Written by independent automotive journalist Roger C. Johnson
Since John Staluppi and his fantastic Cars of Dreams Collection reside in the Sunshine State of Florida it should be no surprise he has a fascination with convertibles – and Corvettes. Here are three impossible dreams that are about to come true for you or another lucky bidder.
The first year for the big-block 427 Corvette could not be described as a hesitating step into the world of ultra-high performance. On the contrary, Chevrolet jumped in with both feet, body and soul. Here’s how they did it. In 1966 the super-sweet Stingray version was gifted with their 427ci powerhouse capable 450 horsepower – more advertised power than any other car of the time. It was so outrageous, the GM powers-that-be thought they should claim the engine made a little less power so as not to totally offend the senses of certain government entities and insurance companies. They immediately declared it only produced 425 horsepower, although it remained the exact same engine.
This original 427/450 Corvette is one of only 2,339 offered in Sunfire Yellow, and one of only 1,194 sold with the aluminum knockoff wheel package. It also packs a 4-speed manual transmission, its original teakwood steering wheel with a telescopic column, power steering and brakes, along with the notorious F41 heavy-duty suspension. And don’t forget the power antenna.
This extremely rare Corvette has undergone a complete restoration based on the kind of quality and attention to detail you’d expect for a car with such impressive credentials. The result produced a 99-point NCRS score. That means when you drive this Corvette home, it is 100 percent certain you’ll be the envy of dreamers everywhere.
The last year of production for what was certainly the sleekest-looking Corvette ever went out with a huge bang, thanks again to Chevrolet’s 427ci big block. This one has the 435 horsepower option with three 2-barrel Holleys for good measure. A 4-speed, close-ratio manual transmissions allows the lucky driver to dispense all the power in the manner he or she sees fit. This rocket ride is also equipped with the F41 suspension, and its 4.11 posi-traction rear end does its level best to keep the engine revs in that super-playful zone only we gearheads know, or care, about. A transistor ignition does the intellectual work of keeping the engine firing just right on all eight of its hungry cylinders.
This Corvette’s Marina Blue exterior with bright blue interior and white convertible top create such an eye-pleasing image that it is almost obscures the fact of what a beastly machine it really is.
The car’s heritage is confirmed with original owner bank documents, including loan details and even photos of the car and its original owner taken in the early 1970s. Judging sheets from numerous NCRS shows, as well as Bloomington Gold certification receipts, add to this machine’s perfect paper trail to numerous regional and national Top Flight awards that have honored it.
This second-year C3 Corvette dazzles from any angle and from any speed. Brilliant LeMans Blue paint and perfectly contrasting black interior is enough to set this Corvette apart from anything else on the road or in your driveway. Add to that a brutish 400 horsepower 427ci big block with a three 2-barrel induction system along with a Muncie 4-speed, and suddenly you’re in the stratosphere of collector cars.
Nicely equipped with an AM/FM radio, power steering and brakes with the best-looking side-pipes ever offered on any production car, and you’ll begin to understand why John Staluppi refers to his collection as “Cars of Dreams.”
The C3 Corvette would go on to be the brand’s longest-selling model, which is a testament to its advanced design that was initially penned in the ’60s. The year 1969 has often been referred to as the absolute pinnacle of the classic muscle car era. If you could only have one car in your collection from this magical period in automotive history, it would be nearly impossible to find a more desirable prospect than this blue beast.
All three of these fabulous big-block Corvette convertibles are offered at No Reserve. If you’re hungry for the ultimate in neighborhood entertainment, and you’ve been dreaming about have a big block party of your own, the timing couldn’t be better than right now. Even though you can only invite one person at a time, rest assured it will be a dream come true for all.
For up-to-date information on these and other vehicles in the John Staluppi Cars of Dreams Collection, click HERE.