Corvettes take center stage at the Salter home By Becky Harris
There's a story behind every one of the dozen or so immaculate Corvettes at the Conway home of Tony and Reda Salter.
One came after 15 years of nagging an old friend to sell. They bought one from the father of a Corvette owner who died suddenly. Another came to them from a woman who flagged them down on the road to Chicago.
Another came after a competition with other Corvette fans.
"We had to convince that owner that we were worthy," Reda said.
They have discovered some in pieces at salvage yards and found others on ebay. They have driven all over the country to pick them up.
Their compound is filled with Corvette memorabilia and includes a fully outfitted shop with two lifts. Their son Sam has embraced the enterprise and one of the restorations in progress is his.
"Parts are very important," Tony said, so above the workshop is a room filled with parts. They've bought wrecked Corvettes that they know they can bring to life.
The newest, shiniest Corvette was bought in 2002 in a "museum pick-up," a ceremony reserved for best customers who special order and go to the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky., to take delivery.
"Tony sat in that one as it went down the assembly line. That's quite an honor, and he's done that twice," Reda said.
Today the 2003 custom-built maroon beauty has only 12 miles on its speedometer. It wears a cover, even when it's in the spacious air-conditioned, well-lighted garage.
"We drove it once, to the Beast Feast, but we were sorry. It got dusty," Tony said.
Tony and Reda were both Corvette owners when they met. They continued their enthusiasm for Chevrolet's sport car and earned the right to judge for the National Corvette Restorers Society. Tony is a Master Judge, and they travel to the national or to seven regional events where their knowledge and reputations are highly respected.
Always along for the ride in their motor home is trusty companion Max, a chocolate lab. The trailer that follows most likely has a Corvette inside, sometimes the most decorated and honored Stingray that has "been around the world."
"But that's another story," Reda said.