John Amgwert’s Corvette story really begins with a 1930 Ford Model A. His grandfather had been the first person to buy one in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. Some 40 years later, John and his
dad thought it might be fun to buy that car back and do a restoration on it. When the car’s owner refused to part with it, John began looking for another fun car to restore instead. He wanted it to be something old, and unusual… something a little different. That was when he came across a 1954 Corvette.
The problem was that back in the early 1970s, not a lot was commonly known about these cars. Even the Chevrolet dealers had limited resources in terms of service manuals, service bulletins, and
such. To remedy that, Corvette clubs were forming for socializing, having fun, and sharing information.
As this effort was going on, it became clear to John and a few others that a reorganized national group might be better equipped to get Corvette enthusiasts on the same page with their restorations. In 1974, fliers were printed and sent out welcoming everyone to the first meet of the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS). The directors on the flier were listed as Dick Campbell, Joe Chess, Tom Essig, Sam Folz, Jay Kellogg, Gary Mortimer, and John Amgwert. These men would later be recognized as the seven founders of the NCRS.
At the time John was working at a small print shop and used this connection to produce a newsletter. He would end up being the editor-in-chief for The Corvette Restorer magazine for 25 years,
where his skills as a researcher, writer, and historian became a resource to others interested in Corvette’s heritage. Later, when he learned about efforts to collect Corvette history in a central location, John made a presentation to the NCRS Board proposing the formation of a technical library that would ultimately become the National Corvette Museum.
John’s passion and commitment for seeking out the truth about key cars in Corvette history continue to this day, and the impact of his work will go on for as long as the name Corvette is spoken.