.’”

Delbridge said there were plenty of problems with her Corvette— from the reverse gone out of the transmission to a need for a replacement of the 283 cubic inch engine to damage to the interior.

The restoration process has been on-going for many years, added Delbridge.

“I wanted to keep it stock and much of it is original parts,” she said. “It’s not show quality—there’s pits in the chrome. People come up to us at car shows and note the original windshield and even the same braking system.”