Ten years after the 1953 debut of the Corvette, Chevrolet introduced an all-new model of the iconic American Sports Car ushering in the era of the Sting Ray.
By 1965 the Second Generation (now there are eight) of the Corvette had evolved into a futuristic fastback body with a sweeping front-end design that delivered an unmistakable message that really needed no words to describe it.
When you saw it, you realized you had encountered a classic for the ages.
That was exactly Jim Maibach’s reaction, and he knew it was The One he wanted for his own. In 1985 he found it and began a four-year labor of love in making it perfect.
His summary: “It was all about muscle in the mid ‘60s, and I’m a lover of that era car. Most warm-blooded Americans are!”
The first thing for Jim to do was to bring the car’s color back to what it was when it left the St. Louis assembly plant. It had been painted a popular red but was supposed to be Glen Green to correctly match its VIN designation.
But that was just the beginning of a full restoration. “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but four and a half years later, we finally finished it,” Jim says.
Jim’s car came with the fuel-injected base 327-cubic-inch V-8 engine, hydraulic valve lifters, the Carter four-barrel carburetor and new knock-off wheels. The side exhaust system made the look even more aggressive.
But, he wanted a little more.
He added a special upgraded cam shaft, “for the rat-a-tat-tat to produce 375 HP – an expansion from the original engine – that I couldn’t resist when restoring the car. The rear end is a 4:11 ratio so quick off the line and around town, up and down South Cooper Street. On the highway it’s not so good at those high revolutions, but still quick when hitting the gas.”
Inside the comfort of the saddle leather seats you encounter a telescoping steering wheel and gauges on the instrument panel influenced by aircraft design. Disk brakes were standard – another first for the ever-surfacing innovations that characterize the car’s storied history.
The end result was an entirely correct convertible that accounted for two-thirds of the 23,562 Corvettes built in 1965.
Obviously, Jim has a significant investment in his car that he’s going to keep. “I call it my ‘Rolling CD’ because it gets more valuable every year.”
At its inception that year, GM engineers had become fascinated with mid- and rear-engine designs for the sports car. While that idea didn’t get resolved then, it remained rumored and speculated for the next 55 years.
Finally, it became a reality with the introduction of the 2020 Corvette – the very latest version of the sports car synonymous with American exceptionalism in the entire automobile world.
In that way, Jim’s car can be traced to the origins of the mid-engine configuration that ultimately hit the road this year.
As much as Jim enjoys his prized beauty, it’s hard to imagine when he has time to drive it very much. As the president and owner of Peyco Southwest Realty, Inc. with projects throughout Arlington, he’s a very active businessman.
Coupled with an impressive record as a volunteer in multiple community service, local government and business organizations, he has to find time to pull the car out of his garage. As the chairman-elect of the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the challenge gets even more demanding.
Or, he could bring the Glen Green sports car with him to some of those meetings. The only problem with that is those other attendees are likely to spend more time admiring his car than addressing their agendas – it would, indeed, be more fun.