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A Corvette Hobby...Or Obsession?

Darryl Yoes

My name is Darryl Yoes and like many men of my age, I grew up with a passion for Corvettes. I like them all, but have always had a fondness for the mid ‘70s cars as they were the ones that I dreamed of owning as a teenager. I’m fortunate not only to have two Corvettes now, but to share the Corvette passion with my father and my son.

My dad, also known as Darryl, started his Corvette passion by purchasing a ’57. He started restoring the car in the late ‘80s and finished it up around 1990. It’s been in the family a long time, and we pile in it on the occasional weekend for car shows or ice cream trips. It has a Corvette 327 and a late model automatic transmission, but is otherwise stock.

After I completed a 23 year Navy career, I finally moved back home in 2008. I had a friend that owned a ’69 Corvette that was basically intact but hadn’t been registered or even driven since 1990. I tried unsuccessfully for over a year to buy it from him, and finally ended up buying a 1974 L-48. Only a few months later, my friend decided to sell it and so my dad bought it the same week.

Last year, I began the painstaking process of restoring my ‘74, and it is slowly coming back to life with the help of some hard work and great parts from Mid America Motorworks. If I could offer any advice to anyone starting a restoration, it would be to take your time and get the right car! There are a lot of C3s on the market, but do your homework and know what you are buying. It's worth the money to travel and get the right car, rather than buying something locally that may not be what you want. That perfect car on an auction site probably is NOT so perfect in person. I bought a lot less car with the '74 than I thought I was buying.

My dad also owns a fantastic 1969 4-speed coupe which he is in the process of putting back together. He, I, and my 10 year old son, Alex, spend quite a bit of time with the cars and enjoy that time spent together. Aside from having a fantastic hobby, owning and working on the cars is a great way for my dad to pass down his extensive knowledge of these great machines to my son as well as myself. Alex likes all Corvettes as long as they have pop up headlights!

For us, all of our Corvettes are special. But what is most special is that we spend time together on the cars, and they bring the family together. For that reason, I do think the ‘74 will hold a more special place in my heart in the future since all three generations are working on it. In mid April, dad and I spent a beautiful Spring day taking children, cousins, and grandchildren for spins in the newer cars with the tops down/off. Every combination of parent and child got to ride or drive the Corvettes. What a fun day that was!

Dad and I also own newer Corvettes, which we intend to keep completely stock. I own a black on black 2004 coupe while Dad has a torch red 2004 convertible. Both of the ‘04s will remain unaltered, but have benefited from some of the great accessories and replacement parts sold by Mid America Motorworks.

Dad and I have attended shows together, but centered on all Chevy's. The two older Vettes have a ways to go before they are ready. I just joined the Baton Rouge Corvette Club, after being invited by a co-worker who also has a C5. Dad plans to join as well. Dad and his wife took his '04 to Bowling Green earlier this year and visited the Corvette Museum, and I plan to make the same trip later this fall with my son.

When does a hobby become an obsession? We’re not sure yet, but check back with us in a year or so. We have both been talking about a C4 convertible to add to our collection. At some point, our wives will have to tell us no!