My son Bradley is now in his second month of ownership of his 1982 Collector’s Edition Chevrolet Corvette. His immersion into the world of Sharks continues.
For 1980-82 third-generation Corvettes, the National Corvette Restorer’s Society has a judging and restoration manual that has well over 300 pages. With SCMer and NCRS Senior Judge Michael Pierce as his mentor, he is wrestling with viewing this car through the “as-delivered” mantra of the NCRS.
Pierce and Bradley had barely started evaluating the interior when they hit a roadblock. The shift boot on his car is silver, and badly worn. It very much detracts from an otherwise presentable cockpit.
A quick internet search turned up replacement boots in several colors, including a “Collector’s Edition” silver. That must be the one, wouldn’t you think?
However, when we turned to page 31 of the NCRS manual, in section 8 of the interior criteria, the manual was clear: All Collector’s Edition shift boots were black.
We bought the car from Chip Starr, the owner of Race Car Resurrections in Portland. He was sure the boot should be silver. And the boot in the car looked original.
But once we had started down this path of curated rehabilitation, there was no going back.
Bradley fired off an email to the 1973-82 NCRS National Team Leader, Brian Pearce, asking about the boot. He responded immediately: “Hey, Bradley! Thank you for your question. I can give you a definitive answer, as I owned a Collector’s Edition for over 30 years. The answer is that the shifter boot is black leather. Thanks again, hope this helps.”
We now have a black boot in hand and Chip will install it.
What intrigues me about this process is the definitive, “take-no-prisoners” approach to “as-delivered” condition.
Concours judging is one of the most contentious segments of the collector car world. There are many approaches, with proponents of each often thinking (often proclaiming) that theirs is the best.
I have no opinion on the superiority of various judging techniques (French vs. points vs. authenticity vs. JCNA vs. Ferrari Red Book…). To each their own.
But what I do enjoy about the NCRS process, especially for a someone like Bradley who is just being introduced to car evaluation, is the absolute black-and-white guidance NCRS provides.
The manual says the boot is black, so black it is. in addition, as he was examining the engine compartment, he determined from the manual that the wiper motor had been replaced. It was the wrong shape and missing its stampings, but the reservoir was original. All part of the information gathering process.
My son’s relationship with cars of any kind will never be the same.
I am enjoying sitting in the peanut gallery and watching the show.