Corvette club of South Australia Inc.


Jack was born on September 15th, 1969 in St.Louis, Missouri. He was born into what turned out to be the biggest family of his type for his era. He weighed in at a very healthy 427 cubic inches, and had a M21 Muncie rock crusher heart. He was a pretty plain boy with Fathom Green skin and apart from his drop top he was just a big assed boy with big balls!

His first adopted home was at McCullough Chevrolet, in Hayward, California. From this point in time until 1990 Jack's whereabouts and previous owners are unknown, which is sometimes the case. In 1990 a Californian by the name of Mike Viera bought Jack, and apart from a valve job, and  later an engine rebuild, and a partial restoration processed started, but not completed, Jack was pretty much as born, but probably worse for the wear. He resurfaced again in a for sale advert in the local Modesto, California newspaper in 1998. He was then purchased by another Californian by the name of Bob Wadley. By this time Jack was in poor health and near death's door, Jack was in a thousand pieces, in zip lock bags and boxes, the wiring was a bird's nest, His bumpers were rusted and/or missing. His engine and transmission had been rebuilt, as well as his rear end, trailing arms, and front suspension. Three quarters of his paint had been removed. After much haggling Bob had himself a 1969 BIG Block 4 speed convertible two top with matching numbers! He had a new home and arrived home with the help of three friends with pickup trucks, and a car trailer.  Bob already had a 1975 coupe which he tore down to racing form, raced for two years, and then converted it back to street legal  so restoring Jack was not going to be a problem for Bob. Unfortunately a job change and building a new home meant that Bob had no time to complete the restoration, and Jack went into storage, so in 2005 he sold the remains of Jack to Mike Nelson, also out of Modesto, California. Mike then commenced to bring Jack back to life, and spent many, many hours, paying meticulously attention to detail to restore Jack to his original condition. Anyone reading this that has done a full body off resto will know the time, and money involved. The attached photos pay tribute to Mike's dedication and hard work.

Already owning a 1988 corvette convertible, and smitten with corvette fever I decided that another item needed to be struck off my bucket list, and a 1969-72 chrome bumper "Stingray convertible" was my mission. After hearing several horror stories regarding personal importing I pushed on with my dream, since I was sixteen, despite the possible outcomes. After scouring local, and overseas websites looking for a suitable car, I casually mentioned to the Guru my wants and desires. Being the Guru that he is, and a genuinely great person an email arrived in my inbox from you guessed it. Here was Jack advertised on the one website I never thought of looking at, The Corvette Form. The description, and detail in the ad from a senior forum member convinced me that I needed to follow this up. After weeks of emails flying back and forth between owner and potential owner, and c.c'd to the Guru accompanied by dozens of photos and confirmation of matching numbers I had to make a decision. With the exchange rate, and car prices in the U.S.A being in my favor, and the final words from the Guru ringing in my ears "If I were you I would buy this car" the decision was a "no brainer."

A Bill Of Sale was drafted up, a price agreed upon, import permit applied for and granted. Of course the most daunting feeling is that at a given point in time a total stranger whom I had not even spoken to has my money, and my car! The offer was accepted so now I had to get Jack to Australia. The Freight Guru Nick was instrumental in completing the arrangements, and without his help, and knowledge this would have been very, very difficult. The car was picked up in Modesto, and transported to L.A. for shipping, all under the watchful eye and guidance from the Guru of freight! The car arrived at the shipper's premises, and eventually Jack was loaded into a 40 foot container with three other cars, and my indigestion ceased, when I received a Bill of Lading confirming that Jack was in the container, and on board a ship.

Eventually the ship berthed in Melbourne, and Jack was removed from the container. After payment of the G.S.T., Port charges, and Quarantine Inspection fee I received a Delivery order. The day of reckoning was here! The Guru and I traveled to Tullamarine to find Jack EXACTLY as he had been pictured, not a scratch, dent or mark on his new LeMans Blue skin! The relief at seeing him in such fine condition brought a large smile to my face, which I think is still there! A drink of petrol, and a jump start and Jack fired up!

Just to add icing to the cake the shipping company in L.A went out of business, after the ship sailed, and I have never received a freight bill!!

Recently I returned to Canada for family reasons, and on my way back to Australia, I arranged to meet Mike Nelson in person in San Mateo, California where I was staying. Mike and his buddy Kevin Nelson (no relation) drove from Modesto, and we had a wonderful day talking corvettes, and in particular about Jack's history. This story is a tribute to Mike's dedication to bring Jack back to life, and I only wish we could have spent more time together. I have been told by many fellow club members what a great car I bought.
Maybe I should change my name to "LUCKY"

This story is dedicated to:
Mike Nelson
Joe Younane
Nick Bolis

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