New York – Picture yourself cruising down the highway in a 1953 Corvette, one of the rarest years for the iconic sports car, so much so that out of the 300 produced there are estimated to be only 140 left in the world. Or how about the 1956 ‘Vette, with its very unique Cascade Green color. Or even the ’67 convertible, the most popular among Corvette aficionados?
Now your dream can become a reality, thanks to a group called Corvette Heroes. Indeed, the group has launched a national sweepstakes in which 36 individuals can each win one of 36 classic Corvettes – one each from the years 1953, when the car was introduced, to 1989. Entries, in the form of donations, are $3 each, with deals for multiple entries (5 for $10; 20 for $25, etc.) with proceeds going to the National Guard Educational Foundation.
Corvette Heroes comprises a group of New York real estate and parking garage professionals as well as the co-owner of Gotham Comedy Club who bought and are restoring what is considered the greatest Corvette car collection in history. To enter the sweepstakes – and to be eligible, you must be 18 years of age or older – visit the www.thelostcorvettesgiveaway.com.
It is known as “The Lost Corvettes” and the Peter Max Collection because the renowned pop artist owned them and was going to use them as canvases for a series of paintings. He never pursued this project and since 1989 the cars sat in various parking garages throughout the city, collecting dust, dirt and debris for the past 25 years.
A few years ago, a representative for Max reached back out to Scott Heller, who for two decades had been helping Max move the cars to various garages around the city. The agent asked Heller if he was interested in purchasing the collection. Heller discussed this with his two sons Michael and Adam Heller, and his cousin Peter Heller, as well as real estate associates Gary, Adam and Fred Spindler.
Then they reached out to Gotham Comedy Club’s Chris Mazzilli, who is also the owner of Dream Car Restorations on Long Island and one of the world’s foremost Corvette enthusiasts and experts, to determine what it would take to bring the cars back to their former glory. Mazzilli compiled a detailed analysis for the group on what each car needed and the cost of repairs. Then the decision was made to purchase the entire collection.
“As soon as I met them and they asked me to look at the cars, I knew they were talking about the Peter Max Collection,” Mazzilli recalled. “And I knew that we had to do this. This is the greatest Corvette ‘Barn Find’ in history!”
It’s taken a few years to get the cars up to speed, so to speak. And it also took time for the Corvette Heroes to determine what they actually wanted to do with the cars once they were fixed up and in running condition.
Rather than sell them as one collection, the group decided to give away the cars in the form of a national sweepstakes, similar in fashion to a wildly popular sweepstakes conducted by the TV network VH1 back 30 years ago.
Back in 1989, the then nascent cable TV network VH1 was looking to make a public splash in order to greatly expand its viewership, and a producer at the network came up with the idea of assembling the collection of 36 Corvettes and then giving them all away to one lucky winner. Some two million people entered the contest, and the winner was a carpenter from Long Island. Max purchased the entire collection from that carpenter soon thereafter.
But the Corvette Heroes are putting their own spin on the sweepstakes this time around. First, rather than one winner there will be 36 winners, greatly increasing the odds of winning a car, and second, they have decided that proceeds from the sweepstakes will go to American military veterans through the National Guard Educational Foundation.
In addition, the History and FYI networks are producing a special series called “The Lost Corvettes,” which documents the history of the cars and the restoration efforts by the Corvette Heroes. The series premieres this weekend on Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10 on History and FYI. Plus, some of the restored corvettes from the Peter Max Collection will be showcased at the LA Auto Show happening Nov. 22 – Dec. 1 at the LA Convention Center.
Source: The Lost Corvettes