What defines a Corvette collection? For many, it may be as simple as one or two vintage models, with a late-model C5 or C6 thrown in for modern performance and comfort.

Jim Genovese, a marina owner in Akron, Ohio, who counts himself amongst the country's premier collectors of pedigreed vintage Corvettes, sums up his collection in two words: "high horsepower."

Genovese recalls that his introduction to the Corvette came when his father bestowed upon him a hand-me-down '53 in 1965. "I really didn't feel comfortable with it," he states candidly. "The six-cylinder and automatic just weren't my style. After owning it for less than a year, I sold it for $800."

Luckily, he didn't base his opinion of the Corvette on that sole example. After all, the Sting Ray had been in Chevy dealer showrooms for three model years, and Genovese was willing to give it another chance. "I replaced the '53 with a '65 fuelie coupe, which I bought new from Dutch Folk Chevrolet in Akron, Ohio, for $3,800," he says. It was a decision he's cherished ever since.

Since the mid-'80s, Genovese has focused his passion on amassing a collection of ultra-rare high-horsepower Corvettes—fuelie or otherwise. From his '57 factory show car, which served active duty in NASCAR drag races, to his '93 40th Anniversary Package ZR-1, he chose each and every Corvette in his collection based upon its ability to convert fuel, air, and spark into an exhilarating frisson for the senses.

VETTE magazine recently had the honor of visiting Genovese, and he granted us permission us to share his Corvette collection's highlights with our readers. Some of these cars haven't been seen by the public in more than 20 years, which makes their appearance in these pages all the more special.

Let's get right to them.