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History

A NASA Engineer’s 1962 Corvette – We Can’t Get Over This Beauty

This isn’t his first rodeo – Danny Reed is no stranger to Chevy owners in Texas! He has shown his 1969 Corvette that was driven by Apollo 12 moonwalker Alan Bean while he trained for his lunar mission, and two 1971 models driven by Apollo 15 Commander Dave Scott and Command Module Pilot Al Worden.

Now we’re excited to announce that an original 1962 Chevrolet Corvette which belonged to NASA engineer Frank Norton will be on display at the 2022 Chevy Expo taking place on March 19 and 20.

We also got information about this particular car from famous author David W. Temple; who provided us with history and pictures of how it came to be such an incredible vehicle.

(You can also access a PDF file of the article CLICK HERE)

At the Corvette Chevy Expo 2020 in Galveston, Texas, they won Best of Show Display and Best in Class for the C6 Customs.

Spectacular 2009 Corvette: “Nasty Red” Featured at the Corvette Chevy Expo 2021

Roger “Red” Eldor and Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor blend their passion for horses with their passion for Corvettes!

Cowboy Up - Show Car Display featuring Roger “Red” Eldor and Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor's 2009 Corvette
Cowboy Up – Show Car Display featuring Roger “Red” Eldor and Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor’s 2009 Corvette.

Roger “Red” Eldor and Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor’s 2009 Corvette and their Cowboy Up display will be featured on March 13 and 14, 2021, at the Corvette Chevy Expo held at the Galveston Island Convention Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77554.

Chevrolet Show Cars from the Texas and Louisiana will compete at the Expo for Best of Show, Best in Class, 2nd and 3rd place along with People’s Choice and Best Display Awards and the President’s Award. For information on the indoor show car Follow This Link.

K. Scott Teeters recently wrote an article that appeared in the December 2020 issue of Vette Vues Magazine in which he interviewed the couple and got the story behind their stunning show car and display called “Cowboy Up.” (You can see the article at the end of this story)

The day when the shark bit him…

Our teen years are arguably the most impressionable years of our lives. Roger “Red” Eldor of Spring, Texas, had two powerful interests as a kid; horses and Corvettes. Horses came first, as Red grew up with pigs, cows, and horses, and his family grew their own vegetables. Over the years, Red has owned four horses and even started a riding club called “Cadillac Cowboys and Cowgirls.”

Next came Corvettes. Red was just twelve years old when his next-door neighbor bought a brand new 1977 Corvette. It was just the coolest thing he’d ever seen. You could say that was the day when the shark bit him.

BGV Transport, LLC., Specializing in Enclosed Transportation of High-end Vehicles

All young men have to find a career, so in his early 20’s Red starting driving trucks. By 1989, he got his Commercial Driver’s License and has been driving big rigs ever since. In 2016, 2 years after meeting his wife, Red and Trigger started their transport business; BGV Transport, LLC., specializing in the enclosed transportation of high-end vehicles; mostly working in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

When you spend time as an over-the-road trucker, you can have long periods to “think,” and in Red’s case, that meant envisioning the day when he would get his first Corvette. In 2009, Red saddled-up and rode to Sugarland Chevrolet in Sugarland, Texas, and left in a new Corvette; Black, Ebony/Cashmere interior, 430-horsepower, six-speed, and the 2LT Equipment Group.

Front view: Roger “Red” Eldor and Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor's 2009 Corvette
Front view
Passenger Side View: Roger “Red” Eldor and Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor's 2009 Corvette
Passenger Side View
Driver Side View: Roger “Red” Eldor and Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor's 2009 Corvette
Driver Side View
2009 Corvette Show Car and Display
Red and his 2009 Corvette Show Car and Display

In an interview, former Corvette chief engineer Dave Hill explained that Corvette designers are there because they want to be a part of something beyond just transportation. Hill said, “… these cars change people’s social lives…” I think we can all agree on that.

Red started attending car shows and began to study the various cars that won trophies to see how they did it. If you go to car shows and “look at the cars,” it may not be obvious what it takes to present your unique Corvette.

Enthusiasts have been personalizing their Corvettes since around 1954-1955 as aftermarket businesses started offering custom parts for Chevy’s new sporty car. These were the early days of the “Custom Cars” era when the post-war economy was burgeoning, and young men (mostly) had extra cash to spend on their cars to personalize and customize. Corvettes have been the subject of some of the wildest custom cars ever built.

By 2012 Red started his project car, where many of us do; performance wheels and bigger tires. Red got a set of Savini Forged Wheels, “Signature Series,” 19”x8.5” on the front, and 20”x10” on the rear; shod with Hankook Low Pro tires; 245/35 ZR19 on the front; and 305/25 ZR20 on the rear. The low-profile wheels made the car look lowered, especially after Red installed the Ecklers ZR1-style front splitter and ZR1-style ZR1 side skirts.

Red went with a set of hinges by Vertical Doors, Inc and installed by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars.
Red went with a set of hinges by Vertical Doors, Inc and installed by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars.

Custom cars typically have custom interiors. This was around the time Red decided to make his personalized Corvette a show car that was also still drivable. Few modifications on show cars make a bigger splash than a set of Lambo-type door hinges. Red went with a set of hinges by Vertical Doors, Inc and installed by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars. The high-rise custom hood by Duraflax was painted and installed by Josh. Aside from the hood, all of the paint is factory and has been color-corrected and ceramic coated by Mario Cuppepper of Zenith Auto Works in Houston, Texas.

Red went with a set of hinges by Vertical Doors, Inc and installed by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars.
Red went with a set of hinges by Vertical Doors, Inc and installed by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars.

LED lights with special colors are made for custom car projects. Red upgraded his car with LED lights by Oracle. The under-the-car and behind-the-wheels LED lighting kits are also from Oracle. Josh Williams did all of the LED work. All of the exterior under-the car LED lights are hidden and tucked away so that the only things you see is the glow.

LED lights with special colors are made for custom car projects. Red upgraded his car with LED lights by Oracle.
LED lights with special colors are made for custom car projects. Red upgraded his car with LED lights by Oracle.

The rear taillight bezels are billet chrome from West Coast Corvettes. Bill Mitchell, the Father of the Sting Ray, loved flourishes he called “elements of discovery.” The chrome “elements of discovery” on Red’s Corvette all came from RPI Designs, Corvette Central, West Coast Corvettes, American Car Craft, and Ecklers. Note Red’s custom license plate, “NA5TY”.

2009 Corvette Show Car Named NA5TY Rear Taillight Bezels are Billet Chrome
Rear Taillight Bezels are Billet Chrome

Custom cars typically have the extra grunt to go along with the extra blink inside the engine compartment. Red’s 430-horsepower LS3 engine received Kooks Long-Tube Headers’ and B&B Billy Boat cat-backs and exhaust tips installed by PowerFab, in Spring, Texas. Red is very happy with the car’s performance, and after all, it’s a show car.

Red's 430-horsepower LS3 engine received Kooks Long-Tube Headers' and B&B Billy Boat cat-backs and exhaust tips installed by PowerFab, in Spring, Texas.
Red’s 430-horsepower LS3 engine received Kooks Long-Tube Headers’ and B&B Billy Boat cat-backs and exhaust tips installed by PowerFab, in Spring, Texas.
Trigger worked with airbrush artist Robert Clarke of Clarkes Custom Airbrushing in Houston, Texas, to create Red's homage to his first passion, horses.
Trigger worked with airbrush artist Robert Clarke of Clarkes Custom Airbrushing in Houston, Texas, to create Red’s homage to his first passion, horses.

While we are talking about what’s under the hood, we must call out the airbrush art throughout the car. The design for all of the art on the car came from Paula “Trigger” Lawson-Eldor. Trigger worked with airbrush artist Robert Clarke of Clarkes Custom Airbrushing in Houston, Texas, to create Red’s homage to his first passion, horses. Although Red is an over-the-road trucker, he’s a cowboy at heart; cowboy boots, hats, the whole setup.

The three horses under the hood are jumping through fire, perhaps the fire coming from the LS3.
The three horses under the hood are jumping through fire, perhaps the fire coming from the LS3.

The three horses under the hood are jumping through fire, perhaps the fire coming from the LS3. A cover forward of the radiator and several covers are painted black with airbrushed flames. The fuel rail covers were painted black with red inscribed “Corvette LS3” lettering. Chrome filler caps, hood hinges, and struts finish off the engine compartment.

Red’s interior looks like what Chevrolet could have done. The Cashmere interior already looked great, but Red took things to the next level. Manny Garcia III created the beginning design for the custom upholstery-work. Manny redesigned the seat inserts, armrests, and door covers with long embroidered stitching in three lines. Several years later, 5 Star Upholstery from League City, Texas, duplicated that design on leather to wrap and custom stitch the sun visors, gas and brake pedal booties, shifter, and the hatch strut covers. The custom upholstery work also extends back into the trunk, which was the most challenging part of Red’s “Nasty Red” custom Corvette. Black floor mats with “Nasty Red” embroidery is a nice contrast with the Cashmere interior. The rear cargo shade art was also airbrushed to match the car theme of “Cowboy Up.”

The leather to wrap and custom stitch the sun visors, gas and brake pedal booties, shifter, and the hatch strut covers were done by 5 Star Upholstery from League City, Texas.
The leather to wrap and custom stitch the sun visors, gas and brake pedal booties, shifter, and the hatch strut covers were done by 5 Star Upholstery from League City, Texas.
The leather to wrap and custom stitch the sun visors, gas and brake pedal booties, shifter, and the hatch strut covers were done by 5 Star Upholstery from League City, Texas.
The leather to wrap and custom stitch the sun visors, gas and brake pedal booties, shifter, and the hatch strut covers were done by 5 Star Upholstery from League City, Texas.
The leather to wrap and custom stitch the sun visors, gas and brake pedal booties, shifter, and the hatch strut covers were done by 5 Star Upholstery from League City, Texas.
The leather to wrap and custom stitch the sun visors, gas and brake pedal booties, shifter, and the hatch strut covers were done by 5 Star Upholstery from League City, Texas.

Red said that the sound system was the hardest part of building Nasty Red. The design was Josh Williams’s idea, the sound system was built by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars in League City, Texas, and the woodwork was done by “Derek.” The housing box is all wood with a Texas-shaped Plexi cover etched by Josh with a matching horse head. The system uses two Fosgate 10-inch woofers and a Rockford amp with a Shuriken 600w show trunk battery. The upholstery on the box, the cream-colored center inset, and the storage lids was done by 5 Star Upholstery.

The design was Josh Williams’s idea, the sound system was built by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars in League City, Texas, and the woodwork was done by “Derek.”
The design was Josh Williams’s idea, the sound system was built by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars in League City, Texas, and the woodwork was done by “Derek.”
The design was Josh Williams’s idea, the sound system was built by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars in League City, Texas, and the woodwork was done by “Derek.”
The design was Josh Williams’s idea, the sound system was built by Josh Williams of Aggressive Dream Cars in League City, Texas, and the woodwork was done by “Derek.”

When it comes to making a big impression at car shows, staging is everything. By this time in the “Nasty Red” project, Trigger (aka Paula) had taken on the role of art and design director. Since Nasty Red is liberally decorated with horses and fire, plus the 450-or-so horses inside the LS3 engine, all those “horses” needed to be in a coral! Trigger worked out the details of her vision, and Derek at Aggressive Dream Cars built the coral. Everything is real wood, custom-burned, and finished by Derek.

Car Shows are all about having fun. An awesome customized car with fun staging and lights can make a lasting impression. Who knows, twenty years from now, some young person might say, “When I was a kid, I saw a beautiful black custom Corvette decorated with horses and sitting in a coral. And that’s how I got into cars.”

At the Corvette Chevy Expo 2020 in Galveston, Texas, they won Best of Show Display and Best in Class for the C6 Customs. 

At the Corvette Chevy Expo 2020 in Galveston, Texas, they won Best of Show Display and Best in Class for the C6 Customs.
At the Corvette Chevy Expo 2020 in Galveston, Texas, they won Best of Show Display and Best in Class for the C6 Customs.

While Nasty Red is a “show car,” it’s also a driver’s car. Red and Trigger have taken Nasty Red to shows from Ohio to Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. For small local shows, they drive Nasty Red to the show. For bigger shows, when they can set up their coral, they use an enclosed trailer. At the Corvette Chevy Expo 2020 in Galveston, Texas, they won Best of Show Display and Best in Class for the C6 Customs.  At the World of Wheels Show in Louisiana, Red won the Best Display Award. At a car show at the National Corvette Museum in 2017, Nasty Red won 2nd Place in Custom Class and a Celebrity Choice. To date, Nasty Red has won Best in Show four times.

Red has declared Nasty Red “completed.” Trigger has a 2001 coupe, so maybe they are already dreaming up something for her ride. Trigger and Red started a Corvette apparel online store offering shirts, tops, and gear for Corvette people under the brand name “Bad Girl Vettes LLC.”

Red and Trigger also have a special Corvette mentor, former Bowling Green Plant Manager Wil Cooksey and his wife, Liz. They are now part of “The Cooksey Crew” and attend car shows, such as Corvettes at Carlisle and other shows. Dave Hill was so on the money when he said that Corvettes change people’s lifestyles. Red and Trigger, along with Wil and Liz Cooksey, and others are having the time of their lives!

Red and Trigger also have a special Corvette mentor, former Bowling Green Plant Manager Wil Cooksey and his wife, Liz.
Red and Trigger also have a special Corvette mentor, former Bowling Green Plant Manager Wil Cooksey and his wife, Liz.
Custom upgrades on the side of the Corvette
Custom upgrades on the side of the Corvette
2009 Corvette Show Car Named NA5TY
2009 Corvette Show Car Named NA5TY

Share with your family and friends.
Share with your family and friends.

December 2020 Issue Vette Vues Magazine Feature Article


Apollo XV Astronaut Dave Scott's 1971 AstroVette on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

DAVE SCOTT’S 1971 ASTROVETTE FEATURED AT CORVETTE CHEVY EXPO 2021

On March 13 and 14, 2021, spectators will have a chance to view Apollo XV Astronaut Dave Scott’s 1971 AstroVette at the Corvette Chevy Expo held at the Galveston Island Convention Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77554. Show hours are Saturday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Today on our blog, we will look at a significant historic automobile and the man who once drove it, Astronaut Dave Scott.

Texas-based collector Danny Reed is a lifelong NASA enthusiast.  His collection encompasses Astronaut Corvettes.  It started when he spotted Alan Bean’s car on a GMAC lot in Austin.  One of his most recent additions to his collection is Apollo XV Astronaut Dave Scott’s 1971 AstroVette

Apollo Astronaut Corvettes

Alex Tremulis
Alex Tremulis

There were only two Apollo Crews that ordered “Matching Corvettes” during the Apollo Missions.  The Apollo 12 Crew ordered matching Gold & Black 1969 Corvettes with a paint job designed by Alex Tremulis, North American automotive, industrial designer, well known for designing the Tucker automobile.

The Apollo 15 Crew decided as a group to be patriotic with their Corvettes.  One was painted Red, one White, and one Blue.  Each had a double stripe placed down the car’s length on top of the three patriotic colors.

Apollo 12 Crew ordered matching Gold & Black 1969 Corvettes.
Apollo 12 Crew ordered matching Gold & Black 1969 Corvettes.
This photo appeared in the June 1971 issue of Life Magazine. This is the text under the picture of the astronaut's Corvettes. "Next, to the brand-new red, white and blue Chevrolet Corvettes belonging to Apollo 15's three astronauts, James Irwin, Alfred Worden and David Scott (left to right), the LRV looks homely but also quite functional. The cost of designing and producing three Rovers-one for each of the three final Apollo missions-plus spare parts and other paraphernalia was $37,800,000, almost twice the contractor's original estimate."
This photo appeared in the June 1971 issue of Life Magazine. This is the text under the picture of the astronaut’s Corvettes. “Next, to the brand-new red, white, and blue Chevrolet Corvettes belonging to Apollo 15’s three astronauts, James Irwin, Alfred Worden, and David Scott (left to right), the LRV looks homely but also quite functional. The cost of designing and producing three Rovers-one for each of the three final Apollo missions-plus spare parts and other paraphernalia was $37,800,000, almost twice the contractor’s original estimate.”
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine

Danny Reed tells his story…

My first space adventure began in 1971 when I found and purchased Alan Bean’s 1969 Gold & Black Corvette from a General Motors GMAC used car dealership in Austin, Texas.    

After purchasing Bean’s car, the idea and determination to find the other two Apollo 12 AstroVettes and the three Apollo 15 AstroVettes was born.  In the early ’70s, there was no “Google,” so gathering information required phone calls, letters, and trips to research files at dealerships and motor vehicle agencies.  After a visit with Jim Rathmann of Rathmann Chevrolet in Melbourne, Florida, I was able to get copies of all the documentation on Bean’s car and the VINs of GM cars given to Astronauts in the special lease program put together by Ed Cole, President of General Motors, and Mr. Rathmann.

It took 46 years to find and purchase my 2nd AstroVette, Apollo 15 Astronaut Alfred Worden’s 1971 Corvette.  Worden’s car would be considered a “barn find.”  I found it on a used camper lot in Austin, Texas.  It had been sitting in a field for many years; however, it is now running but has not been washed or vacuumed and still has a wasp nest on the radiator.  You may remember

Worden’s car was featured and displayed as a Barn Find at the 2018 Galveston Corvette/Chevy Expo across Bean’s totally restored Corvette.  

Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Worden’s car was featured and displayed as a Barn Find at the 2018 Galveston Corvette/Chevy Expo across Bean’s totally restored Corvette.
Worden’s car was featured and displayed as a Barn Find at the 2018 Galveston Corvette/Chevy Expo across Bean’s totally restored Corvette.
Astronaut Alan Bean's 1969 Corvette at the 2018 Galveston Corvette Chevy Expo.
Astronaut Alan Bean’s 1969 Corvette at the 2018 Galveston Corvette Chevy Expo.
Worden’s car was featured and displayed as a Barn Find at the 2018 Galveston Corvette/Chevy Expo across Bean’s totally restored Corvette.
Worden’s car was featured and displayed as a Barn Find at the 2018 Galveston Corvette/Chevy Expo across Bean’s totally restored Corvette.
Apollo 15 Astronaut Alfred Worden’s 1971 Corvette at the 2018 Galveston Corvette Chevy Expo
Apollo 15 Astronaut Alfred Worden’s 1971 Corvette at the 2018 Galveston Corvette Chevy Expo

In November of 2018, Alan Bean’s ’69 and Alfred Worden’s ’71 AstroVettes were in the NASA Gas Station to Space Station display at the National Corvette Museum.  On November 8, Derek Moore, Curator of the museum, said they had been contacted by Valerie Bean (no kin to Alan Bean) asking if they wanted to buy an Astronaut Corvette.  Derek gave me her information, and I noticed she lived in Florida. 

Earlier in my search for the Apollo 15 Corvettes, I had found a news story in the October 22, 1988, Orlando Sentinel newspaper.  The story was about an Astronaut Parade with Astronaut Corvettes at Cocoa Beach.  A picture of David Scott’s 1971 blue Corvette with red and white stripes was included in the article with a quote from the owner, Ron Calloway, about owning an Astronaut Corvette. 

Earlier in my search for the Apollo 15 Corvettes, I had found a news story in the October 22, 1988, Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
Earlier in my search for the Apollo 15 Corvettes, I had found a news story in the October 22, 1988, Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
Parade Photo from October 22, 1988 Orlando Sentinel Newspaper Article
Parade Photo from October 22, 1988 Orlando Sentinel Newspaper Article
Article from October 22, 1988 Orlando Sentinel Newspaper
Article from October 22, 1988 Orlando Sentinel Newspaper

The information Mr. Moore gave me was invaluable as I had never been able to track Mr. Calloway down.  I called Valerie and asked about the car and if she was kin to Ron Calloway.  She said, “Yes!  He is my Grandpa!”  We exchanged emails, and she sent me a picture of his car with more information.

Valerie also told me the car had a small block engine and automatic transmission.  Ouch!  On June 11, 1971, in Life Magazine, all three cars had big block hoods.  After looking closer at the Life Magazine picture of the three cars and the picture Valerie had emailed me, I realized that David Scott’s blue car didn’t have the 454 emblems on the hood.  After further research, I found that Ed Cole and Jim Rathmann allowed the Apollo 15 crew to choose any drivetrain they wanted in their ’71 Corvettes and that a big block hood was put on Scott’s car so that all three cars would match. 

David Scott's Corvette does not have the No 454 emblem on his big block hood because he chose a small block engine and automatic transmission.
David Scott’s Corvette does not have the No 454 emblem on his big block hood because he chose a small block engine and automatic transmission.

After exchanging emails with Valerie over the next few months, my research of Apollo 15 cars was completed on February 12, 2019, when I received the NCRS Shipping Data Report verifying delivery on February 15, 1971, of David Scott’s Corvette to Rathmann Chevrolet. 

NCRS Shipping Data Report verifying delivery on February 15, 1971, of David Scott’s Corvette to Rathmann Chevrolet.
NCRS Shipping Data Report verifying delivery on February 15, 1971, of David Scott’s Corvette to Rathmann Chevrolet.

On March 5, 2019, I flew to Florida to meet Mr. Calloway and inspect the car.  Two hours later, a third Astronaut Corvette was mine.  It had only 42,000 original miles and was in such great condition that I called Derek and had the car shipped directly to the National Corvette Museum to be in the NASA Gas Station to Space Station display with Alan Bean and Alfred Worden’s Corvettes.

Photos of Apollo XV Astronaut Dave Scott’s 1971 AstroVette in Mr. Calloway’s garage when Danny Reed found the Corvette.

AstroVette Sales receipt from Rathmann
AstroVette Sales receipt from Rathmann
Apollo XV Astronaut Dave Scott's 1971 AstroVette on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.
Apollo XV Astronaut Dave Scott’s 1971 AstroVette on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

Early Emails Between Danny and Valerie

On November 8, 2018

Danny Reed wrote:

Valerie,

I have heard you are the owner of Dave Scott’s ’71 Corvette.  It is great to know it is still around!

I have Alfred Worden’s ’71 and Alan Bean’s ’69.  Alfred Worden’s is a “Barn Find”  – unrestored.

Derek at the National Corvette Museum told me you had been in contact with them about the car.  

Danny


On November 8, 2018

Valerie Bean wrote:

Danny,

Hello, yes my grandpa has the blue corvette and has had it since Dave Scott returned it in 1971. The car is beautiful and we have a signed photo from Jim Rathmann’s office. My grandfather was friends with Jim Rathmann till he passed and still is in contact with his wife. It has not been in the public eye since 1988, I believe. How did you go about the authentification process? My grandpa is wanting to sell the car now for someone else to enjoy. 


On November 8, 2018

Danny Reed wrote:

Valerie,

Documentation is not a fun process, but I will follow up with more information.  Since Rathmann died, documentation is much harder – seems all the files disappeared.  It is pretty easy to get NCRS to document Corvettes for about $100.  Should verify Florida Zone / dropped shipped to Rathmann.

I use my cars to promote the space program.  I would love to have Dave’s ‘71 with the Bean and Worden’s car.  I am very interested.

Danny


Col. David Randolph Scott, USAF, Ret. is a retired test pilot and NASA astronaut who was the seventh person to walk on the Moon. The commander of Apollo 15, Scott was selected as an astronaut as part of the third group in 1963.
Col. David Randolph Scott, USAF, Ret. is a retired test pilot and NASA astronaut who was the seventh person to walk on the Moon. The commander of Apollo 15, Scott was selected as an astronaut as part of the third group in 1963.Col. David Randolph Scott, USAF, Ret. is a retired test pilot and NASA astronaut who was the seventh person to walk on the Moon. The commander of Apollo 15, Scott was selected as an astronaut as part of the third group in 1963.

David Scott was born in San Antonio, Texas, on June 6, 1932, the son of Tom Scott, a fighter pilot in the United States Army Air Corps.  David looked up to his father so much that he decided he wanted to be a military pilot as well.  The family moved a lot during David’s early life, but David never lost sight of his goal. Working hard in school, he eventually received an invitation to attend West Point in 1950.

After graduating fifth in his class of 633 students in 1954, Scott chose to enter a relatively new branch of the military called the United States Air Force.  After extensive pilot training, he was assigned to the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron in the Netherlands, where he served until July of 1960.  Having a desire to become an Air Force test pilot, Scott enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to earn a Master of Science degree in Engineering in Aeronautics and Astronautics.  After graduation from MIT in 1962, he was assigned to the Air Force Academy to be a professor but was able to get a change order that led to him fulfilling his dream of being a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base.  In 1963 he would apply to be in the third class of astronauts at NASA and was quickly accepted. 

Apollo 15 Corvettes

The Apollo 15 mission’s three astronauts ordered their Corvettes through the Rathmann Courtesy Car Program and had a unique idea for how they wanted their Corvettes to appear.  The three decided as a group to be patriotic with their Corvettes.  One was painted Mille Miglia Red, one Classic White, and one Bridgehampton Blue.  On top of the three patriotic colors, each had a double stripe placed down the car’s length, just to the left of center, with the other two colors of the American flag.  Scott’s Corvette was Bridgehampton Blue with white and red stripes.  Although Worden and Irwin had ordered their Corvettes with 454-cubic engines and 4-speed transmissions, Scott opted for the smaller 350-cubic inch engine with automatic transmission.

David Scott’s 1971 Corvette was located in Florida and purchased by Danny Reed from Ron Calloway.  Ron Calloway had bought the car from Rathmann when David Scott turned it in in 1971.  It was well kept and still retains its original finishes.  The Corvette also has the original drivetrain, equipment, and accessories all in working condition from the days when David Scott sat behind the steering wheel.

Gemini 8 Mission

David Scott was a pilot for the Gemini 8 mission under the command of Neil Armstrong.  The primary objective of the Mission was to perform the first-ever docking between two vehicles in Earth orbit.  After Scott and Armstrong successfully accomplished this objective, they also became the first astronauts to experience a critical system failure in space as the spacecraft developed unplanned rotation.  To gain control of the situation, the two astronauts initiated the undocking sequence.  However, after undocking the Gemini capsule, the roll increased, forcing Scott to deactivate the capsule’s control system and activate its reentry system… He and Armstrong were able to gain control of the spacecraft after that, but as dictated in NASA policy, they had to cut the Mission short and return to Earth.  Gemini 8 lifted off from Earth on March 16, 1966, and would return to Earth10 hours and 41 minutes later due to the control issues they encountered.

Apollo 9 Mission

The Apollo 9 mission saw David Scott take the role of Command Module Pilot, an extremely crucial position on this Mission.  The main objective for Apollo 9 was to perform the first-ever docking of the Lunar Module and the Command Module while in Earth orbit.  Successfully performing these dockings would prove that NASA was ready to achieve the goal of landing on the Moon.  The crew on this Mission included Commander James McDivitt and Lunar Module Pilot Russell Schweickart.  Together with David Scott, they were able to successfully dock the Lunar Module and Command Module the two times required by their mission objectives with no issues during the dockings.  NASA was now ready to attempt a moon landing.  Apollo 9 was lifted off from Earth on March 3, 1969, and spent ten days, one hour and 54 seconds completing the mission objectives before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean on March 13, 1969.

Apollo 15 Mission

David Scott was the Commander of the Apollo 15 mission.  As Commander, Scott with James Irwin, the Lunar Module Pilot, were the two astronauts scheduled to land on the Moon’s surface.  The mission objectives involved the exploration of the Hadley-Apennine region of the Moon.  The goals were to set up and activate scientific equipment, evaluate new equipment being used by the Apollo missions, and conduct lunar orbit experiments and photography.

Apollo 15 was David Scott’s third and final Mission to space and was record-setting for both NASA and the crew.  Apollo 15 carried the heaviest payload ever into lunar orbit.  The Mission marked the longest time spent in lunar orbit at 145 hours, as well as the longest crewed lunar Mission at 295 hours.  The first lunar orbit satellite was also launched by a crewed spacecraft.  The crew of Apollo 15 lifted off from Earth on July 26, 1971, and returned to Earth on August 7, 1971, when they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.


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The Apollo 12 Corvette was named to National Historic Vehicle Register.

FEATURE CORVETTE: HVA ALAN BEAN’S 1969 ASTROVETTE

Our feature Corvette at the 2020 Corvette Chevy Expo is the Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette.  This historical vehicle has been featured before but this time it comes with a very prestigious award.  In fact, it is the first Corvette to be recognized by the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) as a historically important vehicle and enshrined in the National Historic Vehicle Register. 

At the end of this article is a video that Corvette collector and NASA enthusiast Danny Reed talks about the journey with the Astrovette and its role in the space program.

Jump to Video

Kate and Danny Reed with their Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean’s Corvette on display at the National Mall hardscape between the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art.
Kate and Danny Reed with their Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean’s Corvette on display at the National Mall hardscape between the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art.

Apollo 12 AstroVette Named to National Historic Vehicle Register

Alan Bean’s Apollo 12 Corvette is the first Corvette to be named to the National Historic Vehicle Register (NHVR). The NHVR is part of the way that the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) carries out its mission “To promote the cultural and historical significance of the automobile and protect the future of our automotive past.” The HVA, founded in 2009, now has over 490,000 members and is the designated U.S. representative of FIVA (Fédération International des Véhicules Anciens), the international federation of historic vehicle organizations.

The aims of the HVA are to:

  • Recognize and document historically important vehicles in a National Historic Vehicle Register
  • Establish and share best practice guidelines to ensure that authentic examples of our automotive past will be available for future generations
  • Promote the historical and cultural significance of the automobile through media and events
  • Protect the future of our automotive past through affiliations with museums and academic institutional programs, and support of legislative action

The criteria for considering a vehicle for the NHVR are:

  • Associative Value-Event – A vehicle associated with an event or events that are important in automotive or American history
  • Associative Value-Person – A vehicle associated with the lives of significant persons in automotive or American history
  • Design or Construction Value – A vehicle that is distinctive based on design, engineering, craftsmanship, or aesthetic value
  • Informational Value – A vehicle of a particular type that was the first or last produced, has an element of rarity as a survivor of its type, or is among the most well-preserved or thoughtfully restored surviving examples

The HVA is working with the Department of the Interior’s Heritage Documentation Programs to create a comprehensive record of our most historically significant vehicles, which will reside in the Library of Congress.

Bean’s Corvette was fully restored to original, award-winning standards. The Apollo 12 Corvette recently added to its honors—it is the first Corvette to be recognized by the Historic Vehicle Association as a historically important vehicle and enshrined in the National Historic Vehicle Register.

Having a car named to the National Historic Vehicle Register is not all work and no play. The HVA has an annual Cars at the Capital exhibit on the National Mall in Washington.

The National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior. This is the plaque that was displayed with the 1969 Apollo 12 Astronaut Alan Bean's Corvette showing its registration No. 25 and Engineering Record No. TX-3404.
The National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior. This is the plaque that was displayed with the 1969 Apollo 12 Astronaut Alan Bean’s Corvette showing its registration No. 25 and Engineering Record No. TX-3404.
Alan Bean's 1969 Astrovette in the Cars at the Capital exhibit on the National Mall in Washington DC. The Apollo 12 Corvette was displayed from September 12th through September 19, 2019. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette in the Cars at the Capital exhibit on the National Mall in Washington DC. The Apollo 12 Corvette was displayed from September 12th through September 19, 2019. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
The Astrovette on the National Mall in Washington DC. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
The Astrovette on the National Mall in Washington DC. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean's 1969 Astrovette.  Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Danny Reed’s Apollo 12 Corvette is the first Corvette to be named to the National Historic Vehicle Register (NHVR). Here is a night photo of the Astrovette on the National Mall in Washington DC. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Danny Reed’s Apollo 12 Corvette is the first Corvette to be named to the National Historic Vehicle Register (NHVR). Here is a night photo of the Astrovette on the National Mall in Washington DC. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Spectators view the Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean’s Corvette on display at the National Mall.
Kate Reed and “Big Red” Diane Parker, VP of HVA, looking down at the plate on the display of the Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean’s Corvette at the National Mall. The Apollo 12 Corvette was named to National Historic Vehicle Register.
Photo Credit: Danny Reed.
The center counsel with the 4-Speed in Danny Reed’s Apollo 12 Corvette has been restored to perfection. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
The center counsel with the 4-Speed in Danny Reed’s Apollo 12 Corvette has been restored to perfection. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
1969 Corvette driver's side dash on Alan Bean's Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
1969 Corvette driver’s side dash on Alan Bean’s Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
1969 Corvette driver's side interior on the Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
1969 Corvette driver’s side interior on the Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Passenger's side interior on the Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Passenger’s side interior on the Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean's 1969 Astrovette engine bay. The 1969 Corvette Astrovette has the 427 CI/390HP Turbo-Jet V8 with the 4-bbl Rochester carburetor. The Astrovette Power and torque (SAE gross): 390 hp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette engine bay. The 1969 Corvette Astrovette has the 427 CI/390HP Turbo-Jet V8 with the 4-bbl Rochester carburetor. The Astrovette Power and torque (SAE gross): 390 hp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
1969 Corvette 427 Hood Emblem. The Astrovette has the 427/390HP TURBO-JET V-8 engine in it.
1969 Corvette 427 Hood Emblem. The Astrovette has the 427/390HP TURBO-JET V-8 engine in it.
1969 Corvette 427 Big-Block Hood on Alan Bean's Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
1969 Corvette 427 Big-Block Hood on Alan Bean’s Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Front view of the 1969 Corvette 427 Big-Block Hood on Alan Bean's Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Front view of the 1969 Corvette 427 Big-Block Hood on Alan Bean’s Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean actually chose a combination of the three Tremulis proposals, including the red, white, and blue logos for each of the drivers. Bean’s logo was blue with the initials LMP that signified him as the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 12 mission. Pete’s car had the red with CDR in it, which stood for Commander. Dick’s white tag had CMP, for Command Module Pilot. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean actually chose a combination of the three Tremulis proposals, including the red, white, and blue logos for each of the drivers. Bean’s logo was blue with the initials LMP that signified him as the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 12 mission. Pete’s car had the red with CDR in it, which stood for Commander. Dick’s white tag had CMP, for Command Module Pilot. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Close up photo of the special logo on the side of the Astrovette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
Close up photo of the special logo on the side of the Astrovette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
1969 Corvette Crossed-Flags Emblem on the Astrovette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association
1969 Corvette Crossed-Flags Emblem on the Astrovette. Photo Credit: Historic Vehicle Association

Danny Reed shares the experience of owning the first Corvette named to the National Historic Vehicle Register:

On the evening of 9/11, 2019, Astronaut Alan Bean’s 1969 Gold & Black Apollo 12 Corvette was named to the National Historic Vehicle Register.  The car was displayed in a beautiful glass case on the National Mall in front of the Capitol in Washington DC between the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art from September 12th through the 19th.  As owners, my wife and I were invited to flip the switch that lit the glass case in the opening ceremony.

The Historic Vehicle Association helps choose the vehicles each year for the National Historic Vehicle Register and the United States Department of Interior Historic American Engineering Record.  Once selected, the vehicles are highly documented, photographed and then exhibited in a full-size lighted glass case that looks like a typical display case for a small model.  Vehicle owners and invited guests participate in the HVA evening ceremony and a press party the following morning.  The event is quite breathtaking, especially when you see the lighted Capitol building and the Washington Monument in the background.

The process and incredible experience as an owner of a Historic Vehicle began with the purchase of Alan Bean’s Apollo 12 Astrovette in 1971.   Interest increased after I started displaying the car at events at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston Space Center, Cosmosphere, and National Corvette Museum.

History and originality are very important; however, the documentation process of the vehicle is most critical.  The documentation on Alan Bean’s Corvette started when I joined NCRS in 2001.  Under the guidance of Ray Repczynski, owner of Corvettes by Ray in Houston, we entered the car in NCRS Regional and National Events, where the judging of originality and condition are held to the highest standards by Master Judges.  In preparing the car for NCRS judging, we dropped and removed the gas tank. Ray immediately noticed Alan Bean’s name printed on the tank sticker.  We have never seen another tank sticker listing the car’s owner.         

Bean’s car received back-to-back NCRS Top Flight Awards, Performance Verification, followed by the NCRS Duntov Award of Excellence and finally the prestigious NCRS American Heritage Award.  To my knowledge, Alan Bean’s Corvette is the only car to receive both the NCRS Duntov Award of Excellence and the National Heritage Award.

Car magazines started calling, and soon Bean’s car was featured and on the cover of the 2001 August Car Collector Magazine and November Vette Magazine.  It has since been featured in dozens of magazines including Corvette Magazine, Vette VuesMagazine, Motor Trend and Motor Trend Classics.

Magazine coverage transformed into appearances on TV – Top Gear with James May, Classic Car Rescue, Wheeler Dealer, French PBS, Motor Trend Epic Drives, Jay Leno’s Garage, and Iron Resurrection – plus online and YouTube videos by Michael Brown, Bruce Troxell, Corvette Corner, and many followers.

Interest increased with each year.  Franklin Mint made 427 precision limited edition 1/24th scale models of the Apollo 12 Corvette.  TMS followed with a 1/43rd scale model and this year Greenlight released a 1/64th scale model.  Greenlight will be releasing a 1/24th scale model early next year.

My admiration for the Space Program and Astronaut Corvettes has continued.  In July of 2017, I purchased Alfred Worden’s Apollo 15 Corvette; a barn find that had been in a field for years.  In March of this year, I found and purchased Dave Scott’s Apollo 15 Corvette – totally original with only 42,000 original miles.

January through July of this year, the National Corvette Museum wanted to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the First Man on the Moon with a “Gas Station to Space Station” display of Astronaut Corvettes.  At the request of Derek Moore, Curator of NCM, I agreed to put Alan Bean’s ’69 and Alfred Worden’s & Dave Scott’s ’71 Corvettes on display in the Museum.  That is when Diane Parker, VP of the Historic Vehicle Association, contacted Derek Moore at the NCM about adding Astronaut Alan Bean’s car to the National Register.  

The Apollo 12 Corvette also appeared in the National Corvette Museum’s exhibit From Gas Station to Space Station celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The exhibit included Danny Reed’s two other Apollo Corvettes, those of astronauts Alfred Worden and David Scott of Apollo 15. Photo Credit: Danny Reed
The Apollo 12 Corvette also appeared in the National Corvette Museum’s exhibit From Gas Station to Space Station celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The exhibit included Danny Reed’s two other Apollo Corvettes, those of astronauts Alfred Worden and David Scott of Apollo 15. Photo Credit: Danny Reed

Derek gave Diane my information. Diane contacted me and walked me through the HVA process. The rest is History!

Here are some more photos of Alan Bean’s 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean's Astrovette Corvette named to National Historic Vehicle Register. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean’s Astrovette Corvette named to National Historic Vehicle Register. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean's Astrovette Corvette named to National Historic Vehicle Register. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean’s Astrovette Corvette named to National Historic Vehicle Register. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
Alan Bean's 1969 Astrovette Passenger Sideshot
Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette Passenger Sideshot
Alan Bean's 1969 Astrovette Drivers Sideshot
Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette Drivers Sideshot
Alan Bean's 1969 Astrovette engine bay. The 1969 Corvette Astrovette has the 427 CI/390HP Turbo-Jet V8 with the 4-bbl Rochester carburetor. The Astrovette Power and torque (SAE gross): 390 hp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette engine bay. The 1969 Corvette Astrovette has the 427 CI/390HP Turbo-Jet V8 with the 4-bbl Rochester carburetor. The Astrovette Power and torque (SAE gross): 390 hp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
Alan Bean's 1969 Astrovette Front View
Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette Front View
The back of Alan Bean's Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
The back of Alan Bean’s Astrovette Corvette. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
The Wheelbase is 98 inches (2.489 m) on Alan Bean's Astrovette Corvette. The Wheel Covers are RPO PO2. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association
The Wheelbase is 98 inches (2.489 m) on Alan Bean’s Astrovette Corvette. The Wheel Covers are RPO PO2. Photo Credits: Historic Vehicle Association

Alan Bean’s 1969 Astrovette to be the featured Corvette at the 2020 Corvette Chevy Expo. It is the first Corvette to be recognized by the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA). The 42nd Corvette Chevy Expo is March 14 & 15, 2020.

Video of the Apollo XII Astrovette

Corvette collector and NASA enthusiast Danny Reed has owned the sole surviving Corvette built for the crew of Apollo XII for almost 50 years. Danny shares with us his journey with the car and its role in the space program. Its travel is out of this world…

Video of the Apollo XII Astrovette…

Want to learn more about the history of the 1969 Astrovette? Vette Vues Magazine dives in the historical facts of how the astronauts chose the colors, logos, how Danny Reed found the 1969 Astronaut Corvette and more if it’s history.


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1st in Class 1996 C4 Corvette Grand Sport owned by Bobby Sanford on display at the 2018 Corvette Chevy Expo held at the Galveston Island Convention Center.

Bobby Sanford’s 1996 Corvette Grand Sport

Bobby Sanford’s 1996 C4 Corvette Grand Sport on display at the 2018 Corvette Chevy Expo held at the Galveston Island Convention Center.
Bobby Sanford’s 1996 C4 Corvette Grand Sport on display at the 2018 Corvette Chevy Expo held at the Galveston Island Convention Center.

Bobby Sanford owns our feature Corvette.  It was on display at the 2018 Corvette Chevy Expo held at the Galveston Island Convention Center.  Bobby took 1st in the C4 Class with his 1996 Corvette Grand Sport. Bobby is currently serving in Afghanistan, so we wanted to pay tribute to him and thank him for his service by sharing his Corvette.

1996 was the end of the C4 generation.  Due to this Chevy decided to make a very special Corvette to commemorate the end of this highly successful generation.

The run was to be limited.  The final production totals were 1,000.  Of those, 810 coupes were produced and 190 convertibles.  The car was named after the famous Grand Sport Corvette race cars from the early 60s.

According to the Corvette Black Book, the option code was RPO Z51 for an additional cost of $3,200 ($2,330 w/convertible).  The base Corvettes that year was $37,225 for the sport coupe and $45,060 for the convertible.

The Grand Sport option (RPO Z16) had the LT4 engine and was only available with the 6-speed manual transmission.  This one-year-only LT4 engine was conservatively rated at 330 HP

The 1996 Grand Sport option (RPO Z16) had the LT4 engine and was only available with the 6-speed manual transmission.  This one-year-only LT4 engine was conservatively rated at 330 HP.
The 1996 Grand Sport option (RPO Z16) had the LT4 engine and was only available with the 6-speed manual transmission. This one-year-only LT4 engine was conservatively rated at 330 HP.

To commemorate the 1963 Grand Sport Corvettes, they came with a special Admiral Blue paint and Arctic White racing stripe that ran down the center of the car and two red hash marks on the left front fender.

Special Grand Sport badging was placed on each side of the hood above the side fender vents as well as a unique chrome-plated Corvette emblem on the nose and gas lid.  Special chrome badging and the ZR1-style wheels were black spoked. 

The cars have their own unique VIN sequence that is distinct from the other 1996 Corvettes.

Bobby took first place in the C4 Corvette Stock category for his 1996 Corvette Grand Sport.
Bobby took first place in the C4 Corvette Stock category for his 1996 Corvette Grand Sport.

1996 Corvette Grand Sport Tires:

The Grand Sport Coupes were outfitted with P275/40ZR-17 tires on 17×9.5″ wheels in front and P315/35ZR-17 tires on 17×11″ wheels in the rear.  Grand Sport Convertibles were furnished with P255/45ZR-17 tires on 17×8.5″ wheels in the front and the rear P285/40ZR-17 tires on 17×9.5″ wheels.

1996 Corvette Grand Sport Interior:

There were two Interior color choices for the Grand Sport.  It was limited to all black, or a special Torch Red and Black combination . . .red seats and trim but with black carpeting.  The headrests were embroidered with the words “Grand Sport.”  There were 593 coupes with black interior and 217 with the Red/Black.  Of the convertibles, 137 had the Black, and 53 convertibles had the Red/Black.

There were two Interior color choices for the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport.  It was limited to all black, or a special Torch Red and Black combination.
There were two Interior color choices for the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport. It was limited to all black, or a special Torch Red and Black combination.

The Grand Sports were produced from April 3rd, 1995 for GS VIN #0001 and ended with GS VIN #1000 on June 14th, 1996.

Thank you and come home safe!  Also, thanks to all our veterans!  Thank you for sacrificing time, family, friends, and health to serve.

Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette

Barn Find Reveal: Apollo 15 Astronaut Corvette Found

Barn Find Reveal: Apollo 15 Astronaut Corvette Found
Barn Find Reveal: Apollo 15 Astronaut Corvette Found

You might recall the coverage of Alan Bean’s Corvette in the September issue of Vette Vues Magazine. In that article, we learned about the unique program from Chevrolet for the Astronauts.

It started with a man named Jim Rathmann. Some of you might remember him from winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1960. When he retired he owned and operated a Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership in Melbourne, Florida. Melbourne is about fifty miles south of the John F. Kennedy Space Center and a launch site for NASA.

Jim Rathmann became friends with many of the astronauts. He negotiated a particular lease arrangement with Chevrolet to put the astronauts into Chevrolet cars. For $1 a year, the astronauts could lease a car. They could choose any Chevrolet they wanted. We learn that six of the first group of astronauts picked Corvettes.

 Alan Bean’s 1969 Apollo XII Corvette
Alan Bean’s 1969 Apollo XII Corvette

For a quick look back at Alan Bean’s 1969 Apollo XII Corvette, we learned that Alan Bean said in an exclusive interview in 1969 that the Apollo 12 lunar team – Bean, Pete Conrad, and Dick Gordon asked Rathmann for three identically prepared Riverside Gold Corvette coupes. They had 427/390 and were customized with a unique two-tone design dreamed up by Bean. The men were photographed with their cars for a story and published in Life magazine.

Year’s later, Al Bean’s Corvette was discovered by Danny Reed from Austin, Texas. You can read more about Alan Bean’s Corvette on our blog https://vette-vues.com/alan-l-beans-1969-chevrolet-astrovette/

Our feature Corvette was once again discovered by Danny Reed in Austin, Texas and who believed it to be another “special lease” astronaut car. What are the odds of finding Alan Bean’s 1969 Apollo XII Corvette, then 46 years later, Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette on used car lots in Austin, TX?

The crew of Apollo 15 pose by the subsatellite they would release into lunar orbit. Commander Dave Scott (39), Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden (39), Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin (41).
The crew of Apollo 15 pose by the subsatellite they would release into lunar orbit. Commander Dave Scott (39), Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden (39), Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin (41).

For a little history on the car, the Apollo 15 lunar-mission crewmembers Commander Dave Scott, Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden, Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin, chose a more-patriotic theme for their 1971 Corvettes, once again provided through Rathmann.

The cars were Mille Miglia Red, Classic White, and Bridgehampton Blue. They and their Corvettes were also photographed for a story in Life magazine in the red, white and blue order, representing the colors of the American flag.

Danny tells Vette Vues Magazine, “In 1971, I bought Alan Bean’s Gold & Black 1969 Corvette in a closed bid from General Motors. I found it on a GMAC car lot in Austin. Now, 46 years later and thanks to my Corvette friend Carl Sanger, it seems I’ve stumbled across Astronaut Al Worden’s 1971 (CMP) Apollo XV Corvette, once again on a used car lot in Austin, Texas.”

While Danny and his Alan Bean AstroVette were doing the Corvette Invasion show, he received a text from Carl Sanger telling him that there was a Corvette posted on Craigslist and it was once owned by an Astronaut.

Danny says, “I checked the location, and it was located in a small camper & used car lot, three houses past the turnoff to the event – about a mile away. I called, set up an appointment, left a deposit and bought the car July 20th, the 48th Anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first man on the moon.”

Danny learned that this astronaut Corvette, basically a “barn find,” was kept in an open field for years.

“The good news – is it is ‘Numbers Matching!’ The crew had requested their cars to be equipped with the 454 cubic inch, 390 horsepower, 500 ft torque engines.”

Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Astronaut Corvette was recently found and was located in a small camper & used car lot in Austin Texas.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Astronaut Corvette was recently found and was located in a small camper & used car lot in Austin Texas.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Astronaut Corvette was recently found by Danny Reed who also found the Alan Bean’s 1969 Apollo XII Astrovette 46 years earlier.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Astronaut Corvette was recently found by Danny Reed who also found the Alan Bean’s 1969 Apollo XII Astrovette 46 years earlier.
Danny learned that this astronaut Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette, basically a “barn find,” was kept in an open field for years.
Danny learned that this astronaut Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette, basically a “barn find,” was kept in an open field for years.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
As you can see, Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette's interior will need some restoration.
As you can see, Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette’s interior will need some restoration.
All and all, Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette doesn't look to be in too bad of shape for being 47 years old.
All and all, Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette doesn’t look to be in too bad of shape for being 47 years old.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette's will need some paint!
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette’s will need some paint!
The crew had requested their cars to be equipped with the 454 cubic inch, 390 horsepower, 500 ft torque engines.
The crew had requested their cars to be equipped with the 454 cubic inch, 390 horsepower, 500 ft torque engines.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette and the crew had requested their cars to be equipped with the 454 cubic inch, 390 horsepower, 500 ft torque engines.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette and the crew had requested their cars to be equipped with the 454 cubic inch, 390 horsepower, 500 ft torque engines.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette Trim Tag.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette Trim Tag.
Cover of the June 1971 issue of Life Magazine which has Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette inside.
Cover of the June 1971 issue of Life Magazine which has Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette inside.
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
June 1971 issue of Life Magazine
This photo appeared in the June 1971 issue of Life Magazine. This is the text under the picture of the astronaut's Corvettes. "Next, to the brand-new red, white and blue Chevrolet Corvettes belonging to Apollo 15's three astronauts, James Irwin, Alfred Worden and David Scott (left to right), the LRV looks homely but also quite functional. The cost of designing and producing three Rovers-one for each of the three final Apollo missions-plus spare parts and other paraphernalia was $37,800,000, almost twice the contractor's original estimate."
This photo appeared in the June 1971 issue of Life Magazine. This is the text under the picture of the astronaut’s Corvettes. “Next, to the brand-new red, white and blue Chevrolet Corvettes belonging to Apollo 15’s three astronauts, James Irwin, Alfred Worden and David Scott (left to right), the LRV looks homely but also quite functional. The cost of designing and producing three Rovers-one for each of the three final Apollo missions-plus spare parts and other paraphernalia was $37,800,000, almost twice the contractor’s original estimate.”
Since Danny has taken ownership of the car, it has been documented by the NCRS Historical Document Services, and like Alan Bean’s 1969 it is one of the "Special Lease” cars: 26-000 / Florida Zone Car / delivered to Rathmann Chevrolet in Melbourne, Florida / Build Date: 2/13/1971.
Since Danny has taken ownership of the car, it has been documented by the NCRS Historical Document Services, and like Alan Bean’s 1969 it is one of the “Special Lease” cars: 26-000 / Florida Zone Car / delivered to Rathmann Chevrolet in Melbourne, Florida / Build Date: 2/13/1971.

The Apollo XV Corvette is currently in Danny’s warehouse with “Stretch,” a rare 1971 Chevy truck once owned by his Boat Racing friend, John Annin.

Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette
The Apollo XV Corvette is currently in Danny's warehouse with “Stretch,” a rare 1971 Chevy truck once owned by his Boat Racing friend, John Annin.
The Apollo XV Corvette is currently in Danny’s warehouse with “Stretch,” a rare 1971 Chevy truck once owned by his Boat Racing friend, John Annin.

What are Danny’s plans for this historical Corvette? “I plan to get Al Worden’s Corvette drivable.”

Many of you noticed that the Corvette had aftermarket valve covers and air cleaner, Danny is replacing them with original stock parts.
Danny will be revealing his “Barn Find” at the Corvette Chevy Expo in Galveston Island Texas this March 10 & 11, 2018. Interestingly enough, Galveston Island is just thirty miles south of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. We are also excited that Danny will be bringing Alan Bean’s Astrovette to display alongside Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette.

Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette, had aftermarket valve covers and air cleaner, Danny is replacing them with original stock parts.
Alfred Worden’s 1971 Apollo XV Corvette, had aftermarket valve covers and air cleaner, Danny is replacing them with original stock parts.

If any of our readers are familiar with the car or have photos or information about its history, please let us know, and we will pass it on to Danny as he documents its history.  Email info@corvettechevyexpo.com

This is the list of winners from the 2017 Corvette Chevy Expo:

Chevrolet Show Cars that achieve 98 or more points are inducted into the President’s Award Club.  Here is a list of these distinguished cars and owners:

Ed Nieves Award Winning 2015 Corvette

Ed Nieves’ Tri-Power, Top Flight, Bloomington Gold and Triple Diamond Corvette

Story by K. Scott Teeters

Ed Nieves Journey Into the World of  Tri-Power, NCRS, Bloomington Gold, and Triple Diamond – Level Corvettes

The Corvette hobby is a sub-culture of the larger car-culture. Within the Corvette community, there are many sub-cultures where owners do different kinds of things with their Corvettes. Some race their Corvettes and within the racer crowd, there are different kinds of racing. Some start out personalizing their Vette that leads to all-out custom Corvettes. Others give their Corvette a pampered life with heated and air-conditioned garages; the cars never get wet and are cleaned after every drive. On the opposite side are the Vettes that are driven, repaired, and enjoyed for hundreds or thousands of miles.

At the extreme opposite end of the daily drivers are the Vette Vues Tri-Power, NCRS Top Flight, Bloomington Gold, and Triple Diamond Award Corvettes. These Corvettes look like they were put into a Star Trek transported and beamed from Bowling Green or St. Louis, directly to the owner’s garage. For Corvette fans that haven’t been to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant and taken the tour, these Corvettes are as close as you can get to “factory fresh.” What every Corvette nitch has in common (besides a passion for Vettes) is that the owners are all enjoying their Corvette in their own unique way.

Ed Nieves was like lots of red-blooded American males that have a “Someday I’ll get a Vette!” mental infection. But life and obligations typically keep the Corvette daydreams way down the list. Ed had the itch we can all relate to. But in 2008 he decided to go for it!

Ed’s “dream Vette” was white with a red interior – just like the first 300 1953 Corvettes. He was willing to go for a C3 Corvette but found very few with the white/red combo he wanted. Ed was hoping to find a private seller, looking for a new home for his baby. As luck would have it, Ed found a 1995 Corvette, with the color combo he wanted, and it was only one hour from where he lives in Miami, Florida. But here’s the big, “But…” The car was up for auction on eBay, which was not how Ed wanted to buy his Corvette.

However, the description was intriguing; it read . . .

“Incredible all original 13-year-old Corvette Convertible still looked like it’s sitting on the dealer’s showroom floor. Everything works to perfection, and this car needs nothing. If you wash it, you might get it dirty.”

The listing said that the 13-year-old Corvette only had 14,000 miles – very light usage. The more Ed looked at the photos and read the car’s details, the more he knew he had to act quickly. If that’s the color combo you’ve always wanted, and the details were right, who wouldn’t want to check that out if it was only one hour away?

Ed contacted the seller in Fort Lauderdale and arranged to see the car. Upon his arrival, within seconds, Ed knew this was the real deal – exactly the Corvette he wanted! The deal was quickly negotiated, and an hour later, Ed had the top down and was heading south to Miami.
As Ed put it, “Of course, I lowered the top and drove her home like I stole her!” Upon his arrival home, Ed tossed the keys to his eldest daughter, Melissa and told her, “Take it for a spin with your little sister!” (Awww, what’a Dad!)

After Ed had the oil and fluids changed and a good tune-up, he drove and enjoyed his white 1996 Corvette convertible, mostly on the weekends. South Florida is a wonderful place for top-down evening cruising. Things cool off, the air is sweet, and the sunsets are spectacular.

The car wasn’t “perfect” and needed a few things, but it was all small stuff. Ed was a happy guy.

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Interior

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Interior

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Interior

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Interior

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Engine

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Engine

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Engine

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette Engine

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette

Ed Nieves 1995 Corvette

The Sunshine Corvette Club is a Miami-based Corvette club. When Ed decided to attend the club’s Annual Corvette Show, he really didn’t know what to expect. What he found was a great group of Corvette lovers, eager to help one another. Ed also got an experiential education on super-sano Corvettes. Much to Ed’s surprise, his Corvette was awarded 3rd Place in the C4 class. Seeing what the 1st place Class winners looked like, Ed got a clear picture of what he needed to do to get his Corvette up to speed.

Ed joined the Sunshine Corvette Club in Miami and show his 1995 at the annual Corvette show and won 3rd place!

Ed joined the Sunshine Corvette Club in Miami and show his 1995 at the annual Corvette show and won 3rd place!

Over the next few years, Ed kept improving the cosmetics of his Corvette and started racking up 1st in C4 Class wins. One day Ed’s Corvette pal, Jack Exter, told him about the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS), and that the NCSR Florida Winter Regional Meet in Kissimmee, Florida and was to be held in January 2012. Jack could tell that Ed’s Corvette was already pretty well up to NCRS level competition, so once again, Ed jumped into the pool, not really knowing what to expect. Ed explains, “I found myself lost in the world of technical judging. However, after it was over, I was awarded an NCRS Top Flight at the banquet ceremony. This was the beginning of the end for me. I was bitten by the bug!”

Ed’s Corvette pal, Jack Exter, told him about the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS), and that the NCSR Florida Winter Regional Meet in Kissimmee, Florida and was to be held in January 2012.

Ed’s Corvette pal, Jack Exter, told him about the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS), and that the NCSR Florida Winter Regional Meet in Kissimmee, Florida and was to be held in January 2012.

In the five years from 2012 to 2017 Ed has racked up an impressive number of awards, including; Four Top Flights, an NCRS Performance Verification Award (which requires every component of the car to work to factory specifications), and an NCRS Hill Mark of Excellence Award (reportedly, only 34 cars have won this NCRS prestigious award).

Four Top Flights, an NCRS Performance Verification Award (which requires every component of the car to work to factory specifications), and an NCRS Hill Mark of Excellence Award (reportedly, only 34 cars have won this NCRS prestigious award).

Four Top Flights, an NCRS Performance Verification Award (which requires every component of the car to work to factory specifications), and an NCRS Hill Mark of Excellence Award (reportedly, only 34 cars have won this NCRS prestigious award).

Ed set his sights on two very special national awards; the Vette Vues Tri-Power Award (hosted at the Corvette/Chevy Expo, in Galveston, Texas) and the MCACN Triple Diamond Award (hosted at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago). But, Ed learned that he needed to first have a Bloomington Gold Award in order to qualify for the Tri-Power Award and the Triple Diamond Award.

Ed gets a trailer to go to the shows with.

Ed gets a trailer to go to the shows with.

By this time, Ed was a veteran at transporting his Corvette in an enclosed trailer. In 2015 Ed packed up his 1995 Corvette and headed to Indianapolis. The event was spectacular for Ed, as his Corvette scored 99.5 out of 100, and received a Bloomington Gold Award.

Ed is at Indianapolis Bloomington Gold

Ed is at Indianapolis Bloomington Gold

Ed, as his Corvette scored 99.5 out of 100, and received a Bloomington Gold Award.

Ed, as his Corvette scored 99.5 out of 100, and received a Bloomington Gold Award.

Ed's Awards

Ed’s Awards

With a Bloomington Gold Award under his belt, in March 2017 Ed sent in his application for the Tri-Power Award to Bill Wolf, publisher of Vette Vues Magazine and organizer of the Corvette Chevy Expo in Galveston, Texas.

It is a 1,200-mile drive from Miami to Galveston in a truck with an enclosed trailer, but it was worth the effort. Ed recalls, “The car was placed in the lobby area with the rest the Tri-Power contenders, and it was an awesome experience from day one. We received a Tri-Power Award, a President’s Award (awarded to cars that score above 98%) and won Best of Class. I was ecstatic with our results, and the judging process was fair and comprehensive. Bill, Bonnie, and the staff put on a spectacular event.” (You can read about the event in the August 2017 issue of Vette Vues Magazine, and Ed’s Corvette is on page 7!)

Ed's 1995 Corvette was one of the featured Corvettes in the lobby at the Corvette Chevy Expo in Galveston, Texas.

Ed’s 1995 Corvette was one of the featured Corvettes in the lobby at the Corvette Chevy Expo in Galveston, Texas.

 Ed received a Tri-Power Award, a President's Award (awarded to cars that score above 98%) and won Best of Class.

Ed received a Tri-Power Award, a President’s Award (awarded to cars that score above 98%) and won Best of Class.

In November 2017 it was time to go for the Triple Diamond Award at the MCACN (Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals) event. Ed packed up his award-winning 1995 Corvette and headed north for the LONG 1,400 miles trip from Miami, Florida to Rosemont, Illinois. This is the biggest and toughest muscle car and Corvette show of the year, and there were approximately 570 pristine cars there.

Ed packed up his award-winning 1995 Corvette and headed north for the LONG 1,400 miles trip from Miami, Florida to Rosemont, Illinois.

Ed packed up his award-winning 1995 Corvette and headed north for the LONG 1,400 miles trip from Miami, Florida to Rosemont, Illinois.

After the judging, Ed’s car received very positive feedback and at the awards ceremony was awarded the MCACN’s Triple Diamond AND Gold Concours Awards! Ed’s 1995 Corvette convertible scored in the high 99-percent range.

Posing with the celebrities

Posing with the celebrities

When thinking about “competition” Corvettes, we usually think “racing.” But this is a very different kind of competition; it’s about extreme attention to details. Ed’s Corvette went from being a well-kept driver to an NCRS Top Flight, Tri-Power, Bloomington Gold, and Triple Diamond award-winning car.

This kind of competition isn’t “just” about having a well-preserved automobile. Ed’s Corvette also has the complete owner’s manual, delivery inspection brochure, Chevrolet Satisfaction System Brochure, Corvette Roadside Assistance Brochure, GM Warranty booklet, the Limited Warranty brochure, the CFS brochure, the locking nut bag, two sets of keys, key knockouts, the emergency key from the factory, the original air filter, and the passive keyless entry decal. The only thing missing is the original gasoline, oil, coolant, and air in the tires!

Ed Nieves has come a very long way in his journey into the world of Corvettes. He sums it up this way, “I have to admit that it has been a lot of work traveling and attending these car meets throughout the U.S., but the adventures continue to keep me motivated and more importantly, I enjoy meeting new people and saying hello to old friends. My foundation, the United Correctional Officers Federation, is based on the NCRS standard of judging, and I continue to serve as an NCRS judge with the C4 team and assist the Florida NCRS chapter as their newsletter editor. The Corvette that I purchased nine years ago just to drive, turned out to be more, and better than I expected.”

Obviously a Corvette such as Ed Nieves’ doesn’t rack up many, if any, miles on the road anymore. Maybe Ed will have to look for a second white and red Corvette driver. If he does, will he be able to keep it a driver, or will the temptation be too great to turn it into another award-winning Corvette? Keep us up to date Ed.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE VETTE VUES MAGAZINE TRI-POWER AWARD:

TRI-POWER AWARD

K. Scott Teeters is a Corvette historian and writes several monthly articles in Vette Vues Magazine.  He is also an artist. You can order his Corvette artwork on his website http://www.illustratedcorvetteseries.com/

Here is a sampling of his Corvette Illustrations:

K Scott Teeters Corvette Illustrations

K Scott Teeters Corvette Illustrations

VISITOR INFO & DRIVING DIRECTIONS

EXPERIENCE

EXHIBITORS INFO & REGISTRATION

SPONSORS and OPPORTUNITIES

1st Corvette Chevy Expo Started in 1978

CORVETTE CHEVY EXPO HISTORY

Corvette Chevy Expo Discount Tickets
Corvette Chevy Expo Discount Tickets

Corvette Chevy Expo History:

Don and Diane Cooper started the Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978.

Here is some of the coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978.  This appeared in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.  As you can see it was actually called the “Texas Corvette Expo” and later the Chevy’s were added.

Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.
Coverage of the 1st Corvette Chevy Expo in 1978 in the June 1979 issue of Vette Vues Magazine.

In October of 2009, Vette Vues Magazine became its new producer.

The Next Event is on March 19 and 20, 2022 at the Galveston Island Convention Center when the Corvette Chevy Expo will celebrate its 44th Anniversary!

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