Family, friends and Corvette enthusiasts gathered on Saturday, April 29, at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., for the unveiling of a special, fully restored bright red 1984 Corvette. The car belonged to Burke Rhoads, a Nicholasville, Ky., police officer who was killed in a 2015 car accident while on duty. Rhoads had been restoring the Corvette and promised his daughter Jacquelyn that she could drive it to her prom when she turned 16. Rhoads’ wife Melissa wanted to finish the project and asked museum staff for a referral to a shop that could paint the car.
The museum’s management team, in a gesture of appreciation to the nation’s police forces, a tribute to Officer Rhoads and to help a grieving family heal, offered to restore the entire car. Daniel Decker, the museum’s vehicle maintenance and preservation coordinator, took charge of the project. The Corvette community, including Corvette Central and members of the Bluegrass Corvette Club, stepped up to help with cash donations and parts. Once the car’s mechanicals and body were restored, the museum turned to PPG for help with the finish.
“Contributing our products for this worthwhile cause was something we were happy to do,” said Bill Shaw, PPG director of marketing. “We were humbled by the request. It is a pleasure and a privilege to help the family members of those who serve and protect us every day.”
The museum had a relationship with PPG – established in February 2014 – when a sinkhole under the museum floor swallowed eight rare Corvettes including the 1984 Indy 500 PPG pace car. PPG donated the needed paint, and museum staff approached Final Finish, a PPG customer with shops in Morgantown and Bowling Green, Ky., about painting the car. Final Finish owners and brothers Eric and Chase Ingram agreed, and painter Fernando Resendiz gave the ’Vette its bright red coat using Deltron 2000 DBC Basecoat and Concept DCU2021 Urethane Clear.
“We were honored to be asked,” said Eric.
Added Chase, “We’re both dads, we’re part of the community and this is a special way of giving back.”
The car’s gleaming red finish complemented the red interior, which was made special when the museum stitched Officer Rhoads’ uniform badge and name tag into the center console to honor his memory.
“This project has been a labor of love for the museum team and everyone who contributed to it,” said Katie Frassinelli, the museum’s marketing and communications manager. “We were grateful to participate. We have always tried to extend that gratitude to law enforcement; to be able to translate that into an act of kindness was very meaningful for us. It’s wonderful to help bring a dad’s promise to fruition.”
For more about PPG and its automotive refinish products, call (800) 647-6050 or visit www.ppgrefinish.com.