For Sale on AutoTrader: American Heroes Corvette
People choose to express their patriotism in different ways. Some decorate their homes, while others try to build the biggest fireworks extravaganza they can muster. For Vietnam Veteran Richard Cook, expressing patriotism means commissioning a custom Chevrolet Corvette - now for sale on AutoTrader.com.
The car has just over 10,000 miles on the odometer. Cook said he is selling the car because a disability keeps him from driving it much. Cook served as a crew chief and gunner in Vietnam and is still suffering from the after effects of Agent Orange, a carcinogenic chemical used during the war.
Cook said he was inspired to have the car made after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and airbrushed homages to America adorn the custom Corvette Z06. The text on the back of the car reads "Let's roll," a phrase used by one of the passengers of United Airlines flight 93 as they decided to re-take the plane from terrorist control.
Under the hood is an airbrushed copy of the iconic photo showing the American flag being raised over the rubble of the twin towers.
Each of the branches of the US military is represented on the back end of the car, and the hood depicts an eagle and fighter planes flying over the desert.
The engine cover of the Corvette Z06's 405-horsepower V8 is also signed by Adrian Cronauer, who served as a military radio host during the Vietnam War and was the inspiration for the Robin Williams movie Good Morning Vietnam.
Cook said he is often asked to participate in parades with the car, and those have been some of his fondest memories with the Corvette. He had a sound system specially made to play music out of the Corvette's trunk during parades.
When a touring version of the Vietnam War Memorial visited Kentucky, Cook was invited to lead the group into town, and the Corvette was displayed along side the wall while it was up.
Cook said he has entered many car shows with the Corvette and has won a slew of awards.
The asking price for this Corvette is $35,500, which is higher than the Kelley Blue Book estimated value for a 2002 Z06. But this is no normal 'Vette, and it can be difficult to place a value on heavily customized cars - particularly when it comes to displaying your patriotic pride.