High-mileage Corvette is grandfather's legacy
Looking to grab my attention? Tell me about a classic car with 280,000 miles, owned by the same family since it was new. Tell me it's a 1960 Corvette and there's loads of old family photos with it, too, and you better believe I'm in for the full scoop.
I got it all, thanks to Brian Hoskins of Utica.
Hoskins displayed his 1960 'Vette at the 10th annual Vettester's Magazine Corvette Show last weekend in St. Charles -- and I made sure to get his full story. It's nothing short of amazing and a tale that came so close to never happening at all.
Rewind back to the year 1960 and you'll find Brian's grandparents, Don and Erna Hoskins, living a simple life in rural Des Moines, Iowa. They weren't ones to go after fancy things but when an aunt passed, Don was left with a sizable chunk of change. His heart raced at the chance to buy his dream machine: a gleaming Corvette.
Mulling it over, Don settled on letting the notion go. Once Erna caught wind of his resolution, she came and changed his mind.
"Grandma prompted him to pass on saving the money and to go buy the car he always wanted," Brian says.
With her encouragement, the couple headed to Wright Chevrolet in Carlisle, Iowa. There, they traded in their 1956 Chevy 210 sedan to purchase the 'Vette. From that July day to Don's passing in 1972, the Corvette was they only car the couple drove.
Saying Don was Corvette-crazy would be an understatement. He and Erna jumped right into the club scene and were founding members of the Corvette Club of Iowa (which is still active today). Don served on the club's board of directors every year and was governor from 1962 to 1966. In 1962 he was voted Outstanding Club Member and in 1968 was honored with the President's Award from the president of the National Council of Corvette Clubs.
Don served as the official flagman at club events, standing out with his unique flair for dancing around while waving the checkered flag. He and Erna attended every National Council Convention from 1964 until 1972. That last event was held in Dallas and while heading home the couple was rear-ended. It was a major wreck but the car was fixed and back on the road in no time.
During Don's ownership, the car was washed at least every other day and waxed once a month. Don was known to dust off the car during his lunch hour at work and he kept a steering wheel cover in place whenever it was parked. Despite the extreme babying, he was never afraid to drive it, motoring to many out-of-state destinations. One regular travel spot was to Duluth, Minnesota, to visit Brian's family.
Brian's earliest memory of his grandparent's 'Vette was when they brought him a small toy Corvette of his own that he could ride on.
After Don's passing, Brian's father took over ownership. He, too, loved the sportster and racked up more miles, cruising to local shows and events. Last year, Brian's dad surprised him and handed over the keys. Facing some health issues, he wanted Brian to carry on the family tradition.
"I'm going to keep driving it," Brian says, "and keep the spirit of my grandpa alive."
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