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Joe Gilbert's 1961 Corvette convertible

Every Thursday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. car lovers head down to the Peconic Riverfront in Riverhead for the Classic Car Cruise to witness vintage roadsters, classic models, and enjoy live music as they walk around and admire each auto enthusiast’s pride and joy.

This week’s Meet The Driver Q&A is with Joe Gilbert from East Quogue who brought out his beautiful 1961 Corvette convertible.

When did you get the car?

I got it three and a half years ago, and I’ve done a lot of work to it. I painted it and I had to get the correct motor. I had to get a lot of parts to make it correct for the period it was from.

What shape was it in?

It was in very nice “driver” shape when I got it, meaning it was good to drive around in. I took it to the next level. Now it’s still in nice driver shape, but it has a nice “show car” quality, too.

What was the biggest challenge in restoring it?

I would say finding the correct, original parts. I didn’t want to have the remanufactured parts; I wanted the originals. The motor I have now could’ve been one of the motors that went in this car back in the day.

What is your favorite feature of the car?

The sound it makes. It has a great rumble, like the sound an old performance car would make. You can really hear the engine working.

What was the first car you owned?

A ’55 Ford.

For more photos, see the slideshow below. Photos by Claire Leaden.

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