Astronauts were on par with rock stars in the mid-1960s, but with shorter hair and parental admiration. An enterprising Chevrolet dealership in Melbourne, Florida quickly realized that the way to pump up sales, particularly Corvette sales, was to get as many astronauts as possible behind the wheel of a Jim Rathman Corvette.
Astronauts were given special lease arrangements by Rathman Chevrolet that allowed them to trade up for a new Corvette every year. In 1967, Neil Armstrong took delivery of a blue Corvette Coupe, equipped with the 390 horsepower, 427 cubic-inch V-8 mated to a four-speed transmission.
Armstrong drove the car for a year, before upgrading to a 1968 model. His 1967 Corvette quickly sold to a local NASA employee, who owned the car for some 44 years, before selling it to the current owner. As Autoweek explains, the current owner has offered the car for sale on eBay.
The car was last driven in September of 1981, but has been kept in a climate-controlled environment and is being offered in “as is,” unmolested condition. If that’s the good news, here’s the bad: sometime during the second owner’s tenure, aftermarket wheels and fender flares were added, and the car has a replacement carburetor, water pump and exhaust.
New old stock parts can set these sins to right, and there’s no doubt that the car will only appreciate in value. If you want in on the action, the current bid is over $120,000, with the reserve not yet met. For the right collector, this car could be the “barn find” of the year.