There are vehicles that transport us beyond mere destinations, guiding us through emotional landscapes and memories etched in time. For some, such cars become more than just metal and machinery; they evolve into silent custodians of stories and relationships. This Reader’s Ride is the tale of an owner and his treasured 1962 Corvette. The car is imbued with added sentiment, having been purchased from a dear friend who has since passed away. Steve and Char Hargis can now carry their own personal passion and memories with this Corvette, but also, the lifetime memories of a close friend.
This Corvette’s story starts in Detroit, where it was bought brand new. The original owner had it for 31 years. Those three decades are a bit of a mystery, seeing how the original owner disappeared and left the car abandoned. In 1993, the Hargis’ friend purchased the car in Rochester, Michigan. He would go on to have an amazing 25 years with his proudly purchased ’62.
In a sad turn of events, that friend passed away in 2018. Moments like that change the feeling and passion people have towards a car. It’s a turning point that makes every wrenched turn, every car wash, and every turn of the key, carry more weight than before. The car becomes less about your memories and more about keeping past memories alive.
After their friend’s death, the Hargis duo purchased the car from his estate. They have, since 2018, gone on to cruise the car to weekly Culver’s car shows on Tuesday nights. It has also made an annual attendance at the massive Woodward Dream Cruise in August.
At some point in this Corvette’s life, it saw an engine swap. The engine bay is home to a small-block 327 from a 1967 Camaro. A little bit of backstory on the small block 327. It was made from 1962-’69 and started out as a small-journal engine. However, the small journal 327 was only made from 1962 through 1967. The 1968-’69 327 engines were large-journal blocks. Having a small journal block with its shorter stroke means it can rev higher than your typical 350 V8. It also means it likely has a forged steel crankshaft. While the 327 is only a two-bolt main block, having a forged crankshaft beefs up the engine’s lower end nicely. In tuned form, it can pretty easily keep up with its older brother, the 350.
With just a mild cam and four-speed transmission, the Hargis’ Corvette still drives with those nostalgic, old-school vibes that we all know and love. Other than an updated aluminum radiator with electric cooling fans, the only other modern amenity is the disc brakes on the front. The Corvette has also recently had its original steering box rebuilt and Steve reports that the car runs and drives very nicely.
While the circumstances surrounding the Hargis’s obtaining this beautiful 1962 Corvette are not the greatest, it’s good to know that it found another long-term home. For many, cars are mere vehicles—objects to get from one point to another. But for Steve and Char Hargis, their 1962 Corvette is a repository of memories, stories, and passion. It is not just the distinct rumble or the classic design that makes it special, but the journey it has been on, and the people it has encountered. Every polish, full tank, and every cruise down the boulevard is a tribute to a friend gone too soon, and the memories of a bond that remains unbroken. A poignant reminder that sometimes, the journey and the memories forged along the way are far more valuable than the destination itself.
Let’s See Your Chevy!
We love to see other enthusiast’s rides, no matter where they are in the build process, finished, or, if you’re simply enjoying them in their current state. The best part, all we need are a few photos and some information about you, and your Chevy. That said, the more info and images you submit, the more we can show (and talk about) your car to the rest of our readers.
We’re looking forward to seeing what you are doing to keep the Chevy Hardcore lifestyle alive. If you want to see more cars built, and owned by you, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all the pertinent information, so we can include it in our Reader’s Ride section. You can send your submissions to [email protected].