Written by Tara Bush, some photos by Russ Muller, owned by Maurice Boetto, Orlando
This is not a story about a Corvette and it’s not a story about a guy who owns a Corvette. As with many classic cars, there’s a story to be told. But this is a story about the lifelong relationship that Maurice “Moe” Boetto has had with his 1962 Corvette for 51 years. Moe has great pride in the evolution of his Corvette and the Corvette, though pushed to the limits, has kept him safe.
From the days of watching the TV series Route 66 (1960-1964) about the adventures of two drifters traveling across America in a Corvette, Moe dreamed of having a C1 of his own. He made that dream a reality in 1972 when an orange ’62 became available in Charleston SC. He had been racing a dragster at the time then swapped it with the “daily-driver” Corvette about a year later. He discovered that the Corvette was a natural fit for the road courses.
As with most young men at that time, he joined the Navy and spent 2 years in Sicily and 4 years in Italy as an orthopedic / surgical technician. The Corvette was always waiting for him upon his return home. He crisscrossed the southern states racing “The Deuce”, as it was nicknamed, from Sebring to Daytona to Darlington to Charlotte to Road Atlanta, plus most of the smaller tracks that dotted the south. Even marriage and children did not sideline the Corvette’s racing days.
The thrill and excitement of the race was also paired with wild stories of quick fixes, now-famous people met along the way, crashes and repairs, and so much more that the stories could fill a book.
One such story was the continuing steering wheel break. C1 wheels are large and thin, which were no match for the track turns at 100+ mph. Moe welded and welded but they snapped every time. A friend who worked on planes, custom made a one-piece wheel from aircraft aluminum then used the existing old wood to wrap around it. It remains to this day.
Another story is about the custom hood. C1 hoods are mainly flat, except in 1958 which was the “washboard” hood. In 1975, Moe installed a LT1 intake and the air cleaner would not clear the hood. He used the factory big-block scoop from a 1967 Corvette and added it to his hood. It is a functioning air intake scoop, and also remains today.
In 1978, Moe was racing the Grand Sport Reunion at Sebring. This is where he met Zora Duntov, the father of the Corvette. He signed Moe’s 1st place trophy. 3 of the 5 only existing Grand Sports were at the reunion and one was being restored. Moe got the rare opportunity to do some sanding on it.
The 1989 wreck was the year that ending Moe’s racing days and sidelined his new show car hobby. It was during the Corvette state convention and a friend from another Corvette club, who was not familiar with a standard transmission, came through the finish line and hit the clutch instead of the brake. The Deuce came in contact with a neighboring house. Back in those days, friends let friends drive race cars. That was the way it was. No harm to the driver other than his pride, but the car rested in the garage for 16 years. Life continued on for Moe and his family, but the Corvette was never forgotten.
Moe was older now and the C1 Corvettes were now classics therefore worth more money than the old used car that it once was. A deal was finally stuck and after 4 years of reconstruction the Deuce was back but the racing days were gone and a new chapter in their relationship started. The wreck may have been a blessing in disguise.
The stock front and rear suspension were replaced with a racing suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes for safety, a 5-speed transmission for efficiency, and a 383 stroker motor with all the go-fast goodies. An 8-stack fuel injection intake topped the stroker, the newest upgrade.
In 2011, the pair reentered the show car circuit by traveling around Florida nearly every weekend and making 6 six-week long trips out west for various large events, plus visits to family and friends along the way. This year will be another multi-stop trip to Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and ending at the national Corvette convention in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
That old original used 1962 Corvette has around a half million miles on it, 8 engines, 4 transmissions, 10 axles and countless tires later. Moe and his Deuce have seen some things, done some things, and shared some great times together. And they continue to win awards but for a different reason. Maurice Boetto got his dream of traveling across America in a C1 Corvette, just like the pair in Route 66.