Full restoration of
1960 Corvette brings car to life
By JESSICA GRIFFIN/Sun Staff Writer Saturday,
May 14, 2005 9:51 AM
Bob and Debra Staton enjoy being followed.
they are driving on the interstate, the Winchester couple says
people drive past
them gawking, sometimes even videotaping them or
shouting questions, but they
They love talking about their recently restored 1960 black Corvette
and attention is welcome. Their car even garnered national attention
appeared in the June edition of Vette Magazine.
"People just can't believe it's
in that good of condition to be that
old," said Bob.
But the good condition
didn't come easily.
Bob purchased the car in 1968 for a mere $1,000. While he
wasn't in spectacular condition when he bought it, it was nothing a
little orange paint and a few modifications couldn't fix.
Those were the days
when everyone had to have a hot rod, he said.
"When I first bought it,
everybody wanted to have a car with more
horsepower and do what you weren't
supposed to do," he said.
When he met Debra, he escorted her on many dates in
the car - which
then had black stripes on its orange hue - and the two prowled
town in the tiger-striped car until well after their wedding day.
their two children were born, however, the two-seater just wasn't
anymore. Unwilling to part with the classic car, Bob and
Debra parked it in
their barn, where it stayed for more than 20
The couple always said they
would restore the car, but the time didn't
come until their youngest son left
The two set a budget and began a project that would take them
four-and-a-half years and much more money than they'd anticipated.
power steering, power brakes and all the amenities of a new
car, which makes it
a lot more fun to drive," Debra said.
They painted the car black with white
accents and changed everything
"but the frame and body, windshield and grill."
The restoration has been a project for both of the Statons, with Bob
mechanic work and Debra making sure the car shines before
and after each outing.
The black paint requires such meticulous caretaking, Debra says, that
joined the Black Sheep Squadron - a national club exclusively for
black Corvettes who "understand the agony and the ecstasy of
owning a black
In addition to the Black Sheep Squadron, the Statons also belong to
several other Corvette clubs and are members of the National Corvette
located in Bowling Green.
It was during one of their many visits to the museum
that the couple
won their most prized award for the car - Dick Guldstrand's
Choice award at the museum's 10th Anniversary. They also have won
several other awards in car shows around the nation.
During their travels with
the car, the couple has met people from all
over the country and just had fun
being with each other.
"We've always had a close relationship and this is just
a hobby that
we both enjoy doing," Debra said.
The couple says that it is a
"fun car," and they wouldn't get rid of
it for anything.
"A man once offered
six figures for it and we turned it down," Bob
said. "This car is not for sale."
In 1968, Bob Staton, left, purchased this 1960 Corvette for a mere
After a few years of driving the car, Bob and his wife Debra,
right, stored the
car in a barn where it sat for more than 20 years.
Now, after four-and-a-half
years of restoration, this 45-year-old car
shines like new. (Sun photo by James