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February 12, 2010 10:01 PM

Drive Against Cancer Update

sioux falls, sd


What was once a dusty, old chipped car sitting in a garage is shaping up to be a shiny, smooth showroom beauty.  We're talking about the 1962 Corvette convertible that's being fully restored for cancer patient John Sweeney of Sioux Falls.


We showed you the car when it was being painted, but volunteers have shifted gears from the exterior to working on the interior. 

"Most people wouldn't recognize it right now compared to what it was a few weeks ago," Bill Nelson of Automania 2010 said.

Workers at Executive Touch have added carpet, upholstered the bucket seats, added a slick new dash and windshield. They're now working on the door panels.

The transmission is done, but the Vette still needs an engine. 

"That's probably the next biggest thing.  We are going to take in the next four to six weeks, we'll put the motor in the car and once that's done, we can start fine detailing certain things," Nelson said.

There's still quite a bit of work to done on the Vette.  They estimate when it's finished, they'll have between $30,000 and $35,000 stuck into it and over 500 hours of labor. 

"It's unbelievable the response in this Sioux Falls community we got off this project," Bernie Tyrrell of Automania 2010 said. 

"We have people actually helping who we didn't even know.  They find out we're short something and they say, 'What do you need?' and all of a sudden, they bought something that we didn't know about and it helps everyone out," Nelson said.

But most of all, it's helping Sweeney deal with his cancer and making his dream car come true.

They plan on giving Sweeney his Vette at this year's Automania, which is June 11-13.  Automania plans to take on a project similar to this one every year.
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