The original 283/230hp small-block was sent down to Haas Machine Shop in Louisville, Kentucky, to be rebuilt to factory specs. While the motor was out to be refurbished, CorvetteRestorations.com freshened up the rest of the driveline, including the original three-speed transmission and the Posi-traction rear axle with 4.11:1 ring-and-pinion.
Although Brack's Vette is a pretty standard '60, it has a very unique color combination-Ermine White with Tasco Turquoise coves. There were 383 Tasco Turquoise Corvettes assembled in 1960 with Ermine White covers, however it appears that the Corvette that Brack inherited might be the only one to be originally painted the other way around! It seems that Brack's 'glass car is one of 15 that were documented in 1960 to be completed with nonstandard colors and combinations or in primer. After repairing the cosmetic damage to the front fender that had parked the Vette decades ago and prepping the body to perfection, Loretta and Larry laid the original colors back on the Vette using two-stage PPG paint. They also sprayed the auxiliary hardtop in fresh Ermine White to match, as well as replacing the white convertible top and the blue interior.
Brack's father, John Brack...
Brack's father, John Brack "J.B." Gillespie took great pride in his '60 Corvette. This vintage photo shows J.B. in the process of stripping the Vette at his old home in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
"I wanted Brack to get involved with the car restoration and steer him away from any bad habits that sometimes tempts teens," Mary Jo says. Brack followed the restoration carefully, and watched his Vette metamorphose through hundreds of pictures that Larry and Loretta posted on their Web site. Although he wanted to keep things quiet about his Corvette, and only told a few of his closest friends about it at all, his excitement was clearly rising as the Vette progressed. Brack even promised a couple of friends a ride to school in it when it was completed.
While the Vette was away for its restoration, Brack had a very important task of his own to perform-he needed to learn to drive! In August of 2000, he began practicing with his mom in a stick shift (it helps when your mom is a certified driving instructor!) so that he'd be ready to get behind the wheel of his Corvette as soon as it was complete. Everyone agreed that it was very important for Brack to be the very first person to drive the reborn Vette after his father parked it so many years before.
The restoration took much longer than anticipated due to a few financial restraints and Mary Jo's unexpected job relocation. But in April 2002, after 2 1/2 years and $62,151.75 to build, Brack's Corvette was complete and far better than new. Brack and his mom immediately drove down to Indiana to take the Vette home. "Brack was awestruck and didn't want anyone to even touch the car," his mother explains. "He wanted to keep it new, but given the keys, he slid right behind the wheel." Brack summed up the experience in one word, "SWEET!" The '60 turned many heads, and Brack had to fend off one six-figure offer for it before they even made it home!
This is the damage from the...
This is the damage from the accident in 1969 that caused J.B. to tear the Vette apart in the first place-leading into its very long hibernation.
As a 15-year old in eighth grade, Brack officially unveiled the Vette at the annual spring VICA Car Show and Brat Fry at Shawano High School, where he shocked many of his disbelieving friends. The following fall, Brack chauffeured the homecoming king and queen in the homecoming-thankfully the police knew him and ignored the fact that he was driving without a license! Brack and his mom towed the Vette to Bloomington Gold in 2003 and got a first taste of what a major Corvette event is like. They plan on driving it back to Bloomington Gold in 2004 to be certified and rated.
Brack pampers his Vette immensely and is very protective of it. As soon as he turns 21 and "has a job to support his car habit," he will be given full control of the roadster, though his mom does trust him completely. For a teenager like Brack, owning one of the coolest of the cool cars ever built-a classic Corvette-is spectacular, but it can never replace the opportunity to grow up with his father. However, we bet his dad would be proud of both his son and his Vette, and he'll always be riding along with Brack one way or another!