The Raptor  

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The Raptor's Corvette Book Library Page Created April 14th, 2007 Modified April 16th, 2007

 

 

 The Raptor can remember some Corvette interests early in his high school years from a couple of sources.  First, The Raptor remembers that he spent a lot of time at his friend Mike's house and there were a lot of motor heads in the neighborhood.  Down the street was the Kuneman house where a yellow 1973 Vette was always parked.  Also, around the corner, lived the Fedorko's and there were two sons.  The oldest, Joe was about 3 years older than the Raptor and he and his pals all had Corvettes.

Joe had a sharp 62 which was a "roadster".  Brad Carson had a Stingray Coupe but I can not recall what year it was but it might have been a 1964 Coupe and George Lyons had an exquisite silver 1963 Coupe.  Today, with antique autos gaining in popularity, that 63 would be worth about $150,000.00.  I would not be surprised to learn that George still own that car, it was a beauty.

I also recall that Kim Kupiniewski had a 63 Coupe as well.  I recall that when I first saw Kim drive up to the Glenwood Golf Course in the car, it was blue, but later on Kim did some restoration work on the car and he entered it in a car show at Rainbow Gardens as a superb rally red exterior with the black interior.  

It should be noted that George was a total Corvette authority and he was highly respected as a top notch body and paint man.  He is now owner of Contemporary Motorcar and is frequent mentioned at National Auto Auctions when he showcases some obscure highly sought after automobile.

Anyhow, by the time I was a sophomore in high school, I was hooked on the 63 to 67 Stingray series and desperately wanted one.  For Christmas of 1972, I received the classic Corvette history book, "The Star-Spangled Sports Car".  I have probably read and reread this book about 50 times.  It is a total history of the C1 through C3 Corvettes.

 

Front Cover is John Greenwood's 1971 All-Star Road Car at speed.  Greenwood's partner was Tom Smothers a well known comedian of the era.

Back cover includes: 1953 Roadster which was the first model year, a cut away view of the Sting Ray Racer, The Mako Shark I near water & incomparable Mako Shark II, which still sends shivers up my arms, The ultra-cool Stingray Chicago Show Car and the just released 1973 Stingray with super cool new aluminum wheels.

The Star-Spangled book is loaded with Corvette history and is a must read, if you want to find out the whole story.  The Raptor became more obsessed with the Vette as I got into my senior year.  I recall keeping a log of Vette's I would see on the street.  They were everywhere back then. 

One reason for their popularity was price.  A good used one could be had for very little money.  They were easy to work on as the engine compartment contained nothing but an engine.  No AC, no fuel injection and for a high performance auto we had Sunoco 260 which was a high octane fuel that sold for about .59 cents a gallon.

I noted in another page that I picked up my Vette in the summer of 1975.  I immediately started to join in on the activities of the local Corvette Club.  That summer I drove the streets of Erie and went on car cruise events nightly around the Public Dock.  Periodically our group which probably had about 10 to 15 nightly drivers, would park our Vettes in a line in front of the Rathskeller Cafe on State Street.  Ironically, I later owned the same joint with my brothers 20 years later.

Since the purchase of the first Corvette book, many others have followed.  These include some extremely valuable books such as Corvette! The Sensuous American which is a series of 18 hardcover books that were published between 1976 and 1985.  These books were published by Michael Bruce Associates.

The first series of nine issues were published 3 times per year in 1976, 1977 and 1978.  The second series of nine issues were published in 1983, 1984 and 1985.  Each year has a unique color theme for the hardcover and the books were protected by a hard cover case that stores 3 books in each case.

 

This is the hard cover from the first issue.  The books are top notch all the way.  Excellent photography, solid writing and lots of historical detail about Corvette and other fabulous sports cars of the 50's 60's and 70's. 

 

Other books purchased from the Michael Bruce Associates include: 

Corvette! Americas Only, a hardcover limited edition publication of about 140 pages.  The Raptor owns #2229 of 7500 books printed,

Corvette! Spots Car of America, a hardcover 200+ page book published in 1980.

The Corvette Black Book 1953 to 1980 Deluxe Addition, a soft cover 125 page booklet that is a fact book of every model year Corvette from 1953 to 1980.

Corvette Restoration - State Of The Art, a hardcover 100 page "textbook" on the restoration of a 1965 Corvette published in 1981.

The Best Of The Corvette Restorer, a soft cover 260 page primer on some of the reprinted articles from the National Corvette Restorers Society published in 1980.

Secrets Of The Show Cars, a soft cover 100 page booklet that gives pointers on how to paint automobiles and do the fine detailing required to prepare the auto for the "show".

 

In addition to the fine books from Michael Bruce Associates,  The Raptor has accumulated a superb library of Corvette pictorial books including:

Vette Vues Fact Book of the 1963 - 1967 Stingray A 130 page soft cover picture book of Corvettes, Corvette parts and Engine labels published by M. F. Dobbins in 1977
Vette Vues Fact Book of the 1963 - 1967 Stingray - Enlarged 5th Edition A 260 page soft cover picture book of Corvettes, Corvette parts and Engine labels published by M. F. Dobbins in 1982
"Great Moments In Auto Racing" This 150 page soft cover classic was published in 1968 by Irwin Stamnler.  Included inside were historical profiles of the great racing legends in motor sports.  Including: Juan Fangio, Mike Hawthorne, Stirling Moss, Richard Petty, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Rodger Penske and A. J. Foyt.

The Raptor pickup up this gem while still in grade school and was a critical key in his interest in all types of motor sports.

Consumer Guide - "Cars of The 40's" This 100 page soft cover book, published in 1981 is a great pictorial treasure of the autos of the 1940's
"Corvette - From Six To Stingray" This 100 page soft cover book, published in 1973 is a great technical pictorial book and has a good deal of interesting pictures that go with the text.
NCRS - 1965 Judging Manual This 150 page soft cover book was published by the National Corvette Restorers Society in 1993. This would be a real valuable tool if you plan on entering your 1965 Vette into a concours competition.
"The Complete Corvette Restoration & Technical Guide - Vol 2 - 1963 through 1967" This is the penultimate Corvette publication on the whole 63 to 67 Stingray series. Published in 1988 by Corvette Restoration Guru, Noland Adams, it has a treasure trove of useful information.  At 450 pages it is considered the "Bible" on C4orvette Restoration.
"Best Of Vette Views Magazine" A 465 page hard cover book, published by Jim Prather in 1981 that is a pictorial collection of Jim's first nine issues of Vette Vues Magazine.

 

A very unique series of Corvette help books that the Raptor owns are not even in book form, but on VCR Tape!  These are the previously mentioned Noland Adams three tape Video Series which includes: "How To Buy A Corvette!", "Numbers, History and Documentation" and "Body Lift and Chassis Disassembly".  Also included is a soft cover book dealing with the Body Lift.

Along the way, The Raptor purchased all sorts of "How To" books on Corvettes.  One extremely fascinating book that I picked up in the 70's at a Vette Swap Meet was a complete Corvette Parts Catalog for every model year from 1953 to 1976.

 

 

The Raptor did a quick internet search on this catalog and came up empty.  I would not even be able to fathom how much a book like this is worth!

However, here is some food for thought.  The classic Corvette from 1953 to 1972 is a rare breed.  You just do not see them cruising down the street anymore.  So Sad, as they are the ultimate in styling and desirability.  That's what make these books so interesting.  

Here is another series of books that The Raptor picked up years ago.  They are Assembly Manuals for the Vette for model years 1965, 1966 and 1967 (my favorite years).  What makes these books so cool is the fact that some individual(s) were able to go to the Chevrolet Division of General Motors and locate microfilm of these manuals and produce them for the buying public.  

 

 

The Raptor has paged through these books on many occasions and generally they are difficult to comprehend.  These manuals are the blueprint used by General Motors to put together the product on the assembly line!  Really intense. 

The Raptor has numerous top notch service books in his library including:

HP Books - Holley Carburetors This 150 page soft cover book published in 1972 "covers all high performance two-barrel & four-barrel Holley's"
HP Books - "How To Hotrod Big Block Chevy's" This 150 page soft cover book published in 1971 "covers all big block engines 1965 through 1971"
Hot Rod Magazine - Engines #3 This 100 page soft cover book published in 1979 is a how to on building high performance small block Ford, Chevy and Mopar engines
Hot Rod Magazine - Engines #4 This 100 page soft cover book published in 1980 is a how to on building high performance big block Ford, Chevy and Mopar engines
Phase III Publications - Top Secret Factory Racing Guide for Chevrolet High Performance The title about sums up this 40 page soft cover book.
Phase III Publications - Official Optional HD Drag, Road & Street Racing Parts Guide The title about sums up this 50 page soft cover book.
Phase III Publications - Chevy "Super Secret" Performance Guide & Catalog The title about sums up this 50 page soft cover book.
Phase III Publications - Top Secret Factory "Z-Engine" Racing Guide for Chevrolet High Performance Aluminum Engines The title about sums up this 30 page soft cover book.
Chevrolet Motor Division #ST21 1963 Corvette Shop Manual A very intense professionally published book that was used by auto garage and machine shops to service 1963 Corvettes
Chevrolet Motor Division #ST60 1965 Corvette Shop Manual Supplement Another  very intense professionally published book that was used by auto garage and machine shops to service 1965 Corvettes
   

 

 

 

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