Junior restores classic Corvette

Photo by Allison Fahrni

Story by Ashley Diggs

The engine roars like a lion striking fear into his prey. Rubber burns as he pushes the pedal to the metal. The windows are rolled all the way down and classic rock is blaring through the speakers.

With a candy apple red exterior and black leather interior this Greek god of cars zooms down the streets leaving all witnesses in awe. For some this may sound like a scene from a street racing movie, but for junior Steve Flowers this will soon be what he experiences just driving back and forth to school each day.

All that Flowers wanted for his sixteenth birthday was a car, as most teenagers do.

“It wasn’t like I was begging for a brand new straight out of the factory car,” Flowers said. “I just wanted something to drive.”

Although he would have been content with just about anything, one car had captivated Flowers’s heart for as long as he could remember.

“I’ve always loved Corvettes. Ever since I can remember, Corvettes have been my favorite kind of car, bar none.”

This was no secret to Flowers’s parents. The month before his sixteenth birthday, an opportunity arose that Flowers’s father could not turn away from. A 1976 Bicentennial Edition Corvette was being advertised in the local paper for $3,000. The car was not much more than a shell, but Mr. Flowers was no stranger to fixing up cars. After convincing his wife that the car would be safe enough for their son Mr. and Mrs. Flowers decided to buy the car.

“I was so happy the day my parents told me they had bought the car,” Flowers said. “It was like a dream come true.”

Flowers and his father have been working since August of 2008 to get the car running.

“Until the Corvette is ready I’m driving my dad’s truck,” Flowers said. “It’s turning out to take a lot more work to get the car running than I thought it would.”

In the two years since acquiring the car, Flowers has acknowledged that he is starting to become a little anxious to drive it. Through his patience, he has noticed that getting the car running has done wonders for him and his father’s relationship.

“I work on the car with my dad on weekends and when I don’t have homework. I admit that I was starting to get kind of fed up waiting for the car to be ready,” Flowers said. “As time went on though, I realized that my dad and I were talking a lot more than usual. It was almost like making a new friend.”

Flowers and his father had by no means ever had an estranged or strained relationship, but through the time and effort being put into the car the two inevitably have become closer.

“It’s great being so close to my dad, I wouldn’t want things any other way. I can talk to him about anything and everything,” Flowers said. “I can’t wait until the car is finished now, not only because I’ll get to drive it, but also to be able to say my dad and I accomplished this feat together.”

There’s still not an exact timetable for the car to be ready, and that doesn’t bother Flowers much anymore. All the days of hard work and dedication have gone into two jobs: rebuilding an All-American sports car classic and strengthening the classic All-American father-son relationship.