Dave Brewer of Longwood, FL, sent in the story of his 1961 Corvette 283/315 Big Brake Fuelie:
My 1961 Big Brake Fuelie has a Honduras maroon exterior with black interior. This very special Fuelie has earned every award possible in the Corvette world. Its no-nonsense look makes it one of my absolute favorites in my collection
I purchased the Corvette in 2007. While showing my cars at NCRS, I had developed a friendship and respect for Lou Badaracco. Lou is a Master Level NCRS straight axle judge from New Jersey. I heard Lou speak many times with great passion about his Big Brake Fuelie that he painstakingly had restored by Todd Spain of Twin Oaks Corvette Service in Iowa.
I happened to run across the car at Hershey and made an offer—only to be outbid before I could bid again. I then saw it six months later in a flyer for an auction in Pennsylvania that was to be held the next morning. I tried to phone bid, but they would not accept phone bids. I then saw it again on Pro Team’s website several months later for sale. It did not get away from me this time!
I have earned multiple NCRS Top Flights, Bloomington Gold Certification, plus the Triple Crown Award with the car. It is currently being campaigned on the Concours circuit.
When purchased, the Corvette was in the condition viewed today. No restoration was needed. I have tried to be a good steward, and I keep it in air-conditioned, dehumidified comfort.
The Big Brake (heavy-duty brakes and suspension) was produced on only 233 Corvettes in 1961. Since this option was for racing, it is estimated that very few of the 233 still exist today. According to the previous owner, Lou Badaracco, this car was delivered new to the owner at Riverside, CA. While no race history is known, it is very easy to assume that racing played a large part in its early life.
Todd Spain at Twin Oaks Restoration did a spectacular restoration, with originality and authenticity as the major goal. Their special skills in restoration have been proven during the toughest judging in the Corvette world. This very special, rare car has earned multiple NCRS Top flights, Bloomington Gold Certification, Triple Crown, NCRS Performance Verification, and the holy grail of Corvette world, the Duntov Award.
When one first looks at the Corvette, its stance tells all that this is one serious collector car. From the dog-dish hubcaps, wide rims, radio delete, and fuel-injected engine, this ultra-rare Corvette was built to win, not to place second!
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.