|By Bill Vogrin; Bill Vogrin|
This started out as a story of buried treasure.
Then it turned into the story of mystery and intrigue.
And buried treasure.
But it's mostly about a man given up for adoption as an infant, who found himself alone late in life when his adopted parents died and his short marriage ended without children, only to be adopted once more and embraced by a whole new family.
First, the buried treasure.
It was a pristine 1967 Corvette coupe, with fewer than 3,000 miles, which was left buried under a pile of blankets, a U.S. flag and a flag of the
This sweet Corvette was unrestored and worth a small fortune in the supercharged world of classic car collectors.
It was white with a red stinger stripe and red interior.
Under the hood was a 427-cubic-inch, 390-horsepower engine with a manual, four-speed transmission. It was equipped with a "Positraction" rear end, tinted glass, telescopic steering wheel, AM/ FM radio, side exhaust and aluminum wheels. It had no power steering, power brakes or anything to drain juice from the rear tires.
In other words, it was a four-wheeled, fiberglass rocket.
The reason the rocket stopped flying down area roads was a mystery and part of the larger story of its intriguing owner,
McNamara was 74 when he died in
But he did have family. And they are the folks who helped unravel McNamara's fascinating life story.
They are also the lucky folks who inherited his estate, including the '67 Corvette that was known to a select few car collectors in town.
But they don't want their identity revealed. They are put off by the national fame achieved by the "McNamara Corvette" as a result of a publicity campaign designed to generate interest and bidders when the car was put on the auction block in a nationally televised event in April.
They want to respect McNamara's memory as a private person and don't want to be viewed as profiting on their friendship with him. And the couple don't want to be targeted by strangers who might learn they enjoyed a windfall from the sale of the Corvette.
That's a shame because it's a great story and they deserve recognition for how they befriended a man with no relatives and welcomed him into their lives, embracing him as if he was their flesh and blood.
The couple helped me piece together McNamara's life story, starting with his birth in
His father was a used car dealer on
The couple said that sometime after getting out of the Marines, McNamara went to
According to extensive paperwork related to the car found in McNamara's home, he paid
This is where the mystery and intrigue come in. For some reason, McNamara stopped driving his Corvette with just 2,996 miles on the odometer. He parked it in the little garage behind his family home. And he turned the garage into a Corvette shrine, covering its walls with memorabilia.