Collector of the Week: Bill Cash


Bill Cash, of Palos Verdes, CA, sent in—with some help from his family—the story of his 1967 Corvette:

Graduating high school in 1982, I was always somewhat of a motorhead. I had my share of muscle cars, motorcycles and a stack of car magazines.

Midway through my senior year,  I received my acceptance letter from college and at the time I was considering purchasing a 1958 Corvette from my auto shop teacher. I bought it, and of course, it was in a million pieces and my dreams of putting it together over the summer to use as a daily driver at college seemed an obtainable goal.

Two months into the ‘58 project,  with probably too much for me to handle and with summer coming to an end, reality set in, and I realized this was an impossible ambition!

I knew I wanted a 1963-67 Corvette, and three months prior,  my brother had seen a 1967 Corvette parked in front of a store in Mill Valley, CA and he had left a note with a name and phone number saying that I was interested in buying the car.

I received a call from the owner, who had decided it was time for him to sell his Corvette. Before I had a chance to open my mouth and negotiate a price, the owner said he would let it go for no less than $2,500, firm!

Of course I could not argue with him, and I agreed on his price!

I ended up selling the unfinished pile of parts of the 1958 Corvette for three times the price I paid for it, and headed up to Mill Valley with cash in my hand! The only information I had was that the car was blue and my brother said it looked nice.

I met the owner—and the Corvette—and, to my amazement, the car was beautiful. It had 20,000 miles on the odometer, the color was Lyndale Blue with teal interior and 300 horsepower with power brakes, power steering, soft top and a vinyl-covered hard top.

The only thing that had ever been replaced on the car was the battery! I bought the car without hesitation, and now I was off to college with my new ride!

It had everything I was looking for: personality, style and drivability.

Going to school in Southern California for six years is tough on any car, especially with stop-and-go traffic, congestion, hauling friends around, tying surfboards to the roof and parking in precarious locations. But, no matter where I went, I would always get a thumbs up, and it seems that the Corvette would always break the ice and help me to build friendships around the coolness of the car.

Whatever personality radiated from the ‘67 seemed to pass through to me—from meeting girls to the parking enforcement officer on campus not giving me many deserved tickets. This guy even gave me a special parking spot if I was late because he remembered growing up with a Corvette, and shared many stories about his experiences riding in his dad’s 1963 coupe.

On holidays, I would drive home from Southern California to see my parents in Carmel. I would take Highway 1, which was the longer route and that would add an extra hour to my drive time. But I always convinced myself that taking the coastal route was the most direct route. Maybe it was because the car always seemed to run smoother on Highway 1— or maybe it was the car that made the final decision for me.

Well anyhow, as classic as that drive from San Luis Obispo through Big Sur into Carmel is—with its twisty turns, short, speedy straightaways, breath-taking scenery and smell of the crisp, salty air, I would always look over to my right side and see that my passenger was often a big bag of dirty laundry that my mom was more than eager to wash for me on my visits home.

Driving back to school from one of my trips home for winter break, I decided to get an early start at 4 am. Driving south on the 101 Freeway,  I noticed a pair of headlights holding behind me. I was definitely going way over the speed limit, and I lifted my foot from the accelerator.

Well you can guess what was behind me. There were the flashing red lights from the California Highway Patrol! I was preparing for the worst, with license and registration in hand, and waiting for the dreaded arrival of the officer. He greeted me by saying he noticed I was swerving and wondered why I was out driving so early in the morning.

He said he was worried that I might be tired and then he commented on how nice the car was, and he would hate to see anything happen to it. Unless I wanted a ticket, he demanded that I follow him to the nearest exit which had a Denny’s, where I could get a cup of coffee.

He waited in his patrol car and watched until I came out with a hot cup of coffee in my hand and gave me—or my 1967 Corvette—a thumbs up as he drove away! I think that this officer was probably right about me needing the coffee. I liked his kindness and real commitment to protect and to serve.

Somehow, I think it was the magic of the car that helped me avoid a speeding ticket that early morning.

A wife, two boys and a few Corvettes later the stories and adventures continued! My passion for automotive design and the engineering of the early 1960s cars—especially Corvettes—amplified. I think I was officially obsessed!

After college, my 1967 Corvette sat in my parents’ garage for years and years, collecting dust and making a nice home for spiders. Every time we would visit the grandparents, my 3-year-old son Graham would inevitably end up in the garage in the driver’s seat of the 1967 Corvette and pretend like he was driving the Mach 5, just like the cartoon series “Speed Racer.”

He always wanted to know how fast the car could drive, if it could drive under water and which button controlled the saw blades that popped out in front of the car.

Like a good dad, I told him the car could outrun any bad guy and that the heater control lever controlled the saw blades, but we should only pull it if we ran out of road and had to drive through a forest.

A few years later my son looked me in the eyes and asked why we can’t take the Mach 5 home. At that point, we somehow decided as a family that it was time to bring this old friend home and treat it to a full restoration.

Even with the car parked for over 15 years, it seems the design was a magnet to all ages, especially to our young son! After the restoration was completed in 2005, the whole family planned a summer getaway and trailered the Corvette to the NCRS Nationals in Park City, Utah, where our car received a 97.2 for a Top Flight!

We have always spent our summers around car shows and vintage events, but the all-Corvette event was especially meaningful to us as a family!

This car helped to promote the love I have for C1 and C2 Corvettes. Over time, I have been fortunate enough to collect a few because each one has its own personality, from our 1965 396 coupe to the 1965 Fuelie convertible to the 1967 400 horsepower coupe.

We have a place we call “the shop,” which is where we park the cars. So, out of all the Corvettes that we own, the only one we keep in our home garage is our Lyndale Blue 1967!

One night, my youngest son Elliot asked what would you save if our house was on fire and you could only grab one thing. I told him I would make sure the family was safe. Then we all agreed that the 1967 would be the one thing we would save—and that it would also be our getaway car!

Why don’t you share your car story and become the next Collector of the Week? Send us a photo of you and your car, a short description of the car and  your thoughts on performance. Check back next week, as you may be our next featured collector.


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