HARLINGEN — Bob Johnston remembers Air Force officers pulling into his father’s service station driving their fast cars when he was young.
He recalled telling himself, “When I grow up, and become somebody, I want to have a fast car.”
Bob went on to own more than 12 Corvettes over the years and found a way he could make a buck selling officially licensed Corvette neon signs with his wife.
“We made things not for the car, but for the garage,” Bob said. “We made neon signs, clocks, jewelry, and all kinds of things for the garage or the man cave.”
The married duo became known throughout the country for selling their General Motors licensed products and vintage Corvette collectable items for 32 years.
So when Bob called the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky and asked the director if the museum wanted his Corvette memorabilia, they didn’t hesitate in saying yes.
The very next day the museum rerouted its trailer from a car show in Arizona to the Johnston’s home in Harlingen to pick up everything.
“We are very much appreciative, of all of this stuff Bob and Barbara are donating today,” said Gary Cockriel, Corvette Museum administrator for fundraising and development.
He said many of the memorabilia will be used for silent auction, bids and prizes.
“If it is something very special we will have one for our archives at the museum,” he said.
They donated hundreds of vintage Corvette collectables, posters, clocks, signs and other items.
“I’m just happy all this Corvette memorabilia will end up in the museum, and eventually in some car enthusiast’s man cave or garage,” Bob said.