NEW YORK — It’s like a VH1 documentary: The music TV channel gave away 36 Corvettes (one from every model year from 1953-’89) in a contest back in 1989. What happened to them all? The winner of the contest sold the lot of vehicles to psychedelic-art legend Peter Max, who stored them in a dusty basement in Brooklyn without benefit of so much as car covers. All these years later, the cars have made the news again.
The New York Times reported that the pop artist bought the lot for $250,000 in cash, $250,000 in artwork and a percentage of proceeds from any future sale of the cars with the cap set at $1 million. Max was quoted in the story as saying he was originally interested in painting the cars in his trademark wildly colored style and taking them out on tour. He just never got around to it.
The next bit of news from the Times was that the Vettes had been moved from their longtime storage site, an apartment building that previously had been a printing plant for the New York Daily News. And just where did the collection go?
The answer was not long in coming, thanks to an alert CorvetteBlogger correspondent, who happened to be in the right place at the right time and spotted the collection in full. They’re now stored in a garage in upper Manhattan while the artist decides how to decorate them or otherwise do something with the riches he has ignored for so long.
The 36 Vettes appear a bit the worse for wear, but a few have endured significantly more damage than just a thick coat of dust and flat tires. Both the 1974 and ’75 Corvettes have some rear panel damage that appears to be from the movers pushing on the brittle fiberglass panels just a little too hard.
Max told the Times that he intends to “paint them so it’s respectful” and even add another 14 vehicles to the group to bring it up to date through 2003. Also stay tuned for a possible documentary about the cars.