Daddy of a Vette Man

            Roger McHugh is a Vette man. Not only does he own four of these Chevy sports cars ranging from the 1950s through the 1990s, he’s also the president of his local group, the Eastgate Corvette Club.

            The oldest Vette he owns is a 1957 C1 or first generation that he bought about 12 years ago from an owner in Knoxville, TN. “The only thing we did to it was re-do the engine and the paint,” Roger said.
            He has two newer models, including a 1991. “That’s the only Vette I’ve bought new,” he said, and readily admits that it’s the smoothest riding car that he owns. “The older ones could be a little stiff.”

            His wife owns a 1957 Ford Thunderbird that the couple bought about 10 years ago in West Virginia. The car had undergone a restoration a few years before they bought it and so Roger admitted, “We did very little work on it.”
            Of all the cars, the one with the most fascinating story is the 1962 Vette the couple own. “We had one just like it when we were first married,” Roger said.
            Then he told the story of how he and his wife, who was very pregnant with their first child at the time, were driving along Kenwood Rd., north of Cincinnati, when all of a sudden her water broke. After his daughter was born, as much as it pained him to do so, Roger admits that he did the right thing. “Being a good father I took that car to the dealer and traded it in for a family car,” he said.
            So, five years ago when the couple had the chance to buy another ’62 Vette, they jumped at the chance. The car went through a body on restoration where, according to Roger, “It was gutted and restored.”
            One area that didn’t need any kind of work was the body. “It was what they call virgin, in mint condition,” he said. Because of the way the fiberglass for a Vette body is put together, it is easy to see if there has been any body work done on it. In this case there was nothing, no dents, dinks or repairs.
            When it came time to choose how to finish the car in terms of upholstery and paint, Roger’s first inclination was to go with a black body since his ’57 was the classic red with white. “My wife said that we should fix it to look just like our old one,” he said. That meant ermine white paint and a red interior.
            Now the still proud papa has a car exactly like the one that drove his wife to the hospital that first day. Along with three other Vettes to keep it company.


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