Fiberglass Flashback: Kevin Livering’s ’69 Corvette Time Capsule

Corvette

Kevin says he took a lot of criticism in the mid-to-late ’90s from the “numbers matching” folks. Through it all, he has done his best to preserve the car without making any changes to the work that was done in 1972.

Kevin Livering and is wife, Sherry, are keepers of an honest-to-goodness time capsule. In the late ’70s and into the early ’80s, like many, Kevin would cruise “the circuit” in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and hang out at the local Dixie Drive In. “I fell in love with this Corvette when I first saw it. I was a teenager, and it would cruise the circuit on the weekends. That was in 1980, and I was a Junior in high school. Back then, I owned a 1973 Chevy Monte Carlo with Cragar mags, swivel bucket seats, a sunroof, and an 8-track tape player.”

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The car was definitely built in the ’70s

“I purchased the Monte Carlo from a local friend who had previously owned the Corvette. He obtained the Monte as part of a trade for the Corvette when he sold the two-seater. I also knew the guy who purchased the Vette, and used the Monte as part of the trade.” After the previous owner used the Corvette as his daily driver, he realized that his girlfriend at the time was not very fond of the two-seater, and really liked the Monte. Knowing that Kevin loved the Corvette, the gentleman contacted Kevin several times to see if they could work out a deal. (The Monte and cash for the Corvette). However, being a Junior in high school, Kevin didn’t have the funds to close the deal. “One day the Corvette owner contacted me again with an offer I couldn’t refuse. He was willing to trade me title for title,” Kevin excitedly explained.

When Kevin picked up the Corvette, it was sitting in a field, and was covered in mud. It was drivable, but had multiple mechanical challenges that needed overcome. The interior was also in need of a very serious cleaningr. Although the paint and interior were far from perfect, the car still looked relatively good.

Kevin discovered that the car had originally been customized about 20 miles from Lebanon, in a small town named Manheim. He was eventually able to track down the guy that handled this amazing customization and meet him 25 years after purchasing the car. His name was “Stony” Galbach. “When I pulled up, his eyes glimmered and it was obvious that he was reminiscing of days gone by. I could tell that he was proud that his work had survived this long. He informed me that many people told him that they had seen the car at local cruises, but he hadn’t seen the car since he completed the customization in ’72,” stated Kevin.

Stoney proceeded to share that the car was customized in 1972 at a cost of $12,000. From the factory, the car was Fathom Green with a 350 engine, four-speed transmission, and a 3.83-geared rear. During the customization, the L88 hood and fender flares were added. The car was then painted with a silver under base and multiple coats of a heavy “candy” metal flake green paint. The ribbons and numerous designs are all candy colors. The car was finished with 25 coats of clear lacquer. The interior is green tufted-velvet with shag carpeting. Yes…shag! All exterior emblems were also removed.

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Based on a conversation that Kevin had with Stony, the front of the car had been damaged after the customization and had been repaired. The paint is slightly lighter, but according to Kevin, you would never now the car had been damaged and repaired. Also, “Since I have owned the car, a fender flare was also damaged, thanks to a rear tire and a jumping independent suspension after hitting a bump. Thanks to a very talented friend and painter Gary McGarvey, you would never know that the flare was repaired. Gary was able to mold the flare and match the old paint and metal flake almost perfectly.”

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Photo from 1972, shortly after the car was completed. It was in The World of Wheels show in the Harrisburg Farm Show Building

The car does not have the original engine and the replacement 350 engine, is from a 1972 Impala. “I had the engine rebuilt in 2000. It is bored .030-inch over with 10.2:1 pistons, it has aluminum heads, an Edelbrock RPM intake with a 650 double-pumper, a Muncie four speed, and Hooker headers flowing into to show tubes,” Kevin alluded. The drivetrain and suspension has also been updated, and the 3.83 gears have been changed to 4.11. (Who needs gas mileage!)

“My lovely wife Sherry is responsible for the deep dish Cragars, wide tires and the gear drive timing chain that provides that cool supercharger sound! Since I love to drive the car, but I am not very mechanical inclined, a special thanks goes out to Mike Wolfe, Joe Wise, Mike Bleyer, and Market Square Service station for all their help with the mechanical upgrades. If there is something I have learned over the years is that when you own an old Corvette, no matter how much or how little it is driven, you can expect to be replacing something.”

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars, and involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion got him noticed by many locals, and he began to help them with their own vehicles.
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