- - Thursday, August 4, 2011

In the summer of 1991 Lynn Rumble was driving his four-door Chevrolet Nova sedan on Rhode Island Avenue a few blocks from his College Park home when he saw a car with a for sale sign in the window.

What had arrested his attention was an antique white-over-light red 1977 Chevrolet Nova Concours two-door coupe. Because he was happy with his sedan, he stopped to inquire about the particulars. Although the car was very nice and had been driven only 18,420 miles in 14 years, he thought the asking price was too steep.

Over the course of the next several months, he kept his eye on the car and, as time passed, the price began slipping. In November 1991 he again stopped and this time he negotiated a cash deal with the owner and the striking, chrome-laden Chevrolet was his.

Before he retired in 2003, he drove the car to work at Walter Reed Hospital until he witnessed some of the damage done to cars parked on the street. Thereafter he kept the car close to home.

In an unintentional case of turn about is fair play, in July 1994 Mr. Rumble was driving his wife’s car in the rain when it went into a skid that totaled the car. Since his wife, Beverly, had no car to drive, she used the 1977 Chevrolet to take her daughter, Melanie, to work. At an intersection, a passing utility truck ripped off the entire front clip of the car.

By this time, Mr. Rumble had discovered that his car was one of 28,602 such cars manufactured in the 1977 model year. He had his car, with about 22,000 miles on the odometer, trucked to K&L Enterprises, a repair shop in Martinsburg, W.Va. where in three months the car was put back together in better condition that it was when it was new.

Mr. Rumble has the window sticker from the car when it was sold new at the Gerken Chevrolet dealership in West Chester, Pa. It lists the base price as $3,991.45. Extra cost options included:

YAir conditioning$488

YTurbo Hydra-Matic289

YPower steering.146

Y305 cid V-8 engine120

YAM radio72

YAppearance group70

YTilt steering wheel63

YPower brakes63

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