Building a Corvette Family
Some families find good Corvettes, some Corvettes find good families.
Andy Bolig - August 01, 2011 09:00 AM
“Norm gladly took over the driving chores and decided to never relinquish them.”
FAMILY Kim and her husband, Paul, stand with two of their two daughters (Meghan, 13, left and Katelyn, 17, right) along with their three Corvettes. Not pictured are Lauren, 19, and Jordan, 15.
ENGINES While the 436hp LS3 engine in both of their Grand Sports may have the ’60 Corvette’s 230-horsepower beat, they can’t claim to being rebuilt personally by a former president of General Motors North America.
WHEELS The chromed aluminum wheels are as close to their ’60s as the Baileys could get since GM stopped putting full-wheel hubcaps on Corvettes decades ago.
INTERIOR Improvements have been made in the interior since the ’60 rolled off the line.
R8C The Baileys ordered a production photo album option from the NCM which provides them with a photo album full of images taken while their car was being built. This option is available to enthusiasts who also ordered a Museum Delivery (R8C) at the time that their cars were ordered from their dealer.
National Corvette Museum
within days of the actual build date of their purchased 2010 Grand Sport, Gary Cockriel called to find out where they wanted their SECOND 2010 Grand Sport delivered!
It all started on a warm July day in 1960. That’s when the Corvette assembly plant in St. Louis, Missouri, was building a Corvette for a fellow GM employee at Pontiac Motor Division’s Pressed Metal Plant No. 14 in Pontiac, Michigan.
They built the car into a fine looking Honduras Maroon, black interior, 230hp, three-speed convertible, nicely equipped with a deluxe heater, radio, washers, Positraction axle and courtesy lights.
Norm Raedeke purchased the car for his wife, Shirley, for her 28th birthday from Haskins Chevrolet in Clarkston, Michigan. They traded in their 1955 Buick sedan for $300 and the total financed amount including taxes, credit life, trade-in and General Motors employee discount of $838.18 was $3,876.84. Pontiac employees were expected to purchase Pontiac cars, but Norm’s wife was going to be driving this one. The car was promised for the Labor Day Parade in Clarkston by the dealer and Norm offered that his wife could do the driving and two nephews came down from Flint to ride along.
As fate would have it, Shirley only drove the car for about a year until she found herself pregnant and unable to fit behind the wheel of the car anymore. Norm gladly took over the driving chores and decided to never relinquish them. Of course, the presence of the Chevy in the Pontiac parking lot wasn’t appreciated by the higher-ups at the plant, but it didn’t seem to bother Norm’s employees. Turns out that Norm was noted for squeezing out every last mile from the gas tank and often times found himself a little short between gas pumps. Norm’s employees learned to carry along a gas can and rescued him on several occasions.
Norm added a removable hardtop in 1961. Driving to the other side of the state, he purchased the hardtop, installed the necessary hardware at the seller’s home and then drove the Corvette back home. He also brought his wife and their new daughter, Kim, home from the hospital after Kim was born in November of ’61. He even had a special cushion made so that Kim could sit between them in the car.
Norm continued to drive the car daily on his way back and forth to the plant. Sometime in the mid ’70s, Norm had the engine rebuilt by students at the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University in Flint, Michigan). The two then-students taking on the task were none other than Troy Clarke and Bill McNabb as their fifth year student project. Troy Clarke would later become and retire as president of General Motors North America. The engine was again rebuilt in 2009 by Patrick Devlin of Great Falls, Virginia. The car began to show its age and Norm gave the car a body-off restoration toward the end of the ’70s and the car was again repainted by Keith Colton of Vienna, Virginia in 2009.
Kim drove the car during high school and cruised the Detroit suburbs on Dixie Highway, Telegraph Road and of course, Woodward Avenue. Kim reports that, “negotiating red lights required some planning since first gear is not synchronized in the three-speed transmission.” She’s not the only matriarch who enjoyed rowing through the gears in this Corvette. Norm’s wife Shirley holds the speed record for this car while driving it at 120 mph in Michigan’s upper peninsula, edging out Norm’s best of 110 mph. She also has had the only speeding ticket in this car, 40 mph in a 25 mph zone, but she still denies that she could have hit 40 mph in one city block.
When it was time to pass on the Corvette legacy, Norm sold the little Corvette to his daughter Kim for one dollar. Before they could broker the deal, they needed to contact GMAC to obtain a letter removing the lien from the original title when Norm purchased it back in 1960. Needless to say, GMAC no longer had the payment records from the original 36-month financing of $107.69 per month.
In 2009, Kim and her husband Paul Bailey began the process of purchasing a matching VIN 2010 Grand Sport to complement their fiberglass family member. That meant that Kim needed to sell her Millennium Yellow ’01 convertible to make room in their two-car garage. They worked closely with the National Corvette Museum’s Gary Cockriel in reserving this significant VIN number and working through all of the logistics with the assembly plant and Chevrolet. They placed their order through Stan Hale at Sterling Chevrolet in Sterling, Virgina, for a Crystal Red Metallic Grand Sport Convertible with a matching number VIN to their ’60 Corvette (#9713). Crystal Red Metallic was the closest color to match Honduras Maroon and the black interior keeps the resemblance going on the inside. Unlike the earlier Corvette, this one has a six-speed auto, navigation, dual-mode exhaust, chrome aluminum wheels and embroidered crossed flags on the headrests.
Kim was very appreciative of all Gary’s hard work and persistence in making sure the car arrived with the proper VIN number and, as a good gesture, she purchased one of the NCM’s raffle tickets for $100. Being accountants, both Kim and Paul are good with numbers and Kim reasoned that their chances of winning were slim but, the money went to help the NCM and that was her intention all along. She never thought that her husband Paul would ever find out, no harm, no foul. That’s when Gary called and spoke with Paul.
Within days of the actual build date of their purchased 2010 Grand Sport, Gary Cockriel called to find out where they wanted their SECOND 2010 Grand Sport delivered! Turns out that they won another Grand Sport, this one an Arctic White convertible wearing the Victory Red fender stripe, red two-toned leather seating, chrome aluminum wheels and the R8C, Museum Delivery Package.
Kim and daughter Katelyn flew up to the NCM on June 19th. They toured the assembly plant and Corvette museum, took delivery of their white Grand Sport and made arrangements to have it shipped back to Sterling Chevrolet, where both cars arrived two days apart.
Keeping with the matching VIN theme, Paul and Kim have located another Corvette, this one a ’62, that has the same ending VIN number as their two Corvettes. They have begun a search for any other Corvettes of other years that wear the same #9713 as their two. There have been several offers on the white Grand Sport, and some initial talk about obtaining another like-VINed Corvette, but rather than part with the new member of the family, the Baileys are currently remodeling their garage and adding two lifts, effectively making room for another #9713 Corvette and their current stable of Corvettes. Oh that all enthusiasts might have such problems.