The Dream Cruise is just another event where Richard Dunham, 74, of Haslett can be the subject of some flattery.
Dunham’s 1959 Corvette is among the hottest cars on display in a Beaumont medical center parking lot north of Maple in Birmingham where more than 70 ‘Vettes are parked as part of the National Corvette Restorers Society.
The NCRS prides itself on having members who restore Corvettes to showroom condition, Harry Jones, 71, of Bloomfield Hills said. The Dream Cruise display has Corvettes dating back to 1954 all the way through 2012.
And although Dunham said the compliments of his ride are humbling, he can afford to brag a bit. His crown sapphire beauty with both a hardtop and convertible top has won the NCRS top prize in the C1 category (1958-62 Corvettes) and was on the cover of Paragon Products auto parts catalog this year.
“My passion (for Corvettes) runs fairly deep,” said Dunham, who also owns a 2001 convertible. “I’m very grateful for what I have, and it means a lot to me when someone says (something about the car).”
Dunham has put in more than 400 hours judging Corvettes for the NCRS, both in Michigan and around the U.S.
But his 1959 model, which drew compliments like “just gorgeous” Saturday afternoon took him 11 years to restore. After buying it for $8,500 in 1991, Dunham said the sports car is now worth about $125,000.
“I think I’m blessed because it’s not every day that your blessed enough to be able to do the things that I do, especially at my age,” he said.
Oh, the U.S. Army veteran can still run a 10-minute mile, too.