The Year 1967

The Year 1967

Important News & Events

Corvettes of Bakersfield was established in November by a group of Corvette enthusiasts. The first ATM, Strikes by US teaching staff throughout country for pay increases, The first Super Bowl played between Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, Six Day War Arab Forces attack Israel beginning the Yom Kippur War, the first Boeing 737 takes its maiden flight, the Concorde is seen for the first time in public, Apollo 1 destroyed in a fire on the launch pad, Pulsars are discovered, Texas Instruments releases the first pocket calculator.

Cost of Living

Year end Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 905 
Average cost of new house $14,250.00 
Average income per year $7,300.00 
Average monthly rent $125.00 
Gallon of Gas 33¢
Average cost of a new car $2,750.00

Cost of a base model Corvette $4,240.75 
Movie ticket $1.25 
The Federal Minimum Wage is increased to $1.40 an hour 


The continued presence of American troops increased further and a total of 475,000 were serving in Vietnam and the peace rallies were multiplying as the number of protesters against the war increased. The Boxer Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing world championship for refusing to be inducted into the US Army. In the Middle East Israel also went to war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan in the six day war and when it was over Israel controlled and occupied a lot more territory than before the war. Once again in the summer cities throughout America exploded in rioting and looting the worst being in where 7000 national Guard were bought in to restore law and order on the streets. In England a new type of model became a fashion sensation by the name of Twiggy and mini skirts continued to get shorter and even more popular with a short lived fashion being paper clothing. Also during this year new Discotheques and singles bars appeared across cities around the world and the Beatles continued to reign supreme with the release of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band” album, and this year was also coined the summer of love when young teenagers got friendly and smoked pot and grooved to the music of “The Grateful Dead. Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds”. The movie industry moved with the times and produced movies that would appeal to this younger audience including “The Graduate” Bonnie and Clyde” and “Cool Hand Luke” . TV shows included “The Fugitive” and “The Monkees” and color television sets become popular as the price comes down and more programs are made in color. 

The 1967 Corvette

The 1967 Corvette Sting Ray was the last Corvette of the second generation, and five years of refinements made it the best of the line. Although it was meant to be a redesign year, its intended successor the C3 was found to have some undesirable aerodynamic traits. Duntov demanded more time in the wind tunnel to devise fixes before it went into production.

Changes were again modest: Five smaller front fender vents replaced the three larger ones, and flat-finish rockers sans ribbing conferred a lower, less chunky appearance. New was a single backup light, mounted above the license plate. The previous models’ wheel covers gave way to slotted six-inch Rally wheels with chrome beauty rings and lug nuts concealed behind chrome caps. Interior alterations were modest and included revised upholstery, and the handbrake moved from beneath the dash to between the seats. The convertible’s optional hardtop was offered with a black vinyl top, which was a fad among all cars at the time. The 427 was available with a 1282 ft³/min (605 L/s) Holley triple two-barrel carburetor arrangement, which the factory called Tri-Power. The ultimate Corvette engine for 1967 was coded L88, even wilder than the L89, and was as close to a pure racing engine as Chevy had ever offered in regular production. Besides the lightweight heads and bigger ports, it came with an even hotter camshaft, stratospheric 12.5:1 compression, an aluminum radiator, small-diameter flywheel, and a single huge Holley four-barrel carburetor. Although the factory advertised L88 rating was 430 BHP at 4600 rpm, the true rating was said to be about 560 BHP at 6400 rpm. The very high compression ratio required 103-octane racing fuel, which was available only at select service stations. Clearly this was not an engine for the casual motorist. When the L88 was ordered, Chevy made several individual options mandatory, including Positraction, transistorized ignition, heavy-duty suspension, and power brakes, as well as RPO C48, which deleted the normal radio and heater to cut down on weight and discourage the car’s use on the street. As costly as it was powerful – at an additional $1,500 over the base $4,240.75 price – the L88 engine and required options were sold to a mere 20 buyers that year. With potential buyers anticipating the car’s overdue redesign, sales for the Sting Ray’s final year totaled 22,940, down over 5,000 units from 1966 results. Meanwhile, Chevrolet readied its third-generation Corvette for the 1968 model year.


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A Chat With One of Corvettes of Bakersfield’s Charter Members

A Chat With One of Corvettes of Bakersfield’s Charter Members

Marilyn Owen

A Chat With One of Corvettes of Bakersfield’s Charter Members

By: Gregory Brott

As my wife Carol and I sat down in Marilyn’s beautiful West Bakersfield home we were about to find out the wonderful and rich tapestry of what is now Corvettes of Bakersfield.

A most gracious Marilyn explained Corvettes of Bakersfield was established in November 1967 as Associated Corvettes, a Bakersfield Corvette club and at the time a voting member of The Western States Corvette Council and Marilyn along with her husband, Fredie were one of the ten original Charter Members. Fredie was also the very first President of Associated Corvettes and held the position for three years while Marilyn was busy as Secretary and publishing the newsletter.

November 1968 newsletter produced by Marilyn

The original Sponsors of our fledgling club was Richland Chevrolet and Barnett’s Goodyear with Three-Way Chevrolet replacing Richard in the 1980’s and is still Corvettes of Bakersfield’s premier sponsor.

Recent Richland Chevrolet photo
Circa 1960’s Barnett’s advertisement
Circa 1980’s Corvettes of Bakersfield / Three-Way Window Decal

During these early years the Club met at Pizzaville on Oak Street for their monthly Corvette Camaraderie fix and were very involved with autocross and racing.

Fredie & Marilyn at an early autocross event at Famoso

Fredie and Marilyn’s first Corvette was a beautiful 1965 Milano Maroon coupe, which Marilyn still has and has plans for new paint sometime in the future

Fredie posing with their 1956 Corvette

The C2 was followed with the purchase of a 1956 Artic Blue C1 with white coves which was sold to make way for a 1965 Marina Blue Coupe which they only kept for a few months while their original 1965 was being restored. They also purchased a 1989 Arctic White Coupe, which they ultimately traded in on their last new Corvette, a 2004 Machine Silver Coupe.

A proud Fredie
Side pipes were added and a change in wheels
Marilyn & Fredie’s beautiful 1965 Marina Blue Coupe
The 1965 as it looks today garaged and under Marilyn’s watchful eye.
Interior is still pristine!

In 1969 Associated Corvettes brought to Bakersfield and hosted one of the largest Corvette Conventions in the Western States. The Corvette Council’s Pre-convention, with Corvettes coming from as far away as Mississippi, put Bakersfield on the Corvette map.

Cover of the WSCC Pre-Convention
 Fredie and Marilyn at the Pre-Convention

With a name change in the early 1970’s the club became known as Corvettes of Bakersfield, a better fitting name to promote and enhance the image of Kern County and the City of Bakersfield to the rest of the Corvette Clubs, their families and our Kern County Sponsors and Charities. This was also the time when the paper newsletter was produced in magazine format and the name changed to Corvette Cross-Roads.

Front cover of Corvette Cross-Roads

 During the 80’s and 90’s both Fredie and Marilyn were involved with all things Corvette with Marilyn being the Event Director for quite some time. This was also the time in which Corvettes of Bakersfield was thinking BIG….that is with our First Corvettes of Bakersfield Gambler’s Classic in 1992.

In the early 2000’s both Fredie and Marilyn continued to enjoy time with the Club and purchased a beautiful 2004 Artic White C4 Corvette.

Fredie and Marilyn and their 2004 Artic White C4

Marilyn retired in 2006 as the office manager for Renfro Cunningham Architects and Fredie retired in 1996 after 36 years as a Sub Station Electrician for PG&E. They both enjoyed their retirement and time spent with Corvettes of Bakersfield on events, runs and gets togethers until Fredie’s untimely passing in 2008.

Upon their retirement they traded in the C4 and bought a stunning new 2004 Machine Silver C5 which Marilyn still has today and drives often and to Corvettes of Bakersfield events.

Marilyn with her 2004 Machine Silver C5

The past ten years for Marilyn involved family and Corvettes. She would always bring her grandkids along on club events at Kern County Raceway, the Glenville Run just to name a few.  Her grandkids also helped stuff goodie bags for Laughlin and Streets of Bakersfield, Kern County Gun Club Shoot and many more.  On the personal side, Marilyn continued, that she traveled to London twice, Scotland, Wales, Hawaii and China with family. Marilyn and her daughter also researched family history where they discovered a distant Grandfather of hers fought in the Revolutionary War against England and they are now registered and officially Daughters of the American Revolution, descended from the More family in England.

Because of Marilyn and the original Charter Members today Corvettes of Bakersfield, Inc. has a membership of over 75 member households, over 140 individual members and has contributed to local non-profit charities within the Bakersfield and Kern County, over $250.000.00!

When Carol and I left that Sunday afternoon we had a deep admiration for her 50 years of dedication and service to Corvettes of Bakersfield. We all owe Marilyn and the other Charter Members a sincere and heartfelt thank you for their dedication and foresight to make what we know today as the finest Corvette Club in existence a reality!