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Old 01-13-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
shannonmurphy65
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Default Last Corvette Built in St. Louis Plant

I was looking through a Vette magazine and saw a picture of the last Vette built in the St. Louis plant. This was in 1981. I remember seeing this on the CBS evening news when I was young.

This made me wonder about who has the car now, and what is this car worth?
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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I'd be curious to know if they guys on the assembly line left any hidden messages scrawled underbody. That would or could be a treasure in itself.
chuck
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:03 PM   #3
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...if I'm not mistaken, a father/son collector team has the last St.Louis Corvette, the first Bowling Green C3(1981)and the last Bowling Green C3(1982). They have quite a collection of C3s last I remember. I believe they were out of IL or Indiana. Their names escapes me right now. They had all three displayed at Bloomington at one of the last Special Collections that featured all C3s.
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Borowski View Post
...if I'm not mistaken, a father/son collector team has the last St.Louis Corvette, the first Bowling Green C3(1981)and the last Bowling Green C3(1982). They have quite a collection of C3s last I remember. I believe they were out of IL or Indiana. Their names escapes me right now. They had all three displayed at Bloomington at one of the last Special Collections that featured all C3s.
Paul is correct. The last st. louis C3 is still in indiana.

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Old 01-17-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Borowski View Post
...if I'm not mistaken, a father/son collector team has the last St.Louis Corvette, the first Bowling Green C3(1981)and the last Bowling Green C3(1982). They have quite a collection of C3s last I remember. I believe they were out of IL or Indiana. Their names escapes me right now. They had all three displayed at Bloomington at one of the last Special Collections that featured all C3s.
This is a great post, sure hope we can get current info and pictures on these 3 cars.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj77 View Post
I'd be curious to know if they guys on the assembly line left any hidden messages scrawled underbody. That would or could be a treasure in itself.
chuck
Someone emailed a link to this old thread and asked if I could fill in some of the blanks in the story about the "Last St Louis Corvette".

I followed that car down the entire St Louis assembly line, taking pictures all through it's entire two day build, from a bare frame to a completed vehicle. Workers at just about every station on the line signed or marked the chassis or body in one way or another. My name is on the underbody side of two panels with a black magic marker. (1/4 panel and floor pan as I remember) Burroughs and I both signed/marked something on the frame but I don't remember where. I still have the original build sheet for the car. I also remember the VIN# after all these years, 31,611. (the last six digits)
The story of the Last St Louis Corvette" contains a few secrets. Maybe one day, I'll tell. (I also have the VIN # of the last Corvette to leave that building. It wasn't 31,611. Dark blue that went to Canada))


To my/our surprise, the car was not sent to a GM museum, or anyone in particular within GM. It was actually shipped to a dealer in Detroit, for sale to the general public. We learned that the car was for dealer inventory and was for sale to anyone that wanted it. A group of us (Burroughs, Dale Smith and I, and three others that I can't remember now, went together and purchased the car the next morning.
The car sat in climate controlled storage for years. Somewhere around 1983 or 84?, the car was shown at the Bowling Green event. Burroughs and I gently wiped it down but did no other cleaning. It still looked exactly the same as it did the day it was pulled from stock at the Michigan dealer. (I think it was Ed Rinke Chev?)
I don't know who owns the car today but I've heard it's still somewhere around Bloomington IL.

Last edited by Critter1; 08-07-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter1 View Post
Someone emailed a link to this old thread and asked if I could fill in some of the blanks in the story about the "Last St Louis Corvette".

I followed that car down the entire St Louis assembly line, taking pictures all through it's entire two day build, from a bare frame to a completed vehicle. Workers at just about every station on the line signed or marked the chassis or body in one way or another. My name is on the underbody side of two panels with a black magic marker. (1/4 panel and floor pan as I remember) Burroughs and I both signed/marked something on the frame but I don't remember where. I still have the original build sheet for the car. I also remember the VIN# after all these years, 31,611. (the last six digits)
The story of the Last St Louis Corvette" contains a few secrets. Maybe one day, I'll tell. (I also have the VIN # of the last Corvette to leave that building. It wasn't 31,611. Dark blue that went to Canada))


To my/our surprise, the car was not sent to a GM museum, or anyone in particular within GM. It was actually shipped to a dealer in Detroit, for sale to the general public. We learned that the car was for dealer inventory and was for sale to anyone that wanted it. A group of us (Burroughs, Dale Smith and I, and three others that I can't remember now, went together and purchased the car the next morning.
The car sat in climate controlled storage for years. Somewhere around 1983 or 84?, the car was shown at the Bowling Green event. Burroughs and I gently wiped it down but did no other cleaning. It still looked exactly the same as it did the day it was pulled from stock at the Michigan dealer. (I think it was Ed Rinke Chev?)
I don't know who owns the car today but I've heard it's still somewhere around Bloomington IL.
Great post thanks!
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:52 PM   #8
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This is a great post.. hopefully more updates will come around.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:17 PM   #9
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That is a great account of the last car. Thank You! It is too bad we don't have more details like that on earlier cars.
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:28 PM   #10
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Hi,
If you google 'last 67' you'll find the pro-team site and the story of the last 67.
I think somthing odd happened during the restoration.
Regards,
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter1 View Post
Someone emailed a link to this old thread and asked if I could fill in some of the blanks in the story about the "Last St Louis Corvette".

I followed that car down the entire St Louis assembly line, taking pictures all through it's entire two day build, from a bare frame to a completed vehicle. Workers at just about every station on the line signed or marked the chassis or body in one way or another. My name is on the underbody side of two panels with a black magic marker. (1/4 panel and floor pan as I remember) Burroughs and I both signed/marked something on the frame but I don't remember where. I still have the original build sheet for the car. I also remember the VIN# after all these years, 31,611. (the last six digits)
The story of the Last St Louis Corvette" contains a few secrets. Maybe one day, I'll tell. (I also have the VIN # of the last Corvette to leave that building. It wasn't 31,611. Dark blue that went to Canada))


To my/our surprise, the car was not sent to a GM museum, or anyone in particular within GM. It was actually shipped to a dealer in Detroit, for sale to the general public. We learned that the car was for dealer inventory and was for sale to anyone that wanted it. A group of us (Burroughs, Dale Smith and I, and three others that I can't remember now, went together and purchased the car the next morning.
The car sat in climate controlled storage for years. Somewhere around 1983 or 84?, the car was shown at the Bowling Green event. Burroughs and I gently wiped it down but did no other cleaning. It still looked exactly the same as it did the day it was pulled from stock at the Michigan dealer. (I think it was Ed Rinke Chev?)
I don't know who owns the car today but I've heard it's still somewhere around Bloomington IL.
no time like the present to let us vette lovers know the secrets of the last c3
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:11 PM   #12
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That's odd, the October 1981 Vette Vues says the number was 31616, but listed 31611 in the October 1997 issue in an article about the BG special collection.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Critter1 View Post
Someone emailed a link to this old thread and asked if I could fill in some of the blanks in the story about the "Last St Louis Corvette".

I followed that car down the entire St Louis assembly line, taking pictures all through it's entire two day build, from a bare frame to a completed vehicle. Workers at just about every station on the line signed or marked the chassis or body in one way or another. My name is on the underbody side of two panels with a black magic marker. (1/4 panel and floor pan as I remember) Burroughs and I both signed/marked something on the frame but I don't remember where. I still have the original build sheet for the car. I also remember the VIN# after all these years, 31,611. (the last six digits)
The story of the Last St Louis Corvette" contains a few secrets. Maybe one day, I'll tell. (I also have the VIN # of the last Corvette to leave that building. It wasn't 31,611. Dark blue that went to Canada))


To my/our surprise, the car was not sent to a GM museum, or anyone in particular within GM. It was actually shipped to a dealer in Detroit, for sale to the general public. We learned that the car was for dealer inventory and was for sale to anyone that wanted it. A group of us (Burroughs, Dale Smith and I, and three others that I can't remember now, went together and purchased the car the next morning.
The car sat in climate controlled storage for years. Somewhere around 1983 or 84?, the car was shown at the Bowling Green event. Burroughs and I gently wiped it down but did no other cleaning. It still looked exactly the same as it did the day it was pulled from stock at the Michigan dealer. (I think it was Ed Rinke Chev?)
I don't know who owns the car today but I've heard it's still somewhere around Bloomington IL.
I remember that day well. I wish I could find a copy of the St.Louis Post Dispatch for that day, I can still picture the front page of the paper, had a half page picture of the last vette rolling off the line.

BTW I am Proud to say that my Corvette was proudly built in St.Louis MO!!!!

Mike.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
If you google 'last 67' you'll find the pro-team site and the story of the last 67.
I think somthing odd happened during the restoration.
I think the machine shop dropped the numbers matching block and broke it. Can't remember if they repaired it or had to replace the block.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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I did a quick google search and found this picture.
http://www.vetteweb.com/features/vem.../photo_08.html
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by wnmech View Post
I did a quick google search and found this picture.
http://www.vetteweb.com/features/vem.../photo_08.html
wnmech,

Thanks for posting that link, I am almost sure that is the picture that was on the StL Post Dispatch front page that day. Thank you very much.


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Old 08-09-2010, 07:12 PM   #17
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Hi hwc,
Isn't that ODD!
Regards,
Alan
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:41 PM   #18
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Birthplace of Legends by Peter LiCastro. Buy a copy and read about the last one.

At Bloomington a few years back, David Burroughs conducted the workshop on production at St. Louis which I attended and discussed this car. As a handout, he provided what is essentially an hour by hour account of how the car was assembled, including the CBS News crew TV coverage, the fact that the car was not complete when the crew did their filiming, and that the car went back on the line to be finished after the TV folks and GM big wigs had left the building.

Look carefully in wnmechs pic and you can see there are no seats in the car.


Last edited by Easy Mike; 08-10-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:01 PM   #19
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The last St. Louis Corvette time line provided by David Burroughs. One shift working. The shift ran from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm.:

Wednesday, July 29th
10:07 Basement Bird cage assembled. Front and rear suspension and underbody would have been prepared during this time. Underbody mounted on assembly line dolly.

2:03 Underbody and cage transferred upstairs to assembly line

Thursday, July 30th
6:16 Front clip installed
6:32 Rear clip installed
7:23 Entered grinding booth
7:40 Doors installed
8:00 Entered sanding and repair booth
9:15 Entered prime booth
9:20 Entered bake oven #1
11:30 Entered wet deck for sanding
12:38 Re-entered prime/paint booth
12:50 Re-entered bake oven #1
1:38 Entered paint sanding booth
1:44 VIN and trim tags installed
1:55 Entered final paint booth
2:00 Entered bake oven #2

Friday, July 31st
7:09 Entered paint booth for blackout
7:14 Entered paint re-flow oven
7:45 Entered assembly line (hard trim)
9:15 Engine transferred to Engine Dress Line
10:26 Frame transferred to chassis buck (frame upside down)
10:29 Front and rear suspension installed
10:45 Chassis installations (exhaust, brakes, fuel/brake lines, etc.)
12:08 Last body part installed (driverís side roof panel)
12:17 Engine drop
12:55 Shim machine lowered on to chassis
12:56 Body hoisted from dolly for body drop
1:06 Body drop
1:10 Wheels installed
1:28 Basic interior installed for press purposes
2:11 Formal press ceremony began
2:15 Engine start and driven off the line for press purposes.

Saturday, August 1st
6:10 Underbody inspection on hoist
6:15 Entered soft trim line for interior
8:30 Entered final inspection and repair (repaired coolant leak caused by loose temperature sending unit)
8:48 Entered water test booth (repaired leaks at windshield and heater box)
9:45 Entered paint repair line (repaired driverís side rear)
11:27 Washed
11:30 Entered final buff and minor cosmetic touch-up
12:15 Driven off the line.
12:20 Driven to out gate.
12:30 Driven to auto transit lot and parked.

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Old 08-10-2010, 05:37 PM   #20
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12:30 am Bro's in the hood broke into transit lot and stole wheels.

Ok, maybe not on the last one, but it was an all to common occurrence back then. A fellow C3 Shark was a city cop in those days and was often dispatched for investigation.
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