It was his first car…
Michael Kehoe was ready to buy his first car in 1980, and he was trying to decide between a 1980 Chevy Corvette and a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am. He had just graduated high school and had the cash for his first vehicle, and chose the Corvette. After having to sell it for tuition, he never forgot about the car, and finally found it.
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“My dad owned J&J Sheet Metal in Warren,” said Kehoe, who grew up in Sterling Heights. “I worked there in middle school and high school and saved every penny I earned.”
Kehoe got the Corvette red car that had been owned by a GM exec, who drove it for about six months before he bought it.
“It had 2,500 miles when I bought the car,” Kehoe said. “In 1980, the car was ultra-modern. The T-tops were mirrored. It cost $65 to undercoat the car. It is a four-speed stick shift.”
Three years after buying the car, he needed money to enroll in the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and sold the car to pay for the first year of tuition. Selling the car wasn’t easy, as he described handing over the keys as being a devastating experience. After 11 years of schooling, he became on Orthodontist, opening Kehoe Orthodontics, and retiring in December 2020.
Kehoe got a phone call from his brother, Bob, last summer about a Craigslist post. His brother was certain the post was about the Corvette Michael once owned. Michael was sleeping when the call came in, but he jumped out of bed and checked. After some digging, it was verified to be Michael Kehoe’s Corvette.
“I repurchased the car in August of 2021 for the same price I sold it for in 1983. When I found this car, I was like a kid in a candy store. I was so excited,” Kehoe said. “It’s the sentimental value. The sentimental value is priceless.”
Kehoe is now very protective of his Corvette, and has a scrapbook of the history of the car. Including himself and the GM exec, the Corvette has had 5 owners and only driven 94k miles.