MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) — Unveiling a rare one-of-a-kind collection of Corvettes at the New York International Auto show at the Javits Center, you get a glimpse at what makes them so unique.
Some are shiny with mirror finishes, while others are dull and dust covered.
They are classic and make up what’s called the Corvette Heroes Collection.
Pointing to a 1956 Corvette painted in cascade green and white, Corvette expert Chris Mazzilli said, “I think it screams 50s. It looks like a diner to me.”
Mazzilli walked me through this one-of-a-kind collection of Corvettes, which features seven at the Auto Show — only a part of a 36-car collection thought to be one of the greatest in history.
“One from every year from ’53 to ’89, and what makes it special to me is the fact that they stayed together,” Mazzilli said.
A large photograph shows all the cars discovered in a Manhattan garage, covered in dust and dirt. Some have flat tires, all parked together.
When asked if this is how Mazzilli found them, he said, “This is exactly how we found them. The first time I went into the garage and I saw the cars entombed, the hairs stood up on my arms. I couldn’t believe it.”
Once owned by famed pop artist Peter Max, they were in disrepair.
“He was going to paint them and auction them off at Yankee Stadium, Mazzilli said. “That never happened, so they sat for 25 years.”
Purchased in 2014 by the Heller and Spindler real estate families, the collection is being brought back to life one car at a time by Mazzilli’s company, Dream Car Restoratons, in Hicksville, Long Island.
Adam Heller, one of the owners, explained what happens next.
“We are going to do a sweepstakes and give 36 of them away separately,” he said. “They will still be connected for the rest of their lives.”
Mazzilli said a portion of the proceedings is going to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation, a partner in the sweepstakes.
You can preregister for the sweepstakes at the Auto Show, and some are already dreaming.
“We will be here at the New York Auto Show next year, and soon after that, we will have the drawing,” Mazzilli said.
The collection is worth seeing, as one-of-a-kind Corvettes come to life again.