Corvette Duo That Reigns Over A Humble Town In Tennessee

1964 Corvette coupe

The 1964 Corvette coupe and the 1971 Corvette Coupe are the Corvette duo previously owned by Freddy Best from Dayton, Tennessee. Freddy was known to be on the wild side when it comes to driving but was also kind enough to let anyone get in the passenger’s seat and feel the thrill behind a Corvette. We’ve talked about the 1971 Corvette Coupe “The Beauty” in our previous article as part of the Corvette duo that became a local hero of the small town of Dayton. Now let’s talk about the 1964 Corvette coupe “The Beast” and its local legend.

*Check out this classic “Chevrolet Corvette Parking Only” sign.*

64 Corvette Coupe

Freddy’s 1964 Corvette Coupe “The Beast”

Although Freddy was not the first owner of this 1965 Corvette, he had it for several years. This ’64 Corvette was originally owned by Wilbert Leisring who bought it at Ande Chevrolet Olds dealership from Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Purchased on June 1, 1964, it came in with the Silver Blue Metallic finish. It also came with the 327 cid small-block L76 engine that could produce 365 horsepower which is then matched by the close-ratio 4-speed Muncie M21 transmission. Wilbert did not choose for other enhancements options such as the power brakes, power steering, and air conditioning system. After just 6 months with 1,608 miles on its odometer, John Barlow purchased it. Barlow owned until it broke down after a transistor ignition system failure, this left Barlow stranded at his friend’s home. Freddy Best was that friend who later bought the car in 1966.

1964 Corvette Coupe engine

Freddy used the ’64 Corvette during the ‘60s, pushing the 327 engine to its limits as he speeds through the Dayton Mountain. It got beat up and also had some accident over the years. The worst one was a drive during a cold night up the icy road up the mountain, Freddy lost control and went off the road. The front was wrecked which includes most of the fiberglass front, inner supports, and headlights assemblies. The impact was so hard that the frame was bent, which would have been enough reason to junk the car during that time. Fortunately, Freddy kept it, but it got stored in his garage for almost 15 years. In 1985, Freddy finally decided to revive the ’64 Corvette and so he went to Troy Byrd to bring it back to life. Troy is the same guy who restored Freddy’s ’71 Corvette.

1964 Corvette Coupe interior

Aside from the damage sustained from the crash, the engine also needed to be rebuilt. The interior has also degraded after years of being left alone. As expected, the build was going to need a lot of work. Jim Conner constructed a fresh 350 cid engine, and Freddy purchased a B&M supercharger to squeeze more power from the small-block.

Unfortunately, the ’64 Corvette encountered overheating problems which discourage Freddy in driving it. Finally, he decided to let it go. Troy was interested in the ’64 Corvette and asked Freddy to offer it to him first hand whenever he decides to sell it. Freddy gave him a great offer and the deal was made. Troy already planned from the start that he would give that Corvette to his son, who at that time was still a baby. Troy reworked the exterior of the car and a lot of people tried to buy it but Troy stayed true to his plans and eventually gave it to his son when the kid turned 16. To Troy’s surprise, the ’64 Corvette sparked his son’s passion for classic cars even before he handed it down. It received a lot of love and was always taken care off, even though it got beat up during its drives through the Dayton, Tennessee. Before Freddy sold it, the car had about 60,000 miles on it and it now has 73,480 miles. But even under a new owner, the ’64 still gets some regular beating.

*Check out this classic “Chevrolet Corvette Parking Only” sign.*

1964 Corvette Coupe dashboard

At present, the ’64 Corvette has a new character. It now has a classic look of a street racer during the early 70s. The engine was replaced by a ’68 model 327 cid small-block engine that is fitted with Dart 200cc Pro1 cylinder heads that have hydraulic roller camshaft and a set of valve train enhancements supplied by Comp Cams. A Zoom clutch is tucked behind the 327 small-block which is covered by a Lakewood blow-proof bellhousing. It is then connected to a TREMEC TKO-600 5-speed transmission. The original 4.11:1 gears and rearend have miraculously survived over 50 years of beating. The front features a 15×4.5 Torq-Thrust D wheels and fitted with 165R15 front runner tires. The rear has 15×6 steelies fitted with M&H 9.00-15 slick tires supplied by Coker Tire. The final touch is refurbishing the DuPont Imron “Medium Blue” finish that was applied by troy over 30 years back. Even after a number of character changes, the legendary ’64 Corvette is still recognized as “Freddy’s car” or “Troy’s car” by the locals of Dayton.

1964 Corvette Coupe exterior

References & Photo Credits:

Add Comment