Our 1953 Commemorative Edition Corvette Story
Gordon & Sandi Harman, Sammamish, Washington
DREAMS COME TRUE
One evening in late July, my wife Sandi and I were relaxing at our beach
house. I was reading AutoWeek and came upon an article entitled
"Dreams Come True", about the 1953-2003 Commemorative Edition
Corvette. The car pictured was stunning. When I finished the article I said, "Hey Honey --- what do you think of this?" She took one look and said, "Now THAT'S a beautiful car!" I felt the same --- and what a great concept! I went to the website mentioned in the article, learned more about Steve Pasteiner and Advanced AutomotiveTechnologies, and
called the next day. Steve was out, I spoke with Rachel who offered to
send more information and told me about this great website. She assured me that Steve would be calling when he returned.
I soon received a call from Steve Pasteiner. We talked about the project
and looking for a donor car. Steve suggested I use his zip code for a
search on AutoTrader, and offered to help by checking out candidates.
If we could find a good donor within a reasonable distance from AAT, I
would avoid the cost of shipping the 2400 miles from Seattle to Rochester
Hills. So the search began. I was pleased to find a quite large inventory of C5's for sale in his area. Meanwhile, Steve checked out leads on a few that turned out to be not quite what we were looking for, or that had
THE TITLE SEARCH
I decided to also use AutoCheck (like Carfax) to research the titles of
possible candidates, and am I ever glad I did. When I later went back to
delete the folder with reports that had been ordered, I found there had
been a search done on 53 titles. (Honest --- 53.) These were all vehicles that initially looked like possibilities. Some with excellent records were sold before I reached the sellers. Many did not have the kind of history I wanted.. There were several extreme cases. A seller said he had a "two owner" 2001 that turned out to be a four-owner. One fellow had a 2001 that had been sold through auctions six times. A 2002 that was "Certified" by the dealer, so it also carried the typical premium price,
had an odometer reading that didn't square with the car's history. At
another dealership, a 2001 with "only 7600 miles" had been sold previously with 14,000 miles --- and had sold again not long ago with 30,000 miles! Wow. What an interesting exercise this turned out to be.
After three weeks of shopping, I found a 2002 with 6900 miles and the right options, from a private seller. The title report (yes, number 53) revealed an ideal history. Steve again graciously offered to check out
the car and determined that it was a really good one. I bought the car,
the seller delivered it to AAT, and we were on our way. From start to
finish, and in large measure because of Steve's help, we were able to
complete the process in less than four weeks. Steve Pasteiner later told
me our 1953-2003 Commemorative Edition Corvette is Number 53.
What are the odds ...
THE HARDEST PART
Our "target date" for completion is November 13 ... Is it my imagination,
or are the days passing more slowing since we placed the order? No,
that's not it --- I'm probably just experiencing anxious anticipation like
everyone else who's been bitten by the 1953CE bug. Something this
good can't happen fast enough, right?
Update: November 12th
Just returned to Seattle last night from a trip to Rochester Hills and
Advanced Automotive Technologies. Had a very enjoyable and informative
visit with Steve and his son. I appreciated having the opportunity to learn
about several of Steve's past projects, see some of his design work, and
gain insight into his talent and accomplishments. He's quite a guy.
Our #53 is nearing completion, with final paint finishing and panels
installation under way. It looks like the car will be completed this week
as originally planned ... Great! I've got this burning desire to go
Update November 15th
Waiting for front turn signals, then she’s good to go ---
Update: November 20th
Headed for Seattle!
Watch this space!
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