It’s common to accuse a man of going through a mid-life crisis when he buys something flashy around the time he turns 40. When Chuck Thompson turned 40 back in 1997 he bought a near mint condition 1958 Chevy Corvette.
“I always really liked the look of the ’58 through ’60 Vettes,” he said of the car he found in Springfield, “but the ’58 has more chrome.” This was also the first year with the dramatic dual headlights which seem to perfectly balance the twin exhaust ports in the back that growl with that distinctive Corvette roar.
And while all of those things contributed to Chuck’s decision to buy the Vette, one point couldn’t go unspoken. “It was cheaper than getting a new blonde,” he added with a laugh.
Chuck has regularly bought cars and fixed them up before selling them as a hobby. But he isn’t planning on selling this Vette. “This is an investment. It’s not a piece of paper,” he said.
When he bought the car, he bought it pretty much as is. “It was pretty much all original and with the exception of a piece here and there, he added. One noticeable part of the car that isn’t vintage 1958 is the paint job which is Honduras maroon, a 1960 Corvette color.
The four speed stick limits who else in the family can drive the car. “I’d like to get a Stingray automatic so my girls can drive that around,” he said.
He said the car is a blast to drive and that he tends to put about 2500 miles on it a year. “I don’t drive it in the winter, not with all the salt,” he pointed out. And while he’s driven as far as three hours away from home before, he also tries to avoid rainy days. “It leaks like a sieve in the rain,” he laughed.
The car is not the least expensive to run, either. When asked what kind of mileage he got he laughed again, “When it came out it was advertised as getting 11 miles per gallon,” leaving his actual mileage for the imagination. Still, even with the cost of gas this beautiful ’58 Vette is probably cheaper than that new blonde.