Lot S128 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Unrestored with 2,996 Miles
In the fall of 1966, 30-year-old Don McNamara of Colorado Springs, Colorado, celebrated his retirement from the United States Marine Corps with a trip to Las Vegas. It was the one and only time he would visit Sin City, and it proved fortuitous when Lady Luck intervened and a slot machine Don was playing paid out the massive sum of $5,000. By the time he returned to his parents’ home where he lived, he knew what he would do with his winnings. He asked his father, a car salesman, to take the money and buy a new Corvette.
At first glance, Don’s dream car appeared to be just out of reach; the features he specified pushed the price tag more than $500 past the $5,000 mark, but his father’s persistence paid off when he found a dealership in Lamar, Colorado, about 125 miles away, that agreed to sell a 427 coupe for under $5,000. Built on May 10, 1967, and delivered to McNamara on May 20 by Ray Motor Co. in Lamar, the Corvette coupe was exactly as Don had ordered, with the L36 427/390 HP engine, M20 4-speed manual transmission and 3.36 Positraction rear end; tinted glass, telescopic steering wheel, AM/FM radio, side exhaust and bolt-on aluminum wheels. Don’s innate patriotism influenced his choice of colors: Ermine White paint, Red Stinger stripe and Red interior – a matchup he completed by replacing the factory Black wall rubber with a set of double White-and-Blue stripe tires.
Don drove his new Corvette only sparingly for the first several months, until it inexplicably disappeared. When asked of its whereabouts, he would always answer that he no longer owned it. And yet, rumors that it was parked in his heated single-car garage persisted for years afterward, even after Don McNamara passed away in July of 2011. Only then was the truth revealed: the Corvette had been there the entire time, a full 45 years, discovered by the neighboring couple McNamara had befriended in his later years and to whom he had willed his entire estate.
Recorded interviews with the couple uncovered the story not only of the Corvette but of its enigmatic owner as well. Don McNamara was a unique man, one who loved his country and surrounded himself with its symbols of freedom and individuality while maintaining an intensely private life. He never married or had a family, never had a checking account or a credit card and always presented himself as barely getting by. He had decided to put the Corvette under wraps when after the first year the time came to pay license and insurance renewal fees, and began driving it only late at night, away from prying eyes and ever faithful to the pursuit of happiness. When the Corvette’s odometer approached the 3,000-mile mark in the mid-Eighties, he retired it from the road for the rest of his life.
The Don McNamara Corvette is not only quite likely one of the most well-preserved, lowest-mileage and exceptionally original 1967 Corvettes in existence, it is also accompanied by exquisitely unspoiled documentation. The paperwork was kept by McNamara in a bank safe deposit box and remains in crisp as-new condition. It includes the original window sticker, showroom sales brochure, Chevrolet warranty book with Protect-O-Plate, the original keys and fob and a duplicate set of keys; the original owner’s manual and plastic pouch, dealer record book issued by Ray Motor Co., a cashier’s check for a deposit and a receipt for the balance of the purchase price, the original State of Colorado license registration and title issued to McNamara dated May 22, 1967 and the NCRS Shipping Data Report confirming delivery at Ray Motor Company in Lamar, Colorado.
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