Woodward Dream Cruise

A man, his Corvette and a lifetime of love

Nearly half a century ago, Herman Zarkis paid $550 to rescue a 1956 Corvette from a junkyard. The car was a mess, the engine was gone and it was a pea green color. But he saw the potential.
“I’ve always liked the Corvette. It’s always been the prettiest car to me,” said the 75-year-old from Sterling Heights. “I was offered a lot of money for it a lot of times, but I would never sell it.”


Herman Zarkis of Sterling Heights shows a scrapbook with photos of what his Corvette used to look like throughout the 49 years he’s had it.

After 49 years of love and care – and a significant amount of elbow grease – Zarkis and wife Judy spend their free time cruising and enjoying the car, which is now an eye-catching orange color.
Judy Zarkis jokes she actually owns most of the car now.
“For my birthday, I got new tail lights,” she said. “For each holiday, I get something new.”
When it comes to the Dream Cruise, the two are a team.
“We always go out together,” said Judy Zarkis. “If he goes out without me, the guys tell him the car is leaning because I’m missing.”