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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

Vettes for Vets: 10 Corvettes Were Given Away to Raise Money and Awareness

Back in January we reported on a sweepstakes being held by a non-profit called Corvette Heroes. 36 ‘Lost Corvettes’ from the Peter Max collection are being given away to 36 lucky sweepstakes ticket holders.

Way back in 1989 there was a TV network called VH1.  It was a music television network much like MTV was back then.  VH1 had a contest that year to give one lucky winner a Corvette from every year between 1953 and 1989!

Over 2 million entries were received and a Long Island man by the name of Dennis Amodeo won them all.  Can you even imagine winning 36 Corvettes?  Just storing them would take a small fortune and a lot of space, both of which Dennis apparently did not have.

Soon after winning the entire lot. Dennis sold the corvettes to a wealthy artist named Peter Max.  Peter had intended on using them as canvases for a series of paintings, but the project was discarded, and the Corvettes sat in garages in New York for decades.

Fast forward to today and two families (the Heller and Spindler families) have purchased the entire collection from Peter Max.  The families then teamed up with Chris Mazzilli, a Corvette car collector, and asked if he wanted to help consult and restore the cars.  Mazzilli agreed and began creating a plan to bring all of these Corvettes back to their original showroom condition.

The Corvettes are all being restored so they can be given away in another sweepstakes.  Only this time, there will not be just one winner.  Instead, they have decided to select 36 different winners where each winner will get one corvette from the collection.

To celebrate Veteran’s Day 2020, 10 of the 36 Corvettes were given away to 10 lucky winners in Times Square in Manhattan.  “We’re giving away 10 of the cars from the sweepstakes of 36 and today, eight of 10 winners are here to get their cars today,” Chris Mazzilli of Corvette Heroes said.

The winners knew they’d each won a car, but on Wednesday in Times Square they found out which one they’d be going home with.  Money raised through ticket sales goes to the non-profit, which funds treatment for combat veterans with brain injuries and PTSD.

One of the winners is veteran Thomas Barnes who lives in Brick, New Jersey. He served in the Army National Guard during the Vietnam War, and has owned corvettes since the 80s.  It was extra special to see him take home a winning Corvette.

“It doesn’t get much better than this I can tell you that,” Barnes said when referring to the fact that these corvettes, an icon of Americana, are able to do great things for injured American vets.

Corvette Heroes, a group of New York real estate and parking garage professionals co-founded by Chris Mazzilli, hopes that they will ring in at least $2.5 t0 $3 million dollars for charity as that is what the collection is appraised.

Check out this great coverage of the event that took place in Times Square this Veteran’s Day.

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