GREEN BAY – The 1967 Corvette awarded to Bart Starr as Super Bowl I MVP has a home in Green Bay. Again.
The car, purchased in May by a Green Bay Packers fan in Connecticut, will be on display at The Automobile Gallery, 400 S. Adams St., beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday. The museum has it on loan for a year.
Steve Altieri bought the car — after it failed to sell during an auction in Indiana — from longtime owner Michael Anderson of Thunder Valley Classic Cars of Minnesota. The road the car traveled from 1967 to 1994 is shrouded in the fog of history, but more about that shortly.
Altieri said he’d like to see the car displayed at Lambeau Field, but the Packers had concerns about both space and security.
A number of people suggested The Automobile Gallery would be the perfect place for the car and founder Red Lewis agreed. It was Altieri who contacted the gallery, but Lewis didn’t need persuading, said Kathryn Gardner, gallery executive director.
The car had been in storage for several years when Anderson acquired it in 1994. Where it was between 1967 and then was always missing in the car’s resume.
Chuck Lane, the Packers public relations director during the Lombardi years, is a missing link in the car’s timeline. He bought the car from Starr and picked it up directly from the dealer, though he recalled it being the Super Bowl II MVP car, another Corvette that Starr also won.
Five decades after Starr won the cars, Lane is not alone in his confusion about Starr’s MVP cars. Depending on who you talk to, both cars were green, or maybe the second one was red. Starr used one or the other, or both, to support Rawhide Boys Ranch by raffling it off, or donating it, or donating it through a raffle.
And Starr, during a 2014 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, answered a question about raffling off No. 1, though it’s likely he was more focused on the answer than the question.
Aaron Geitner, director of the vehicle program at Rawhide confirmed Starr raffled off the second Corvette, a red 1968 model which differs significantly in style from the ’67 model, and gave the money to Rawhide. Tickets were $1 each and more than 40,000 were sold in three days, raising nearly 10 times the car’s list price of $4,320.
“The green car is Super Bowl I. That was not the vehicle that was donated to Rawhide,” Geitner said. “The Super Bowl II car is a ’68, which is the one donated to Rawhide.”
Geitner knows the owner of the red car, who lives in Wisconsin.
Lane might have been off by a year, but the car at The Automobile Gallery is certainly the one he owned. And it, too, supported Rawhide.
“(Starr) told me to make out the check to Rawhide Boys Ranch,” Lane said. “It was British racing green. It was a great car. Why I sold it, I have no idea.”
He pointed out that Starr never drove either car. In fact, the cars that appeared in promotional pictures of Starr were not the ones awarded to him because the presentation ceremonies were held before either of the cars were built.
Mike Borley, a gallery board member, said the Super Bowl I MVP award event was in February 1967, but the car was not built until June 1967, facts confirmed by General Motors based on the vehicle identification number.
Lane picked it up directly from the dealer, Humphrey Chevrolet. He eventually traded it to a dealer south of Fond du Lac.
“Yes, I’m still sorry I sold it,” he said. “The only better place for it (than The Automobile Gallery) would be my garage.”
For its part, the gallery knows it has the Super Bowl I MVP car, whatever adventures it’s had over the past 50 years. Gardner expects interest will be high, as it was when the gallery displayed Reggie White’s 1949 Buick.
“We originally had it for a couple of weeks, but it ended up on display for several months,” Gardner said of White’s car.
The gallery would like to display the two cars together and is talking to the owner of White’s car about a return visit.
The Starr car will be on display during the gallery’s Cars and Guitars Show from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, though it will not be displayed outdoors.
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