It was 1988. The Seymours were in their early 30s and already owners of a 1985 Corvette. After seeing the new 35th Anniversary Edition on the cover of Vette Vues magazine they started to think about upgrading their Corvette to a newer model. “At first, our dealer didn’t think he was going to be able to get one of the special limited editions,” recalls Rick. But then the phone call came that they did indeed score one. “It was May 28 and we decided to go to the dealership to see it,” says Rick. “We walked into the showroom, and that was it.” The Seymours told the dealer they wanted it, to rope it off and they would be back for the car. “Our car payment was more than our house payment,” laughs Deb.
It doesn’t take long to understand why the Seymours get emotional when talking about the car. It was driven just a little here and there (racking up only 380 miles), and it was pampered, never being washed with a hose, except for when the wheels and tires needed cleaning. It is all original except for the battery, and gloves even kept body oil from making their way onto the steering wheel. “You might consider it a little nutty,” Rick chuckles. We reassured Rick that, while few in number, we do have a couple of cars with the plastic still covering the interior. But overall, this car is unlike most. It is a true Museum quality show piece in the same condition it was in when it rolled off the line. A well preserved example of those 2,050 35th Anniversary Corvettes made for 1988. The quality of the car’s condition would not go unnoticed.
When Bloomington Gold moved to the Seymour’s hometown of Champaign, IL they knew it was time to get the car certified. “We shipped the car in an enclosed trailer, and turned the trip into a wonderful celebration,” remembers Deb. “Lots of friends and family came to see the car get certified.” The car earned Bloomington Gold, Survivor and Benchmark Certifications before being returned home to Garden City, ID.
It was a 2006 trip to Bowling Green that convinced Lifetime Museum Members Rick and Deb that their baby should eventually return “home” to Kentucky. The couple participated in a R8C Corvette Delivery, picking up their new 2006 Z06 at the Museum and touring the GM plant, even getting to start up a car fresh off the assembly line. “That trip convinced us that this is our car’s home,” said Deb.
The couple had put the 1988 in their will for the Museum, but after reading that the Museum was seeking a 35th Anniversary Corvette for display, decided that now might be the time to go ahead and donate it. “After it was certified, all it did was sit on a rack, covered,” explains Deb. “We decided we might as well donate it while we are still alive so we can come see it, and others can see it.”
The car was again loaded onto a transporter and shipped to Bowling Green, arriving at the Museum at the end of July. “This is a big part of our lives,” says Deb. “The opportunity to share it with so many people is just the best thing that could happen to us.”
Thank you to Richard and Debra for entrusting your beautiful piece of history to the Museum. The Corvette is now featured in the Skydome as part of an Anniversary and Special Edition display and is sure to be enjoyed by many visitors for years to come.