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R.I.P Denny Klein - Moro, IL and Golden Valley, AZ

Old 11-19-2016, 01:41 AM
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Procrastination Racing
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Default R.I.P Denny Klein - Moro, IL and Golden Valley, AZ

A longtime friend of mine, Denny Klein, and longer time Corvette owner, passed away Thursday, November 17th from a heart attack in his sleep. I'm posting this here since even though he never got on CorvetteForum or did anything much with computers, several guys in the C3 group knew him since Denny drove his 1972 Orange convertible all the time as a daily driver around Bethalto, Wood River, and Alton, IL.




When I met Denny about 40 years ago, he had two cool cars: his 1937 Chevy coupe he bought and built when he was 15 and his yellow 1965 Corvette coupe as his daily driver. Not long after, he sold the Corvette to one of the guys in the Corvette club and bought this orange 1972 Convertible that he still has.

Somehow, we didn't realize we both had motorcycles until a friend said we should ride together. Our first ride started off with him driving over an embankment at a bridge, but after that, we managed to do well on motorcycle trips. Besides the all day rides locally that took us a couple hundred miles, we pulled off a ride to the Indy 500 which is a story in itself. And we still managed a little craziness.




In 2003, I flew up to St. Louis and we took his '72 to Nashville for the 50th Anniversary. We met a lot of great people, with a lot of great stories. There were two guys with a white C1, a '59 or '60 iirc, who had come from Oklahoma and hanging wet towels out to dry in the wind after soaking them from the leaks around the hardtop. They told us that after seeing we had a split down the center of Denny's convertible top and had used garbage bags trying to keep out the rain. For those at that event, you surely remember the rain. We ran in rain from the Indiana state line to Nashville.

Out of the original group of friends in Mississippi Valley Corvette Association that drove up to Bloomington every year, it finally dwindled down to only Denny and me, until a few years ago, and it was only him. He and his wife were are Bloomington Gold this last time but she got sick so they went home early.




Over the years, he had a bunch of old cars. He always kept the Corvette. His dad had started Klein's Garage in Moro in the early '50s, I think, and anyone from the Bethalto area knew it. He inherited his dad's '57 Chevy truck with the garage and for a time, he ran a wrecker kit in the back to haul customers' cars in for repair. When it finally got to the point he could not work on the new cars, he got another job but still kept the garage up and running for small jobs and his own use.



In a surprise move, after all these years, he and his wife decided to move to Arizona. This spring, he sold the garage and they auctioned off all the old stuff inside. In June, they put a hitch on their Tahoe, towed his '57 Chevy, and drove his wife's C5 and his son drove his '72 Corvette out to Kingman, AZ. Since being out there, they hit a lot of the old car shows and cruise events with both the '57 Chevy and the '72 Corvette.




Gone far too soon, Denny Klein, 1954 to 2016.

R.I.P. and enjoy the ride.
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:23 PM
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Mako72
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Doc,

Sorry to hear of Denny's passing.
Denny drove his Corvette like they were meant to be. Short of snow/ice he always had his vette out, no garage queens for him.
Here's a picture I took of Denny at the QT gas station this past summer, just before he left for Arizona. RIP

Charles


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Old 12-03-2016, 01:27 PM
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:15 PM
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Sorry to see this. I drive by his place often.
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