While attending the 6th Annual Mitchell Ostry Memorial Show N Shine in Prague, Nebraska. I ran across Don and Deb Kubik’s 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, this car is an absolute treasure and took me back in time to 1954. I was amazed and completely taken in by the story behind this incredible all original survivor Corvette.
This amazing journey began in 1954 when Don who graduated in 1954 and brought a Corvette, T-Bird, and MG Brochures home to his sister “Crete” for her to pick out a new car. After seeing the Corvette “Crete” and her husband “Hu” purchased this 1954 Chevrolet Corvette from a local dealership, owning the first title and beginning a 60-year love affair with this car.
The Corvette was “Crete” and “Hu’s” 2nd Car and their daily driver. When “Crete” didn’t have her two boys strapped in the passenger’s seat, the Corvette was always garaged and covered.
“Crete” and her husband “Hu” traveled all over in their Corvette, trips to Rocky Mountain National Park, and even racing an Austin Healey at 120 MPH on the way to Mexico. She even had a trailer hitch installed to tow a trailer to carry additional items needed for their trips.
Don drove the Corvette to college and all the way to Lake George, For 60 years “Crete” and her 1954 Corvette were inseparable, she treasured, and loved this car, and it was her baby. The pristine condition of this 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, is unbelievable, the only damage that ever occurred was when a neighbor boy scraped the side of it with his bicycle.
At 92 years of age, it’s not certain if “Crete” ever really forgave him. “Crete” was a woman like no other, before she would be seen driving all over in her 1954 Corvette. “Crete” worked in the Bomber Plant in the 40’s which is now Offutt Air Force Base, traveling back and forth to work on her 1936 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle.
There were an estimated 3,230 Corvettes produced in Polo White in 1954, 0-60 Times were right at 11 seconds and the top speed was around 105 MPH. The Chevrolet Corvette quickly became known as America’s sports car, and while the options list was short, the driving experience of it was truly exhilarating for the time.
A 155 Horsepower, 235 cubic inch Blue Flame 6 Cylinder Engine, resided under the hood, the performance was increased by raising the compression ratio from 7.5:1 to 8.0:1, and adding a solid lifter camshaft, triple side draft carter carburetors mounted on an aluminum intake manifold, and dual exhaust, with a chrome coolant reservoir, and 6-Volt electrical system. A heater, and AM signal seeking radio were included by Chevrolet to help boost sales of the Corvette in 1954.
Since it has glass side curtains instead of roll-up windows, which were stored in a leather case in the trunk. The Glass Side Curtains had a flip open Wind Wing Section that allowed access to the inside door handle knob because there were no outside door handles on the Corvettes from 1953 to 1955, but made an appearance with the new body style beginning in 1956.
In June 1955 the 265 V-8 and optional Automatic Transmission made its Debut in the 1955 Chevrolet Corvette. Orders from the top brass at General Motors was that no other car division would get a V-8 engine before the Corvette.
In the 62 years of this Corvette’s existence and all the experiences that “Crete”, and her husband “Hu” and now her brother Don and his wife Deb have shared, the original mileage on the odometer is 86,335 miles, which would be more appropriately described as 86,335 miles of love.
After 60 years of this amazing Corvette’s love Affair that “Crete” shared with her family, it was her wish that her brother Don continue this wonderful journey when she passed the keys and ownership of this wonderful 1954 Chevrolet Corvette over to him in July 2014.
Since then Don and Deb have driven and entered the Corvette in over 50 shows, and won over 35 trophies, and awards including winning 1st place in the 1976-Older Survivor Class.
The first show was at the All Corvette Show and as he was backing the Corvette in, the Corvette Ambassador of the show ask Don “How Much”? I honestly believe that there is not any sum of money that could ever take the keys away from Don’s hands.
Don took home the People’s Choice Award, and he said that was the one that meant the most to him because people would come by and say “Thank You for bringing the car for us to see.” Don said the greatest prize is just being able to display the Corvette.
Don became overwhelmed with emotion several times while sharing this amazing story, the love he has for this 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, and his Sister “Crete” was something that no one could ever be able to put into words. Don and Deb will talk endlessly with anyone that comes by to see this wonderful 1954 Chevrolet Corvette.
Having been a certified parts and Corvette Specialist at Chevrolet dealerships for over 35 years, I was immediately drawn to this car. Besides this car being such an amazing car, and having survived in the same family for 62 years.
It’s the wonderful and loving story behind this Corvette and the Kubik Family that is one that could never be scripted, but could only be lived through the eyes and hearts of a brother’s and sister’s love for each other, and for this very rare and extremely amazing survivor, Chevrolet’s American Sports Car.
I can’t express enough of my appreciation and thanks to Don and Deb Kubik for sharing this inspiring, loving, and wonderful Corvette, and story with me.