One of the strangest and saddest tales in the world of classic cars looks like it might be coming to an end soon. The infamous 36 "Peter Max" Corvettes, left to collect dust in various New York garages since the late 1980s, are finally going to new homes.
The New York Times reports that a family of buyers have purchased the 36 Corvettes left in storage by psychedelic artist artist Peter Max with the goal of restoring them to their former glory.
The story goes like this: In 1988, as part of an attempted ratings grab, a producer for the VH1 music channel spent $610,000 — almost $1.2 million today — to buy one Corvette from every model year up to that point, 36 in total. As Sam Smith reported back in 2010, some were in fantastic shape, some were not. At least one, a 1953 model, is incredibly rare.
The VH1 producer set up a phone contest, which was won by Long Island carpenter Dennis Amadeo. Soon after, Amadeo got a call from artist Peter Max, who wanted to use the Corvettes for an art project and paid $250,000 cash for them.
That art project never happened, and since 1989 the Corvettes have sat alone an un-hooned in various garages around New York. "Members of Corvette forums seethed every time a new photo emerged showing the dust-caked cars in a dim garage," the Times reported.
The newspaper reports that the Peter Max Corvettes were bought by Peter Heller, his cousin Scott Heller, Scott Heller's sons and Gary Spindler, a New York parking management executive. Though the Hellers are not Corvette experts, they have enlisted the help of a man who is, and restoration is already underway — starting with that 1953 car, which is getting a full rebuild.
The group hopes to take the Corvettes to auction by next spring, though the restorations could possibly take longer than that. They didn't disclose any details on how the auction would work, though they said they'd like to find someone who can take all of them.
Let's hope all this works out in the end. Those Corvettes have waited long enough to go to new homes.
Check out a video of the Corvettes here.
Thanks for the tips everyone!