CALGARY - Kenneth Jelley knows his beloved 1962 Corvette ranks as one of the most desirable of Chevrolet’s early sports cars — he just never expected Calgary car thieves to feel the same way.
The car is gone. Someone stole the red convertible away just over a week ago, robbing the 73-year-old of his dream ride.
But the pride remains, even if the parking space outside Jelley’s Bonaventure Dr. apartment stays woefully empty.
This was a 41-year love affair between a man and his machine, started by the other lady in Jelley’s life: His wife.
“I’d been looking for one for some time, and I came home one day and my wife said, ‘hey, that kind of car you’re looking for — there’s one in the paper for sale,’” said Jelley.
“So I hot-footed over to the guy, and we talked, and I ended up with the car.”
And what a car.
Roman red, with the matching interior. Black soft top, four-speed, and for the first time in 1962, an interior heater.
And most drool-worthy of all, a small-block V-8 engine, capable of breaking 360 horsepower in top form.
He nicknamed it “Betsy” and calls it “my baby” — and Jelley clearly adores his dream car, purchased while working south of the border in Maryland.
To hear his wistful tales of driving through that east-coast state, top down and sun shining, is to almost feel the warm wind of 1973 in your hair.
Except that was the one thing his wife hates about the beautiful little sports car. “It messed up her hair too much,” laughed Jelley.
Despite being deprived of his pride-and-joy, Jelley remains optimistic someone, somewhere will recognize it.
He suspects the theft was either the work of joyriders, or professional thieves who carted the car away to be stripped for parts or sold overseas.
Police are leaning towards the latter.
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