Real Wheels: ‘The King’ and the Corvette

ELIDA – Make that Corvette number nine.

At one time or another, Richie Crouch has owned eight other Corvettes, beginning with a 1964 Stingray. His latest acquisition is a 2002 Corvette C5 convertible, which he bought last August.

“I’ve always wanted a C5 Corvette. I just like the body style, and this one is extra sharp with the millennium yellow color,” said Crouch.

His 2002 C5 is part of Chevrolet’s fifth generation of Corvettes that were produced from 1997 to 2004. They featured the third generation small block “LS” engine and came with pop-up headlights, which were included on a Corvette for the final time during this generation.

Since buying the C5 last summer, Crouch has been adding his own touch to the vehicle.

He had Ben Burden, of Lima, paint the car.

“It had a lot of stone chips and Ben did an excellent job painting,” Crouch said. “I then customized the whole outside, including the louver and spoiler. I switched the interior over to yellow and black. Before, it was just all black.”

He noted he’s the third person to own the car, and the previous owner beefed up the engine and exhaust system.

Crouch has been a “car guy” all his life.

The first vehicle he owned was a a four-door, 1962 Mercury Comet. He paid $160 for the car when he was a 16-year-old Perry High School student.

“It was uglier than heck, but it was wheels, and it got me to school each morning,” said Crouch, now 67 years old.

His friends like to call him “the King,” as he can be found at area car shows providing the entertainment as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

“My sister Cheryl made an Elvis costume for me for Halloween one year. It kind of grew from there,” he said.

He puts on “The King Car and Motorcycle Show” every September in Faurot Park. The money raised goes to the Salvation Army. He held his first show in 2012 with 36 cars entered. It has grown to one of the bigger car shows in the area with more than 150 cars checked in last year.

His pride and joy is his home’s garage, which he’s turned into his “man cave.” It is filled with memorabilia from the 1960s and ’70s, including a jukebox, drive-in movie speakers, eight-track players and portraits of Elvis Presley.

He says, “I had a choice: I could drywall the garage, or go the memorabilia route. I went with the memorabilia.”


The Lima News publishes photographs of vintage cars, 20 years or older, free of charge in Real Wheels. It is easy to get your car featured:

Mail: Real Wheels, Newsroom, The Lima News; 205 W. Market St., Suite #100A; Lima, OH 45801.

Email: [email protected]

Include: Photograph of your car; year of car, make and model; how many years you have owned the vehicle; car’s history; best memory of car; your name, address and telephone number (the phone number will not be published).

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