Written by Kerrie Alexander
TREVOR Jowett’s colourful personality is perfectly suited to his 1998 C5 Chevrolet Corvette.
When I first meet the retired Hervey Bay resident last month to talk cars, it was clear from the get-go that he has a fun zest for life, with his bright New Balance shoes and his intense coloured purple, yellow and red Indianapolis 500 pace car replica being just the start.
After having three strokes, Trevor knows that you need to experience life to its fullest. The retired builder has sailed from Melbourne to the Fraser Coast on his boat, bought and sold 52 Jaguars along with many other cars, dabbled in quarter scale speedway race cars, loves to travel and has a keen eye for real estate.
“I’ve had an amazing life since I retired and I’m still going,” Trevor said.
“The last stroke I had was in February and I thought I was gone.
“I’ve got a second lease on life, I feel fit at the moment, I walk every day and when you feel good you just want to get on with life.
“I’ve always been an energetic person. I’ve had lots of kids and several wives, but I have no regrets,” he said with a laugh.
The sexy and sleek “Vette” is just one of 10 collectables the passionate car enthusiast currently owns, including eight of which are stored in a live-in warehouse in Melbourne where he spends half the year.
When the Corvette rolled off the line over 60 years ago, it was born an icon. Turn the clock to when this stunner was made in 1998 and not much has changed.
With only 1163 made, the C5 convertible was chosen as the pace car for the 1998 Indianapolis 500.
This version had the most elaborate and colourful design with the pace car purple paint set off by the yellow details, checkered-flag motif, and bright yellow wheels.
It’s definitely not the type of car for someone trying to keep a low profile. Trevor loves that it’s a head turner and conversation starter, something he looks forward to when taking part in local car shows.
“I just love the colour and movement, like my shoes, you just can’t beat it!
“I’ve been a lover of Corvettes for some time … they are an exceptional car.
“For this one, they wanted it to stand out on the track so people would notice it and that’s why the designers did all that.
“They wanted it to be a one of a kind.”
While showing me around the car, Trevor was itching to lift the bonnet and show off the absolute perfection that makes up the LS1 345 horsepower engine. It was magnificent.
It was clear that the previous owner had been meticulous with every colourful detail including painted graphics on all the engine covers.
To the best of Trevor’s knowledge, it’s also the only one of its kind with right-hand drive in Australia.
“It’s had a lot of modifications to it.
“He’s put cold air induction in, tuned and balanced extractors on it … it’s got plenty of hoot.”
Inside, the sporty yellow leather seats certainly match the flair of the car.
Trevor said buying and selling the cars, most from online, is purely a hobby and one he’s particularly good at.
His advice to anyone wanting to become a collector is to be smart but most of all be patient.
“You do take a gamble if you buy sight unseen and you can be in for a shock, but do your homework and be patient when buying.
“I only usually buy good cars that have all the hard work done but if there’s something to do I will do most of the work myself.
“When you love something, you can put your hand to it.”
If you see Trevor out and about, be sure to stop and say hello. You certainly won’t miss him in this magnificent machine.