Prize dis­cov­ery de­fies be­lief

Win­nipeg­ger has ex­act same name of car’s orig­i­nal owner

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - AUTOS - LARRY D’AR­GIS clas­sic­dar­

THE in­tro­duc­tion of the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray was a real shaker in the au­to­mo­tive world.

Equipped with four­wheel in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion and four-wheel disc brakes, it was equal or ahead of ev­ery­thing else in the sports car world. Cou­ple that with new and im­proved V8 en­gines and op­tional fuel in­jec­tion, all wrapped in a fu­tur­is­tic fi­bre­glass body, and the Corvette was now a game-changer. Avail­able in ei­ther a new split-win­dow coupe or open con­vert­ible, it was a hit with sports car buy­ers.

For 1964, styling was cleaned up a bit and the split-win­dow coupe was gone, re­placed with a wrap-around de­sign. It left the ’63 model as a stand­alone. 1965 saw the in­tro­duc­tion of a few ad­di­tional re­fine­ments and func­tional side lou­vers. In 1966, an­other round of style changes in­cluded a new grille and the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Mark IV big-block V8. Han­dling with the added weight of the larger en­gine wasn’t as crisp, but the straight-line per­for­mance took a def­i­nite leap, bring­ing the Corvette solidly into the sports/mus­cle­car cat­e­gory.

For Win­nipeg­ger Wayne Pen­ner, the Corvette has been a life­long pur­suit. Af­ter pur­chas­ing a 1958 Corvette sur­vivor car, Pen­ner started look­ing for what many have called the holy grail of Corvettes, a 1967 model. It was a search that would take him years, as he had a spe­cific car in mind.

“It had to be a big-block, it had to have side pipes,” says Pen­ner.

His eureka mo­ment came in the form of an on­line search in 2006 when he found a Marl­bor­ough Ma­roon car, with a Jet Black hood stinger, in At­lanta, Ga. Equipped with the 390 horse­power Turbo-Jet 427 cu­bic inch V8, along with a four-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, it was just what he was look­ing for. An NCRS (Na­tional Corvette Re­stor­ers So­ci­ety) top flight car, it was a num­bers match­ing and doc­u­mented orig­i­nal.

“I ar­ranged for an NCRS judge to ver­ify the car over be­fore pur­chas­ing it,” said Pen­ner.

Af­ter ver­i­fy­ing the car, it was shipped from to Pem­bina, N.D. and then trail­ered to Win­nipeg.

Back at home, Pen­ner be­gan pour­ing over the doc­u­men­ta­tion that ac­com­pa­nied the car. The Pro­tectO-Plate is a cov­eted card bear­ing a metal-stamped plate that served as the war­ranty card for the car. Pen­ner no­ticed it beared the name David Wayne Pen­ner.

“My name is David Wayne Pen­ner, and I thought the seller must have had a plate re­man­u­fac­tured with my name on it, but af­ter closer in­spec­tion I found the orig­i­nal owner’s name was also David Wayne Pen­ner from Dayton, Ohio.”

The odds of such a co­in­ci­dence have to be more than a mil­lion to one, and Pen­ner and his wife, Ruthe, took it as a meant-to-be mo­ment.

The Corvette is equipped with a black in­te­rior, AM/FM ra­dio with rear an­tenna, side ex­haust, power steer­ing, heavy-duty brakes and posi­trac­tion rear axle, and it’s ca­pa­ble of go­ing as good as it looks.

One of 8,504 coupes pro­duced in 1967, it is con­sid­ered by most to be the best look­ing of the early Sting Ray Corvettes and very popular among col­lec­tors and en­thu­si­asts.

For Pen­ner, the ’67 is the find of all finds and a com­ple­tion of a dream he has held for many years.

The Marl­bor­ough Ma­roon Corvette, with a Jet Black hood stinger, is equipped with the 390 horse­power Turbo-Jet 427 cu­bic inch V8, along with a four-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion

Pho­tos by DAVID LIPNOWKI Win­nipeg Free Press

Wayne Pen­ner’s 1967 Corvette comes with a black in­te­rior, an AM/FM ra­dio, side ex­haust, power steer­ing, heavy-duty brakes and posi-trac­tion rear axle.

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