Driving His Father's Dream Corvette - Buyavette® - Atlanta
Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Driving His Father's Dream Corvette

by Bill Bittar

Originally appeared in Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT

Car was sold by Buyavette in 2013



1964 Corvette Convertible For Sale


Todd Baggett remembers listening to his father tell stories of racing with friends in his brand new '64 Corvette Sting Ray convertible, while growing up in Detroit.

"I was interested in it and wondering what happened to it. 'Is it still around?'" Baggett said. "My father had a file on it, and I would sneak into his office to see it and the letter from GM congratulating him on his purchase. I was obsessed with this car."

In 1996, Baggett took the bill of sale out of his father's office so he could try to track the car down for his birthday, sparking a search spanning two decades.

It finally came to an end on Feb. 1, when a semi-truck from Intercity Lines, an enclosed auto transport company, made the trek from Virginia to the Baggetts' Elk Drive home. It was a day that made Baggett, 47, feel like he was 8 years old again.

"He was awake at 5:30 in the morning," Baggett's misty-eyed wife, Marni, recalled as the couple told the story, while seated on a couch in their living room Saturday. "He was like a kid on Christmas Day."

When the truck was on Route 684 at noon, Todd Baggett called the driver asking where he was. Just before it pulled onto the Baggetts' street at 2 p.m., Todd was deluged by neighbors' texts sharing sightings. Several friends took pictures and the Baggetts' son Andrew, 15, shot video of the arrival.

The couple's daughter Lauren, 13, appreciates the classic car, while Andrew is caught up in the sentimental value, according to Baggett.

His father, Jack F. Baggett, sold the car before Todd was born. Jack died in 1998, but Baggett said his mother, Dores, shared the moment when he first saw the car.

"The first ride was with my mother," he said.

During his search, Baggett said several leads came up empty. He posted the VIN number on the '63-67 Sting Ray Registry website with a message that he was looking for the car.

"I hadn't heard anything at all until I got an email from a guy named Kevin," Baggett said.

The man told him he knew the Corvette had been owned by a family in the Atlanta area for many years and that it was available at an estate sale. In fact, he was thinking of buying it himself.

Skeptical, Baggett called the seller, Bill Myers, "an extremely nice, Southern Corvette collector."

When he told Myers his father was the Corvette's original owner, Baggett said, "He was in shock. He couldn't believe it. He said, 'Are you kidding me?' He was as skeptical as I was."

"I sent him an email copy of the bill of sale," Baggett said. "He called me back almost as excited as I was to say, 'Yes. It's the vehicle.'"

Todd Baggett called his childhood friend Wayne Orrell, who lives in Virginia, asking him to check out the car in person and send him photos to confirm it was the real deal. It was.

Now that he found it, Baggett struggled over whether he should buy it. It was a Sunday and he asked Myers, who had other potential buyers, if he could sleep on it.

Marni said, "It was a very emotional couple of days. He would look at me and say, 'I need to buy this. Then, trying to be practical, he'd say we have kids who will be ready to go to college soon."

"I was wondering whether I should just be happy it's OK and just leave it," Baggett said. "I didn't sleep that Sunday night."

When he left for work at a local car dealership the next morning, Baggett told his wife, "I'm gonna leave it."

Marni said, "Oh, it was a heartbreaker. I said, 'Please just wait 'til lunch,' because I know him, he doesn't do stuff for himself. He might feel guilty that he bought it or devastated that he let it go. I said, 'I think you should buy it, but it's up to you.'"

A purchase hinged on Baggett being able to sell his atomic orange '07 Corvette, and miraculously he managed to sell it to someone who knew a co-worker that fateful Monday.

"It was a true answer to a prayer," Baggett said. "It was right after that that I was on the phone with Bill. I don't know who was more excited."

The Corvette is still in good condition with the original engine intact. The only changes visible to Baggett were a white hard top and a newer paint job, a medium metallic blue instead of the original Daytona blue. He removed the top and plans to repaint the car to its original color.

Sitting behind the wheel for the first time, Baggett said he marveled at how his father sat in that very spot nearly 50 years before. Jack F. Baggett bought the convertible for $4,095 on Dec. 17, 1963. Though his son won't say what he paid for it, one thing's for certain...

"I'll never let it go," Baggett said. "You could offer me a billion dollars and I'll never let it go."



Carfax AdvantageFacebook Youtube TwitterTwitterBBB