The late Neil Armstrong was a very famous man due to him being the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. Astronauts of that time were on the same level as celebrities. And in order to drum up sales, a Chevrolet dealer (Rathmann Chevrolet) in Florida tried to get as many astronauts as they could to drive one of their cars.
Astronauts were given a special lease to allow them to trade in for a new Corvette every year and in 1967, Armstrong got a blue Chevrolet Corvette that came with a 390bhp V8 engine and mated to a four speed transmission.
The following year, he traded it for a 1968 model and the 1967 Corvette was sold to a NASA employee who has owned the car for 44 years.
The car has not been started since September 1981 and the owner has mentioned that he kept the car in a climate controlled area. Over the years, the owner has added fender flares and aftermarket wheels to it.
Additionally, the carburettor, water pump and exhaust system has also been replaced. The owner has offered the car for sale at this current condition and a Corvette restorer has bought it.
Joe Crosby, the man who bought the car, has mentioned that it will not go through a restoration due to its historical significance. He stated that once a car has been restored, it can’t ever go back to the way it was. Instead, it will go through a preservation process. Crosby, together with preservationist Eric Gill, will bring the car back to the condition when Neil Armstrong traded it in.
One of the hardest parts to track down was the replacement fenders. Crosby spent over a month to find those parts. He could use reproduction fenders but he felt that it would be inappropriate for a car with such history. Another tricky part is to find matching paint for the car.
With only 38,000 miles (61155 km) covered, the car is in a rather good condition. Although the car has not been started since 1981, Crosby needs only to replace the fuel lines and the engine oil in order to start the car. Date correct water pumps and muffler were replaced as they were earlier changed by the previous owner.
It is not known whether Crosby has any intention in selling the car once it is ready but with the passing of Neil Armstrong this past August, the value of the car would surely reach sky high once it is ready.
Photo credit: Hemmings Daily
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