Crean's Daytona Yellow 1970 Corvette Coming to Pennzoil AutoFair
In 1970, Dan Crean walked into Gates Chevrolet in South Bend, Indiana, saw a brand-new Corvette Stringray convertible and knew he had to have it. The 19-year-old Chicago native - a student at Holy Cross College in South Bend - was no stranger to Corvettes. He bought his first on his 18th birthday.
On June 3, 1970, Crean traded in his 1966 black Chevrolet Corvette convertible for the new Daytona Yellow 1970 edition that caught his eye. In the 50 years that have passed, six other Corvettes have come and gone from Crean's stable, but the 1970 Stingray convertible has remained a constant.
"You could say I've been into Corvettes for pretty much my whole life," Crean said.
One of the biggest reasons the 1970 Daytona Yellow Corvette has remained in Crean's ownership is due to his parents. In 1973, Crean went to work for Eastern Airlines in Chicago. However, he would spend the next 16 years in various cities, including Seattle, Miami, and Los Angeles before ending up in Charlotte, North Carolina, working for Piedmont Airlines.
In those 16 years, the stewardship of his beloved Corvette fell to his parents.
"If it [weren't] for my folks [keeping] that car for me when I did my early days at the airlines, I would have never been able to keep it," Crean recalled.
Thanks to some helpful parents and a passion for car preservation, fans who visit the April 2-5 Pennzoil AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway will get to see Crean's coveted Corvette - with the original paint, driveline, and interior intact. Other than new tires, a new battery and an accent stripe over the top, the Corvette looks as it did when it rolled off the lot in 1970.
Crean recognizes how rare it is for a classic car owner to possess the same car and keep it in pristine condition for five decades. Many vintage Corvette owners maintained their cars for as long as possible, but circumstances required them to sell them at some point.
"I hear a thousand stories like that," Crean said. "That's where I feel I've been very fortunate."
Car enthusiasts will be equally as fortunate when they visit AutoFair and gaze upon Crean's 1970 Corvette Stingray, displayed among other Carolina Classic Corvettes throughout the four-day spectacle of colorful cars, classics and hot rods.
The Pennzoil AutoFair features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. In addition to attractions including Elvis Presley's world-famous pink 1955 Cadillac and an Elvis Presley Tribute Artist contest, more than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral. Kids can enjoy face-painting, bounce houses, and other games and entertainment in the Play Zone. Hours for the April 2-5 Pennzoil AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.