April 15, 2010 in Washington Voices

Dad’s classic Corvette logs miles of adventure

Michae’L Elaine Alegria Special to Voices
Photo by Rich Duzenbery photo

Mike Davey’s Corvette has been the star of several weddings, including this one at the Corbin Art Center in Spokane. Photo by Rich Duzenbery
(Full-size photo)

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When my dad, Mike Davey, pulled into the parking lot of Mead High School one day in 1963, the sight of a red 1962 Corvette caught his eye. The car belonged to a teacher, Mary Hyatt.

“Someday, I’m going to get me one of those,” he said.

And he did.

It wasn’t until more than 20 years later, in 1985, that Dad finally got his dream car. He sold a 1968 Camaro, which he had customized for several years, and acquired a 1964 Corvette that he found in a newspaper ad in Spokane. It was, of course, red, and complete with the original motor, tranny, and even the license plates.

Although he wasn’t completely sure if the 17,500 miles were original, he found out quickly that they were: After stopping one afternoon for a hamburger, he came back out to his Corvette to find a guy looking intently at it.

“I know this car,” he said to my dad. He explained that he himself had tried to purchase the car, in the early ’70s, and he confirmed that the miles were original.

Over the years, Dad thought of Mrs. Hyatt and the Corvette that had inspired him to get his own. He would even see her driving around town in the same car every once in awhile.

It was inevitable, perhaps, that their paths would cross. And they did. My dad and mom were out for a drive and stopped for gas when Mrs. Hyatt pulled up behind him at the pump. It was her … the teacher with the 1963 Corvette. They chatted and she invited my parents out to her home to see some of her and her husband’s other Corvettes. Unfortunately, Dad found out, she no longer had the little red 1963 Corvette that had been his inspiration … it had actually been stolen.

Dad’s car is more than a dream car. It has become like part of the family. It has been the star of several weddings, including my own. There have been senior pictures, senior proms, the last being his grandson’s, and it has it has even been featured in a commercial produced by North by Northwest. If you ask him what his dream car is, he will tell you he already has it.

Dad has never forgotten the inspiration he got from seeing that little red 1963 Corvette in the teacher’s parking lot at high school. Last fall, 47 years after seeing it for the first time, he was driving his own Corvette north on Maple when next to him a new Corvette pulled up, with Mrs. Hyatt, who is still a teacher 50 years later, behind the wheel.

She rolled down her window and hollered to him, “I used to have one just like it!” He wasn’t quite sure if she remembered him from the last time their paths had crossed but it didn’t matter.

Dad laughed.

“I know! You’re the reason I got it!”

Michae’l Elaine Alegria can be reached by e-mail at thewritegirl@ journalist.com.

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