Urban Legends

The $50 Corvette

The Legend

Found on the Internet in August 2002

Corvette blueprint (detail)In 1963 a young man received a brand new Corvette Split Window Coupe from his father for his 18th birthday. He only had it for less than a year when he was drafted into the army. Before entering service, he carefully prepared the car for storage by draining all its liquids, putting it up on blocks, and putting it under a car cover.

Soon after the young man reached Vietnam he was killed in action. His father, a career military man, was killed soon after in that same conflict.

Fast forward to earlier this year. The Corvette has been sitting in the lonely widow's garage for almost 40 years and has become quite a collectible. It saddens her to see the car, so she puts an ad in the paper, "1963 Chevy for sale. As is. Will take first reasonable offer."

A man who had an interest in tinkering with older cars came around in response to the ad and immediately saw that there was a goldmine under the dusty tarp. He offered the widow $100, but she said she wanted fifty, no more, no less. The man was happy to comply and called a flat-bed towtruck to get his new purchase, giving careful instructions to the driver not to let on to the old woman that she was giving away a priceless car for a song. The purchaser offered to write the widow a check on the spot, but she said she'd send him an invoice, just to keep her bookkeeper happy.

You can imagine the man's surprise when, a week later, he got an invoice from the widow not for $50 but for $50,000.

He went ballistic and tried to call the woman, but she held her ground. He contacted his lawyer, and was advised that he had to pay the bill because he was legally obligated to. He had, after all, agreed to the purchase and the price was not unreasonable for such a collectable car.

The man paid, but he was so upset at the widow that, out of spite, he now gives out blueprints for 1963 Corvettes to anyone and everyone so that they can build their own car and not get burned like he did. A copy of those blueprints is attached.

[blueprint deleted for space reasons; see detail above]

Behind the Legend

There are several versions of this particular legend making the round, with one variant written in the first person from the angry purchaser's point of view. They are generally sent by e-mail and come with the mentioned blueprints attached.

It is not known which variation of the story came first. What is known is that only days after the man got the car running again he drove it into a tree while watching a shapely coed jog by.

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