Golden Rocket - by Miranda Kurpe

Golden Rocket - by Miranda Kurpe

They say that good things come to those who wait, that rings true for
Pete Bashor and his 1967 Corvair Monza.
Back in 2007, Pete bought a 1983 Acadian with a V8 and was eager to
show it off. He picked up his friend Johnny for a cruise. Johnny was
impressed but jokingly informed Pete that he new someone who had a
Corvair that would blow the doors off his Acadian! “Fine, where is this
so called Corvair?” said pete. Johnny called his buddy, John Link and
they drove over to see his car. From the moment Pete laid eyes on the
car, he wanted it. It took him back to the time he built a tube frame
dune buggy with a 455, VW front end and a keg as the gas tank.
Unfortunately for Pete, John was very passionate about his car and
wouldn’t sell.
Years past and Pete kept in touch with the owner, coming back
periodically to see if he’d sell. But John still wouldn’t budge. He did
however tell Pete how much he wanted for the car if the time ever
came for him to sell. Ten years past and Pete got the call that John was
starting to let a few things go. He got his hands on a 1967 Toronado and
bought his 455 and 400 blocks, but he still would not sell the Corvair.
While chatting with John's wife Donna, she told Pete about how much
her husband loves that car. He’d get up every morning and take his
coffee to the garage just to admire the car. He’d start at the front of the
car and slowly make his way around, by the time he reached the back
his coffee would be gone.
One day, the call finally came. His wife, Donna, informed Pete that
Johns dementia had progressed to the point he no longer remembered
the car and that he should come get it. Pete agreed to pay the price
previously set by John. She was set on selling the car outside the family
since her and John had once slid through an intersection when the
breaks locked up. She feared what might happen if something went
wrong again. She knew how much Pete loved the car and that he would
take good care of it.
When Pete went to pick up the car, John came out when he saw the car
being loaded on the trailer and he said “Oh! I didn’t think that thing
would run!” He also threw in some interior pieces and a second parts

The car was a vision, with golden paint, vivid red steelies, and baby moon
caps. But don’t let the shiny paint fool you, this car is both beauty and a
beast. The powertrain is out of a 1973 Toronado and has a 455 under the
hood paired with a TH-425 transmission.
After getting the car Pete put in a second rad and a bigger fan to cool the
engine. He also added a subtle red pin stripe along the side following the
body line. Currently he is in process of replacing all the rubber hoses and
putting in hardline for the cooling system. “So, I don’t burn the back of my
head” he said.
In the future Pete plans to get all the molding and moleskin trim to “finish
the car off nicely.” He also wants to restore the interior and install disc
brakes because “Anything that fast should stop well.”
The summers are short, but he takes every opportunity to drive the Corvair
and he takes the car to get coffee in the morning, or to the local car shows
in 100 Mile House and Kamloops.
Pete would like to thank his friend Johnny (John Halvorsen) for introducing
him to John and Donna. Without his help Pete never would have seen the
car, let alone own it.
Other than the Corvair, Pete has a blue 1968 Olds Cutlass S Convertible (his
daughter ‘Rocket Girl’s’ inspiration, see page 10). He’s slowly been restoring
it over the past 15 years, after getting rear ended back in 2007. It has
Chevelle front disc brakes and a Chevelle rear end with 336 gears, but he’s
thinking of upgrading to a 308 posi (encouraged by his daughter). The car is
currently in black high build primer and he plans to block sand it until it’s perfect. After that he will be focusing on the paint and interior. Pete said the first thing he’s going to do when it’s done is take his little girl for a cruise. Many
years after the death of his first wife, Pete remarried a lovely woman named Wendy. To put it in his words “She’s as cute as a button and as smart as a whip,
She works with me and supports my goals, she even reminds me to put money in my car fund from time to time. She takes care of everything behind the scenes so everythingruns smoothly with our business. I’m so lucky.” Pete has been passionate about cars from a young age. His first car was a free 1935 Ford Touring Coupe with a flathead V8. At 14 years old he stripped the dash
repainted it black and reinstalled it. A man came walking down the ally
shortly after and offered to buy it. Pete sold the car for $150 and bought a
new stereo for his room. Pete didn’t know it yet, but that sale would light a
passion in him that would change his life.

Article and Photography: Miranda Kurpe (MNK Photography)

Check out this article and more in Issue #3 of Cruise Culture Magazine from December 2022. You can read it for free at or order your print copy now at

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