If you are a frequent visitor to the Corvette Forum web site's
C4 section, you will have heard many nice complements about
Ron Warren, also known as CorvetteRon. He has many friends there
because if you need any assistance with your C4 Corvette, Ron
is always willing to assist you. I thought it would be a good
idea to ask Ron a few questions about his Corvette background
and experiences so those he has helped would get to know him
a little better. Here are those questions.
1. Tell me about your passion for Corvettes.
I saw my first Corvette at age 7 when the 1953 Corvette was
on display at a department store in downtown Grand Rapids, MI.
My Dad worked as a Die Maker at a GM plant and took the family
to the show. I thought it was very pretty. As I grew I remember
my Dad telling the family at the dinner table that the 1957 Fuel
Injected Corvette could go 0-60 mph in only 6 seconds.
Later in High School we would watch the cool guys drive out of
the parking lot each day as we waited for the bus. I distinctly
remember a white 1962 convertible turning the corner and it was
so stylish and cool that everyone was going oooooh and aaaaaaaah
just like watching a beautiful burst of fireworks. Later on in
my senior year I had just parked my beater $25, a 1951 Chevy Coupe,
and was walking to school when I sensed then saw a red 1963 Stingray
burble past me. At that time I knew I would do anything legal
to have one.
2. When did you get started with Corvettes?
I did the Bill Clinton thing and tried to avoid the draft after
high school by attending various colleges. I was not as smart
as him so I dropped out, started driving a forklift in a warehouse
and bought a 1965 Corvette convertible. This was in the Fall of
1966 and the 1967 Vettes had just come out. The prices of the
63-66 Corvettes immediately took a tumble as the looks of the
67 were so great. I bought this one used for $3,300 and put $300
down with 36 months to pay at $100/mo. This took an entire week's
paycheck at the time.
3. Have you owned others besides your fine 1987?
The 1965 I owned was black with a black top and white interior.
It had a 4 speed transmission, 300 horse 327 engine, AM/FM radio
and a teak steering wheel. I got drafted in May of 1967 and immediately
made a lifetime friend of my younger sister by letting her drive
it while I was in training. After my training I drove the car
to my first duty station at Ft McNair in Washington DC. I met
and married my wife while in DC, promptly got her pregnant and
then got orders for Vietnam. Since my wife could not drive a stick
shift and we had a child on the way I sold the 65 in September
of 1968 for $2,500 and took the buyer's 59 Chevy Biscayne in on
trade for $200.
Fast forward to 1992 and by then 2 of our 4 kids were married
and out of the house. My oldest son and I went to a Corvette dealer
in Grand Rapids and drove a yellow 77 coupe, which was in our
price range. At the suggestion of the salesman we also took a
spin in a 1986 coupe. Even though it was priced higher than my
budget, I bought it anyway due to the immense difference in power,
comfort and handling. This was a Medium Gray Metallic automatic
with Bose. My son and I promptly customized it with after market
gold lace rims (ala Bandit Trans Am), new tires and an after market
stereo with a monster-sized speaker box and speakers in the back.
My favorite tunes to listen to were Prince's Little Red Corvette
and Iron Butterfly playing In A Gadda Da Vida.
I sold that car and a high performance boat that I owned so we
could build a new house. After a couple of years I was reading
the classifieds and came across this ad: 1981 triple black Corvette
convertible for sale. This intrigued me as I remember reading
magazine articles about later C3s being made into convertibles
between 1976 and 1982. These were always an expensive modification
but looked way cool. I went and looked at the car and jumped on
it as the price was a very reasonable $9,500. I drove that car
for a few years and always had fun with it at cruise-ins. People
could not tell what year it was. It had the 1981 shark body interior
and body except that it had the top and upper deck from a 1975
car. It was awesome but sadly under powered. The car only had
65,000 miles on it but lost oil pressure and died on my way to
a cruise-in one night. This gave me the opportunity to make it
into a 355 Edelbrock-improved 400hp motor. A new paint job made
it look even better and I had a ton of fun with it. The only problem
is that I missed the handling and comfort of the C4.
I sold the 81 at Bloomington Gold's Mecum auction and the new
owner drove it to Birmingham, Alabama. I spent a year building
another new home and keeping my eye on the ads and the Internet.
I built a pole barn in anticipation of buying another C4 and giving
my baby a nice place to be pampered. During this time I discovered
the Corvette Forum and found my present 87 convertible in its
For Sale section.