Iowa ’61 Corvette crashes on final test drive after 15-year restoration

(Ray Shimak)
(Ray Shimak)

MASON CITY, Iowa (KWQC) – Talk about heartbreaking.

A 1961 Corvette with Satin Silver paint got into an accident during its final test drive after undergoing a 15-year painstaking restoration.

Ray Shimak of Ray’s Collision in Mason City was ready to ship the vintage auto to its owner and only needed to give it one last test drive.

During the road test on Tuesday, another car that was changing lanes accidentally collided with him, causing serious damage to the Corvette’s passenger-side front and rear.

“The important thing is no one got hurt,” Shimak says.  “But it is frustrating getting that close to finishing a project like this and have this happen.”

Shimak does not yet have definite numbers but estimates the crash caused $20,000 damage to a vehicle that could be worth up to $60,000 fully restored.

(Ray Shimak)
(Ray Shimak)

The car is owned by a former Mason City businessman, who now lives in Florida, who left the car with Shimak to restore in 2006.

Shimak has worked on the vehicle ever since when time allowed, reading old manuals and acquiring specialty parts to get the job finished.

It will not take him another 15 years to repair the damage.

He expects to have the car fully restored – for the second time – by January.


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