Special to The Union
Corvettes made from 1968 until 1982 are known by afficionados as “sharks.” Their low, mean look is derived from the Mako Shark II show car’s body lines. That car even had blue-gray paint on top and silver-white paint below the beltline to imitate the look of a shark. So when Bill Kuenstler saw a ’69 Vette for sale at the Reno Swap Meet at the Arco Arena in Sacramento (the story behind that odd naming is a tale in itself), he found himself attracted by it’s sleek look. He had owned a ’63 Vette back in the 1960’s and had enjoyed it, so he already had an appreciation for America’s favorite sports car. This car was loaded with options for that year, including air conditioning, power steering and brakes, tilt wheel, auto trans and even power windows. Not only that, it had only 79,000 original miles, with the original 350 CID engine. The body had been modified, with flared rear fenders, an aftermarket hood that eliminated the oft-troublesome pop-up wiper door and ’73 or later front fender vents. The owner had taken it in trade and wanted to sell it quickly. The price was reasonable, but Bill figured to buy it to resell later and made a lower offer. When the owner hesitated, Bill told him to call if the Vette hadn’t sold by Hot August Nights, about a week later. The owner did call Bill then and Bill went over to Reno to buy it. The only problem was that by the time he got home he had been bitten with the “shark bug.” The car handled great and rode well. It was pure pleasure to drive. After a cruise down to the delta and then with fellow Roamin Angels to the Korbel winery, the shark had Bill firmly in its grasp. So now Bill has changed his mind about selling his Vette. He plans to have wife Verrone start to drive it as well. She already likes the car, but Bill knows that once she drives it she will be shark-bitten as well.
For more information about the Roamin Angels Car Club, go to http://www.roaminangels.com, call 432-8449 or write to Roamin Angels, PO Box 1616, Grass Valley, CA 95945
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