Picture: Roger Kallins
Forever into eternity, Neil Armstrong will occupy a place in history as the first man to set foot on the man. Armstrong famously had “the right stuff” required to become not just an astronaut, but the astronaut, symbolizing America’s triumph in the space race. As many Apollo program astronauts were, Armstrong was given a Corvette by GM through a dealer program as part of a promotion linking the ‘Vette to America’s space efforts.
While Armstrong recently passed away, his Corvette lives on, albeit it half-finished. Hemmings Auto Blog reports that the recently-recovered Corvette will be preserved as-is, rather than restored, a tribute to one of America’s greatest space heroes.
Purchased by Joe Crosby, the Corvette had been on his radar for some years since he learned it was an all-original big-block car. See, GM gave Armstrong a top-of-the-line Corvette, complete with a 427 V8, a four-speed manual, air conditioning, and pretty much every other option. When Crosby learned it was Armstrong’s car, he tried even harder to buy it, but the owner (a former NASA employee) wouldn’t budge.
Finally though, Crosby bought Armstrong’s Corvette, though only after the second owner added (but did not finish) some fender flares. Initially, Crosby wanted to restore the car to its original form, but a buddy, David Burroughs, convinced him to undertake a preservation effort. This doesn’t mean just sitting on the car, but rather taking steps to preserve the history of the car, including previous modifications and restorations.
We think that is a fitting tribute, rather than a restoration that erases much of this Corvette’s history. Do you agree?