A 1966 Corvette has been fully restored by Lorain County JVS students, marking a new chapter in the life of a vehicle once used for nefarious purposes.
The sports car was the property of a drug dealer before being seized in 1986 by the Lorain County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, a narcotics investigative unit that served the area from 1976 to 1991 and eventually became the Lorain County Drug Task Force.
The Corvette became the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office’s official DARE car, used in its Race Against Drugs program at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk and for display in parades.
On April 20, sheriff Phil Stammitti and deputies stopped at the JVS to thank the two students behind the restoration — seniors Megan Rehm of Amherst and Marco Gonzalez of Elyria.
“We didn’t have a lot of time to knock too much out each day,” said Gonzalez. “We tried to push it as far as we could, though, and it all turned out pretty well in the end. I work at an auto detailing shop in Amherst and I’m going to college for automotive work.”
“It was so much work and sweat,” Rehm said. “It’s been about three hours of work each school day since last fall. It doesn’t run but maybe our friends next door can work on that in the future. I’m working toward getting my CDL license for truck driving but this kind of work is also something I want to have in my back pocket.”
The car was delivered to the JVS collision center last October after its inability to run made it difficult to transport to events, said Stammitti.
“We came up with the idea to take the race motor out of it and put a stock motor in,” he said. “Then the idea came up to approach JVS about redoing the body and repainting it. These kids did a fantastic job, just beautiful. They also saved the county a lot of money with about 300 hours of their work. We plan to continue using the car in parades and in our DARE program.”
“This is the first time this level of work has been done between the JVS and sheriff’s office,” said Grant Koba-Nelson, vehicle maintenance coordinator for the sheriff’s office and 1990 JVS auto technology graduate. “We exhausted a lot of avenues looking for someone to do this work. It’s an expensive process and it couldn’t have turned out any better than this.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.