- - Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don LaRue was graduating from Mauri High School in Norfolk in 1962 and to this day vividly remembers his first ride in a new white Corvette. He never recovered from that initial Corvette experience. It’s safe to say that he was and is hopelessly hooked.

After college he bought his first Corvette in 1973. Since then a dozen more Corvettes have come and eventually most have gone.

An exception is Corvette No. 6, a 1962 model that he purchased in November 1979 in Virginia Beach.

Mr. LaRue drove his new old car home to Reston with no trouble. Then in 1981 he took his bride on their honeymoon to the Corvette factory in St. Louis in that same 1962 Corvette.

In 1983, after the 327-cubic-inch Turbofire V-8 engine was overhauled so that it once again produced a healthy 250 horsepower, they drove the 1962 Corvette to a national Corvette meet in St. Louis. After 24 years and 145,000 miles, the Corvette was showing signs of wear, so Mr. LaRue began stripping off the sateen silver paint. With that task progressing nicely, ‘Why not take the body off?’ Mr. LaRue thought.

‘What a mistake,’ he soon realized.

In April 2001, a mere 18 years later, after a lot of help from family, friends and neighbors, the refurbished body finally was secured to the chassis. Two years later, July 2003, the finishing touches were applied the day before a national Corvette meet in Hershey, Pa. He drove his freshly restored 1962 Corvette on its 102-inch wheelbase to Hershey, where it garnered 98.6 points out of 100 to win a top-flight award.

‘I collected parts for this car for 20 years,’ Mr. LaRue says. From the first, he knew that this Corvette was a keeper.

Records indicate that 14,531 Corvettes were built in 1962. This particular one, No. 9,713 was built on April 12, 1962. For seven years Corvettes had bodyside coves. The first six of those years - 1956 through 1961 - the coves were outlined in chrome trim that invited a two-tone effect. In 1962, the last year before the Stingray, the chrome outline of the cove was dropped, thus eliminating the two colors.

Each one of the 2,925-pound Corvettes had a base price of $4,038.

Optional equipment on Mr. LaRue’s Corvette, some of which he added later, includes:

• Auxiliary top……$236.75.

• 4-speedtransmision.188.30.

• Signal-seeking radio.137.75.

• Power windows…….59.20.

Story Continues →