MECUM AUCTIONS' offering of an original 1967 427 Chev Corvette with just 8553 miles, described as ‘"As close to a Vault Find as you can get", sold for a staggering US$675,000 (AU$910,000) in May.
Bidders were told it has spent most of its life locked away and its 427 engine still fires immediately, waking with a mean growl, its Marina Blue coachwork and matching bright blue interior are flawless.
The 'Vette was the obsession of purple-heart decorated Vietnam Vet, Keith Richard Litavsky, who sent money home from the war to save for the car.
As soon as his boots hit US soil he went straight to buy his dream car which was delivered to Douglass Chevrolet in Illinois, December 23, 1966.
After his passing in 1993, Litavsky’s son Matt inherited the 'Vette, had it trailered to his home and put it up on a lift in his climate-controlled garage.
It comes with a raft of official documents including the original window sticker, car shipper, Protect-O-Plate, original radio tag and owner’s manual. The original tank sticker is still affixed.
Litavsky clearly knew his stuff, ordering the soughtafter combo of a Tri-Power 427ci/435 HP L71 engine, with an M21 close-ratio 4-speed gearbox, a 4.11 Positraction diff and F41 Special suspension.
It also features power windows, tinted glass, a telescopic steering column, speed warning, AM/FM radio, rally wheels and it even comes with all five of its original redline tyres.
According to his son Matt, Litavsky treated it like a newborn baby. He never drove it in the rain, and refused to park it in the sun. He used a damp, soft cloth to clean it and its resting place was in his garage on four carpeted jacks to take the pressure off the tyres and springs.
He even kept diaries of its use. Each time he started it, Litavsky would log the dates and details about the revs he hit and how the car ran.
And so he didn’t overuse the 'Vette he bought a second car and even swore his kids to secrecy about it, for fear of having it stolen.
Matt said, “I have tried to continue to maintain the car with the same love and integrity that my father did.
All is in order and like new. I will miss this car more than you will know, as it has been a part of my life and something that truly strengthened the bond between my father and me. But, one thing I know for sure, is that even when the car is gone, the memories will live on.”
Mecum Auctions declared this car was an unprecedented opportunity for a serious Corvette collector and it seems the bidders agreed.