Auctions and Brokerage
*Please note that a Protect-O-Plate does not accompany the sale of this car, although it is accompanied by a Corvette Owner Card obtained by the original owner.
The history of this Corvette can be traced back to August 26, 1966, when Roland T. Wick Jr. drove his new Toronado to Rapp Chevrolet on North Broadway Ave. in Marion, South Dakota. The dealership’s owner, Glenn Rapp, expressed an interest in Wick’s Oldsmobile and suggested that he trade it for a Corvette that had just arrived in stock.
Finished in Rallye Red with black upholstery and a tan soft top, the ’66 Roadster was optioned with an auxiliary hardtop, vacuum power brakes, tinted glass, gold-line tires, and an AM/FM radio. Most importantly, the Corvette was equipped with the L72 Turbo-Jet V-8 coupled to a close-ratio M21 four-speed gearbox and a 3.70:1 Posi-Traction rear axle. The dealership also installed aftermarket Cragar mag wheels and Firestone “Indy” tires, making the Roadster a real head-turner.
To Wick’s surprise, Rapp offered a difference of just $500 for the new big-block Corvette and a deal was struck.
At this time, Wick had just completed his studies at South Dakota State University and thoroughly enjoyed the big-block roadster. In a letter to the current owner, he remembered that “it was a blast to drive and, although I only had it up to 145 mph once, it sure didn’t take long to reach that speed. It was 80 mph over the speed limit at the time as I recall.”
Later that year, Wick got married and after just a few months of relying on the big-block Corvette as their sole means of transportation, the newlyweds decided to look for a more practical car. In 1967, Roland Wick had his friend Howard Gehring of Sioux Falls sell the 6,000-mile Corvette and with the $4,400 proceeds he bought an Oldsmobile 442.
By the 1990s the 427/425 Corvette had relocated to the Chicago area and, in 2002, it was sold to Dave Glass, owner of D&M Corvette Specialists Ltd., in Downers Grove, Illinois. The current owner acquired the unrestored car from Mr. Glass and entrusted the project to D&M’s Cary Kuczkowski, one of the most acclaimed and awarded Corvette restorers in the country.
During the ensuing three-year, body-off restoration, the Corvette was completely restored from the ground up and returned to its original factory-delivered appearance. Numerous photographs document the entire process from start to finish and testify to the impressive scope and quality of the work.
A credit to Mr. Kuczkowski’s superb attention to detail, this rare Corvette is beautifully finished and accurately detailed, from the factory-correct assembly line “crayon” markings down to the proper serial-coded ignition key.
In June 2007, this car was Gold Certified by the Bloomington Gold National Corvette Certification Board, and in August 2008, it was presented with a Top Flight Award at the NCRS meet in Galena, Illinois. Since that time, the roadster earned the Chevy Vettefest Gold Spinner and Triple Crown Award, and, as recently as November 2011, it received the Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals’ Triple Diamond Certification. All applicable certificates and judging sheets are offered with the car.
Under the present ownership, the Corvette has been stored in a climate-controlled environment and driven minimally – just enough to keep it in excellent operating order. The consignor describes the car’s condition as “fresh and meticulous” and takes great pride in its spectacular presentation.
Accompanying the sale of this impressive Corvette are the original service book and Protect-O-Plate, as well as copies of original dealer paperwork (shipping invoice, window sticker, and dealer statement). The 1966 owner’s guide, owner protection plan, radio operating instructions, and FM radio tag are in the correct plastic sleeve; and’ Wick’s 1966-dated polaroid photograph, original 425 hp air-cleaner decal and personal correspondences are included with the file.
Among the finest and most highly awarded big-block Corvettes to be found, this 1966 L72 Roadster is sure to impress the most discerning collector.