NC Couple Keeps it Classic in Restoration of a 1954 Corvette
Isn’t it funny how fate sometimes intervenes for Corvette owners?
Take the case of Tommy and Brenda Loftin of North Carolina, who no doubt are thankful this holiday season that back in 2010, Brenda took a ride one night trying to get their granddaughter to go to sleep and just happened to drive past an open garage door where a 1954 Corvette was beckoning to her, though it was covered with boxes and Christmas stuff.
She stopped and talked to the owner, who eventually asked if she would be interested in buying it.
From that fateful trip began a chain of events that led to a very impressive restoration of this piece of Corvette history by the Loftins.
So impressive, in fact, that the car became one of only 954 Corvettes to earn the prestigious Duntov Mark of Excellence Award from the National Corvette Restorers Society.
Tommy and Brenda look at the restoration process as a giant jigsaw puzzle and say they appreciate the helpful advice of NCRS officials.
“Some Corvette people don’t enjoy NCRS because they are going to tell you everything that’s wrong with your car,” Tommy says, “and people don’t like being told that things aren’t correct. I look at it in the opposite, positive direction – they’re telling me what I need to do to get the car correct.”
The Loftins’ efforts have probably doubled the value of their Corvette, they believe, saying it’s worth around $200,000 thanks to the Duntov award. They had previously earned a Top Flight award with the car, making it at least 94 percent authentic, but the Duntov award ups that figure to 98.5 percent authentic and includes a strenuous performance test.
Tommy expressed his thanks to fellow members of the Plastic Cars Limited Corvette Club of Statesville, the Carolinas chapter of NCRS, and Queen City Corvette Club for their encouragement in pursuing the Duntov certification.
More than 100,000 visitors to the Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair had the chance to see the restored car, which was on display Sept. 19-22.