There are essentially two schools of thought when it comes to keeping classic old cars for future exhibition: restore, or preserve. Granted, which route is taken has as much to do with the current condition of the car as it does the sensibilities of the owner.
Today, we profile a man who opted for the latter route, preserving and maintaining an original 1960 Chevrolet Corvette with a 3-speed manual and a fuel-injected 283. It might just be the most original 1960 example in the world.
The folks at Hot Rod interviewed the car’s owner, Mr. Gary Skinner, who despite being the Corvette’s second owner, had the occasion to ride in the 1960 model year car when it was brand new. That’s because the car’s original buyer was Skinner’s schoolteacher, Ed Graye. “He ordered the car just the way he wanted it, with the big, fuel-injected 283 and three-speed manual instead of the four-speed ’cause he wanted to drag race it,” says Gary.
But for one reason or another, Chevrolet couldn’t offer Graye the 290 HP fuel-injected motor, so it wound up with a 270 dual-quad unit of the same displacement, instead. Graye drove it emphatically until 1968, when he parked the car indefinitely for reasons unknown.
It would be another 18 or so years before Skinner ended up with the car, Graye finally relenting and selling it at a price of $7,500. Skinner didn’t know much about Corvettes, nor the price that an intact one would command, but originally he had every intention to restore the car. Until, that is, he went to the Chicago Vette Fest a few weeks later, where he got to talk to a number of true Corvette enthusiasts. “After I talked to them they said don’t you dare restore that car. Keep it as it is, so that’s what I did.”
As a result of Skinner’s choice to follow that advice, this 1960 model year Corvette might be the most original in existence. To boot, it has a miraculously low mileage; when he first acquired the car, the odometer stood at 11,110 miles. Almost three decades later, it reads 11,870.
“I’ve messed with Corvettes for quite a while now,” says Gary Skinner. “I think this Corvette is probably the most original ’60 model in existence.”