1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray: Taking Delivery (Video)
May 29, 2015
It's the phone call you dream about.
"Scott, this is Ted from The Finest Carrier. I just reached Los Angeles and I have your 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray. Where do you want it delivered?"
I bought the car over the phone about three weeks earlier. Wired the cash. And then it was a waiting game.
Ted and I agreed on a delivery location that he and his big truck could work with. I arrived with a mix of excitement and apprehension. No, make that fear. What if the car wasn't what I was expecting? What if I just paid $57,500 of Edmunds money for a basket case? What if I was scammed?
It happens. You hear the horror stories. And my father always told me to never buy a car sight unseen.
And then Ted fired it up and the roar of that small-block V8 echoed off the walls of his truck. And it sounded sweet. And then he began to back it out of the trailer into the Southern California sunshine. It was beautiful.
The theater of it all took over. The burble of the Corvette's exhaust mixed musically with the whine of the truck's slow-moving ramp mechanism. Understanding the moment, Ted blipped the Sting Ray's throttle a few times, creating the perfect soundtrack.
And then he backed it off the ramp.
I don't remember much after that. After Ted handed me the key, I kind of went blank for a bit. I remember giving the car a bit of a once over. I remember being really taken by its wonderful condition and I kind of remember signing something. And then I was driving it. I was driving a 1966 Corvette Sting Ray.
It's just a few miles from the delivery location to our office in Santa Monica. And I drove gingerly, feeling out the car. I was feeling the clutch, the suspension, checking the gauges. It felt good. Temp was right on, oil pressurewhere it should be. Shifted sweet. I kept asking myself, "Was everything working?"
The answer was no. A few small problems quickly became obvious. The speedometer wasn't working and with it, the odometer. The engine seemed to run well and rev nicely, but it was running a tick rich. Plus the coating on the new side pipes was burning off and I was baking in the toxic fumes. Then I got to the office and parked. And it became apparent that the parking brake was useless.
No big deal. Easy fixes.
And then I watched my video of the car coming off the truck and noticed that the brake lights weren't working. That was annoying. You can drive a car with a worthless speedometer, but you can't drive a car without brake lights. The next morning I called Mershon's, the dealer that sold us the car and complained, basically saying, "I just paid you $55,000 for a car and you ship it to me without brake lights? WTF?"
"It must be the switch on the pedal," they said. "An easy fix. We'll overnight you the part."
And they did. And it was. But our air-conditioned Corvette has ducting that gets in the way and complicates the job, so we decided to bring the car to our trusted local mechanic. A few hours and $250 later, we had brake lights.
And so the adventure begins.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief