He Has Owned His '67 Since High School

Al Paer stills owns the 1967 Corvette Sting Ray that his father bought for him in high school for good grades. "I knew from the moment I got it it was going to be a keeper," said Paer. When he was a boy, Al Paer used to pass by a neighbor's 1963 Corvette coupe on his daily walk to grade school.

"I used to stop and look at it," he recalls. "I always loved Corvettes. I was building models of them as a very young kid and was completely mesmerized by that '63 split window Sting Ray. It was so far ahead of its time, styling-wise. My dream was to at some point own one."

That dream came true when Paer was in high school. He had been driving his dad's '62 Pontiac Tempest and (with parental approval for getting good grades), was able to trade it in on a new 1967 Corvette convertible on display in a New Jersey dealer's showroom. The car had a 435-horsepower 427 V-8.

Paer has had the Corvette ever since. "I knew from the moment I got it, it was going to be a keeper," he says. Paer, a Laguna Hills resident, used the car as his daily driver for several years, but eventually took to parking it during the harsh East Coast winters and driving a "beater" instead.

Now 64, Paer has always done all his own work on the car, including repainting it in his garage in 1987. He's also installed a higher-performance camshaft and rare Corvette L88 aluminum heads, tweaked the suspension and added chrome to the engine bay and undercarriage.

Today the car is used only for shows. Paer, an IT support engineer, has long brought an engineer's focus to the car's care and detailing, resulting in what he calls a "house full" of trophies, as well as appreciation from show spectators that he finds gratifying.

As for the future, he has no plans to sell.

"I still enjoy working on it," he says. "It's kind of like a time machine for me. It keeps you young."

Source: Ana Venegas & Vance Durgin
Orange County Register 8/28/15

Submitted by Phil Ellison