On a frigid day in January 2019, Derek Smith walked into Masterworks Automotive Services in Madison Heights, Michigan. His mother-in-law, Kim Glushyn, had inherited a 1964 Corvette from her second husband, Barry Glushyn, who passed away three months earlier. “She asked me, ‘What am I supposed to do with this car? How do I go about selling it?’” Derek’s mission was to find a buyer so Kim could get the car out of her garage and eliminate the clutter. The Corvette had been parked in this same spot since 1975. Barry Glushyn bought the car in the late 1960s, after returning from Vietnam. He drove the Corvette for several years, got married to his first wife and when he bought a family car began working on his 1964 with intentions of installing a big-block.
Derek isn’t a gearhead, but his uncle had restored a 1963 Corvette and knew Werner Meier, owner of Masterworks. Masterworks tackles different makes, but has worked on over 1,000 Corvettes. Werner Meier is famous for finding and restoring many of the GM “Styling” Corvettes of the 1960s.
The ’64 was about two miles from Masterworks so Werner drove over to have a look at the Corvette. He found a Silver Blue 1964 convertible with a dark blue interior. Under the hood Werner spied a 300-horse 327; the L75 option. How did he know? Meier noticed 2 1/2-inch exhaust manifolds and an AFB carburetor on a cast-iron intake signifying the 300-horse 327; whereas, the 250-horse would have the 2-inch exhaust manifolds and a WCFB four-barrel. Obviously, Werner Meier is a Corvette expert. Derek Smith had come to the right place.
Derek wanted to know what the 1964 convertible was worth. A value would be hard to determine with much accuracy because the car had been parked 40 plus years and did not run. A more accurate dollar amount could be estimated with a car that would start and drive down the street.
Meier offered the services of his shop to get the car running; about $7,000. Werner’s rough estimate of value was about $12,000. A week or two later, Derek had an offer of $12,000 from another interested party. Kim wanted $15,000. Werner deliberated on the price. He liked the fact that the body was unmolested, except one of the front wheelwells had been patched. The headlights were frozen open and the heater box was on top of the engine. “They must have had a leaky heater core. They took it apart and that’s where they lost interest. The fuel line had rotted out.”
Werner had two Corvette projects of his own and wasn’t interested. One of the guys in the shop had been after a mid-year Corvette at a buyable price, but for personal reasons had to pass on it. Then, Werner got an idea. A client of his had expressed an interest in owning one of the GM “Styling” Corvettes of the mid-1960s. The only thing is, at an auction he saw the crazy money they were bid to. “I told him I could build one for half of that if you want one.” Werner doesn’t know if his client will say yes to this proposal, but he bought the ’64 for such a build. The ’64 needs an interior, but the interior will be changed anyway on the Styling clone, plus a small-block will work fine. “I still have some old GM Styling badges and we could make a clone of one of those Bunkie Knudsen or Harley Earl cars.”
The end result will be a fitting completion to a Corvette that Vietnam veteran Barry Glushyn saved for over 40 years for his special build. Vette
Photography by Jerry Heasley