Ann-Shirley and her 1962 Corvette daily driver for 50 years!
Ann-Shirley Goodell ordered her new Corvette roadster on Jan. 15, 1962 at King Chevrolet in Cincinnati, Ohio. The car cost $3,747.85 with taxes. This was slightly more than her annual salary as a nurse.
A native of the B.C. Interior city of Trail, the University of British Columbia nursing graduate had moved to Ohio for her graduate degree and a research job. Her father, who worked at the Trail metals smelter for 40 years, suggested she get a new Oldsmobile, drive it for two years, bring it into Canada without import duties and then he would purchase it.
“I drive it every day. This has been my baby all these years,” says the former nurse and hospital administrator. She keeps her beloved Corvette in a downtown parking garage across from the contemporary two-level condominium she shares with Rob Goodell, her husband of 50 years.
Before she was married, Ann-Shirley filled all available space in the Corvette with her wedding clothes to make the 3,900-kilometre trip home to Trail. The Corvette was her wedding car. It was also driven on their honeymoon in the Okanagan Valley. The couple brought the Corvette with them when Rob’s work took them to San Diego and then to San Francisco.
She originally purchased the car with only a convertible top, but she soon found out she needed a removable hardtop for winter driving. Her favourite driving is done with the top down. She carries a matching beige umbrella beside her and, if it starts to sprinkle, she puts the umbrella up while stopped in traffic.
“The Corvette has all its original parts including a rare floor-shifted three-speed manual transmission. Recently it has spent a good deal of time in California where the Goodells like to spend the winters.
She can’t count how many offers she has had from people wanting to buy her car over the past five decades.
“Everyone wants to talk about my car. People are amazed to know that I am the original owner,” she says. “Every time I took it out in California, especially with the top down, people would try to buy it. If you see her driving her 1962 Corvette around downtown Vancouver, don’t bother trying to buy it.
“It’s not for sale,” she says. “It’s my car for life and it will always stay with me.”