On a classic car forum, a new poster was causing quite a stir. He claimed to have bought a Corvette convertible, but his observations about the vehicle didn’t quite add up. Slowly, the bigger picture began to emerge, however, and the close-knit community realized that they might just have a real treasure on their hands.
On April 30, 2016, a user known as Pvirg posted on CorvetteForum, an online message board dedicated to the Chevrolet Corvette. First produced in the United States in 1953, this much-loved vehicle subsequently became one of America’s favorite sports cars.
At CorvetteForum, more than 420,000 members regularly log on to debate and discuss everything there is to know about Corvettes. And for a website that often shares photographs and advice relating to renovations and restorations, at first Pvirg’s post appeared to be nothing special.
On the surface, Pvirg’s comment gave little away. He said he’d recently purchased a 1971 convertible – his first Corvette – and as a result was likely to become a regular visitor to the forum. What’s more, the vehicle had apparently been sitting in a barn since the early 1970s.
Still, it wasn’t long until other forum users became suspicious. Apparently, the vehicle’s paint code was 984, a classification that should denote a Safari Yellow coloring. But on the contrary, the poster claimed that his Corvette was red – with no signs of yellow showing through.
And that wasn’t the only thing that was odd about the post. Pvirg also claimed that the mileage on the vehicle was exceptionally low – despite it being some 45 years old. Then, when he went on to state that the convertible was the result of a “special deal” with General Motors, he really had people’s attention.
Eventually, it transpired that the car was buried in a barn that belonged to a friend of the original poster. And as he began to uncover the vehicle, Pvirg posted more information and updates about what he found. First, he was able to upload a photograph of the odometer – showing a measly 24 miles.
Immediately, some forum users began to cast doubt on Pvirg’s discovery. “This whole thing sounds fishy,” one posted. Others agreed. Then on May 3, Pvirg added an update in which he explained some more of the history behind the fascinating vehicle.
Apparently, the Corvette wasn’t a new discovery; indeed, he had known about its existence for more than 20 years. According to Pvirg, the original owner was a friend of his. And most intriguingly, he claimed that this pal had once worked for General Motors, where he had developed engines for racing cars.
Fascinatingly, Pvirg claimed that the vehicle had been a race car from the day that it was made. What’s more, he added that there were lots of extra parts hidden in the cluttered barn. He also stood by his description of the paintwork, insisting that there was no trace of the original yellow and that the body was now decked out in red, white and blue.
True to his word, Pvirg followed his comments with two photographs, each showing the Corvette painted in a striking stars and stripes design. Furthermore, the other posters now began to take him seriously – and yet he insisted that he wasn’t trying to sell the vehicle. Instead, he said, he merely wanted to uncover whatever information he could about its past.
Sadly, the original owner of the vehicle had passed away back in 2015. However, Pvirg soon found plenty of forum users willing to bring their theories and speculation to the table. And while most agreed that the car likely dated from the early 1970s, some suspected that a number of features had been added at a later stage.
So, slowly, a clearer picture of the Corvette’s history began to emerge. Later that day, moreover, Pvirg posted an old photograph that showed the vehicle as it had once looked. With the name “General” emblazoned on the side, it was pictured in the middle of an impressive wheelie.
Once again, the detectives at CorvetteForum got to work. And one user, known as Revi, even managed to track down a photograph of the vehicle at a race in 1974, with a driver named Doyle Patton behind the wheel. Then, Pvirg shared another revelation: the vehicle had once come complete with a matching tow car.
As one of Pvirg’s photographs revealed, the tow car was a 71 LT1 painted in a complementary shade of red. Sadly, though, this car was also for sale – and yet Pvirg couldn’t afford to purchase it as well. Moreover, although some suggested launching a crowdfunding campaign to keep the vehicles together, nothing appeared to come of these noble schemes.
Instead, posters at CorvetteForum continued to speculate about the car and its intriguing origins. Indeed, their interest reached the point where Pvirg himself began to feel a tad overwhelmed. Slowly, however, he started adding more photographs of the now-famous vehicle. The story began to spread, too, and websites such as Barn Finds and The Drive started to cover Pvirg’s amazing discovery.
Frustratingly, though, everyone seemed to have different advice on how Pvirg should care for the car. While some advocated cleaning it and taking it for a spin, others thought that it should be treated as a museum piece. In fact, a few believed that it shouldn’t even be dusted before an expert was consulted.
Still, despite the conflicting information, Pvirg pressed ahead with his mission, and eventually he managed to move the Corvette out of the barn and into the daylight. Meanwhile, another amazing revelation was still to come. On June 7, 2016, one poster came forward with an incredible claim – that he had raced against the General back in 1974.
Soon, however, the story took a further dramatic turn. When some posters suggested that Pvirg sell banners and posters of the vehicle to raise funds to restore it, moderators were quick to point out that this practice would breach forum rules. And seemingly put off by this interaction, Pvirg posted what looked to be a goodbye message, apparently bringing the saga to an end.
That said, other members were swift to protest, and on July 18, 2016, Pvirg returned to reassure people that he simply felt the conversation had reached its conclusion. Thankfully, he continued to post sporadically over the next months. In fact, on April 23, 2017, he announced that he was hoping to rebuild the General so that he could drive it and then take it on tour to gatherings of enthusiasts. No doubt the fans at CorvetteForum are waiting with bated breath.