sioux falls, sd
For the past six months, we've been following the restoration of John Sweeney's 1962 Corvette. Sweeney has been battling cancer and through all the doctor's visits and chemotherapy treatments, it's been a rough ride.
But thanks to dozens of volunteers, Sweeney will soon be riding in style.
Little by little, Sweeny's Corvette is finally coming together. The engine is rebuilt, repainted and ready to install.
"We fired it up on the stand with the radiator hooked up and everything, open exhaust and it sits there and purrs like a kitten and you romp on it and it makes that kind of a noise too. It's a roar not a meow," Bernie Tyrrell of Automania said.
Sweeny's Vette is now in the hands of the crew from Cliff Avenue Upholstery and Restoration.
"Actually, the detail work is probably the biggest part of the end result. How the car looks is dependent totally on the detail of the car," Ennis Lund of Cliff Avenue Upholstery and Restoration said. "We installed the chrome, we buffed the paint, we go over every little thing to make sure it looks correct."
And with over 4,000 parts, it takes someone like Lund who knows correct.
"I've been doing this for 40 some years so I was around when these cars were brand new. I can remember what they were like so that's a big advantage," Lund said.
They say it takes about 2000 hours to totally restore a vehicle like this; there are about 150 hours left. Once that's done, everyone who had a hand in this restoration project will present it to John Sweeney June 12 at Automania.
"I'm ecstatic about how the car is coming and how things are going together and the look of the car and Ennis is doing an unbelievable job of detailing it, but he's a master at that," Tyrrell said.
And like everyone who's been helping on the 'Vette, they realize how much this will mean to Sweeney.
"I'm not a young guy anymore myself, so my mortality is staring me in the face, so when I have someone about my age, sick and possibly will die, I'm very concerned about helping him," Lund said.
Sweeney bought the car used for $1,800. When it's finished, car buffs estimate it'll be worth $50,000.