Incredible Barn Find: Vintage Split-Window Corvette Race Car Discovered in Local Newspaper Ad
I feel like every time we find a new incredible barn find story, most of us have a moment of despair, thinking that must have been the last of them. However, more just keep coming. While the internet has certainly accelerated how quickly these lost, rare cars are found, there are other ways for these cars to hide. For instance, when was the last time you checked the newspaper for barn finds? You might should. Someone recently found a very special split-window Corvette race car.
How do people find barn finds?
The internet dominates all communication, searching, information, research, news, and commerce these days. However, there are still many old rags (newspapers) in print. People used to use the personal ads section in the paper like we use Craigslist or Facebook marketplace today. At least in one small California town, some folks still read the paper and use it to sell incredibly rare racing Corvettes.
What is the story of this incredible Corvette barn find?
As Todd Evans told MotorTrend, “I was browsing a little-known local newspaper that serves the High Desert areas of California and the Lake Havasu, Arizona, area on a Sunday evening when I ran across the ad. ‘CAR COLLECTION FOR SALE: 1963 Corvette cpe, 4 sp, SCCA race car w/spares.’ That was it, a small text ad with no pictures in a little newspaper.
The ad had a few other cars listed, a trailer, and two motorhomes that I didn’t even pay attention to. However, it did have a phone number, which, in today’s online advertising world, where people refuse to even talk to you unless it is via text or email, was like gold to me. Unfortunately, the ad said not to call after 9 P.M. It was 9:30, but there was no chance I could wait until morning. I would have gone clinically insane.”
Evans says that he called the number in the paper to find “a great old guy named John Lloyd.” After apologizing for calling after the 9 P.M. mark, Evans asked Lloyd about his Corvette. According to the HOT ROD interview, Evans had still not even seen a picture of the car, only the black and white description found in the local paper.
“Honestly, I’m not even entirely sure I heard what he said during most of the conversation. My mind was racing so fast that it kind of reminded me of having a chat with Charlie Brown’s teacher. He said it had big flares, big turbine wheels, a big-block hood, side pipes, and a ‘cage.’ He knew a lot of people wouldn’t like all of those things, but I assured him, in the calmest voice that I could muster, that I loved all of them. He’s telling me all of this, and I still haven’t even seen a picture of it yet! I was crushed when he proceeded to tell me he already had a deposit on the car!”
Where did this Corvette race car do its racing?
The former owner and racer told Evans that he raced the split-window Corvette throughout the ’70s at a number of famous race tracks like Riverside Raceway, his home track. While you may have never heard of John Llyod or his magnificent split-window Corvette, that’s ok.
“He had some success, won some races, and had a blast with all of his buddies, racing every chance that he got. [Lloyd] finally retired the car in 1978 and switched to a much lighter tube-chassis Camaro, along with taking care of his now growing family. He parked the car in his friend’s yard outside his garage after the last race that day, and it never moved again for 44 years,” recalled Evans.”
Once Evans got to the property, he was blown away all over again. He said, other than the rough paint, the car was incredible. It clearly needs plenty of work, but Evans describes the interior as a “time capsule,” left exactly how it was when it got parked 50 years ago.
Now the car is getting the rebuild it deserves. Mark this up to another saved. This time we have the ol’ newspaper to think for a special car remaining in our world for generations to come. This is just a great story all around.