From Father to Son
BY: Keith Cornett
As they say in the movies, this is my story.
My involvement in the Corvette hobby actually began two years before I was born. In 1966, my father was working in sales for a Johnson and Johnson medical company, Ethicon. That year, Ethicon awarded a 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible to its top selling salesperson. Low and behold, my father was the winner. But, my father being a Chevy Man, said to his wife, "What would I want with an old Ford?" Answer: Trade it in on a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette.
In 1982, my father passed away, and the car was driven very infrequently because my mother, Carole, who drove a Cadillac Eldorado, thought the car rode too rough and besides, it didn’t have air conditioning. In 1985, the car was put into storage, if you call sitting in a barn in Indiana "Storage", where it remained until 1993.
My wife and I drove up to Indiana on Thanksgiving weekend in 1993 and towed the car back to Tampa. We actually didn’t begin working on it for nearly a year. But on Labor Day 1994, the Vette roared to life once again.
You would be surprised how easy it was to get this car back on the road. The Chevy 327 is one durable engine. We drained the fuel tank, cleared the fuel lines, and bolted on a new fuel pump. A new distributor cap, points and coil were installed, as well as new spark plugs, wires, and a new battery. The oil was drained and refilled, and a new oil filter was put on. We then took out the car to have a lube job and drain and refill the positraction fluid. Four new tires were bolted on, a complete muffler system was installed, and a personalized license plate from the state of Florida was ordered...COMET 66.
The 1966 Chevrolet Corvette was available with many different options including engine combinations. The base engine for the Corvette in ‘66 was the 327 V8 rated at 300 hp. This is the engine in Keith’s Vette. The other engines available included the L79 327 V8 rated at 350 hp, the L36 427 V8 rated at 390 hp and the big boy, the L72 427 V8 rated at a whopping 425 horsepower.
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