Introducing Michael Brown And His Unbelievable Chevy Collection


With an extensive background and a keen interest in all-things Chevrolet, Michael Brown is rightfully proud of each car he owns in his stellar collection of American classics. While there is no doubt that it has taken Michael quite some time to acquire each car in his unbelievable collection, each one carries with it, a story that makes it so interesting.

The Man Behind It All


Photo Courtesy of Ryan Brown.

A former Dallas, ABC affiliate anchorman, reporter, and talk show host Michael has also operated his own video production studio in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of North Texas.“I wrote, produced, and directed a feature length documentary about some historically significant Corvettes that first raced in France, at Le Mans in 1960,” he said. “The film was called The Quest, and documents the life of Corvettes at Carlisle co-founder Chip Miller and his dream of finding a class-winning Corvette from that race. Though he died before he could fulfill his dream plans for the car, his son Lance stepped forward to finish his father’s dream at the 2010 race in France.”

It was more of an evolutionary event, spread over several years.
– Michael Brown

Michael was also a producer and on-camera host on Discovery Channel’s Corvette Nation during its first two seasons. His wife of 47 years is New York Times best-selling novelist Sandra Brown, who supports Michael in all he has accomplished during their marriage.

“I never set out to have a collection, but as is often the case, it just happened over the course of several years,” he said. “I bought representative models that were of interest to me and bought them when good examples of each became available.”


The second-generation Corvette — which happens to be the shortest at five years, is also his favorite. Nearly every generation in his collection is represented, except the fourth. “I have nothing against the C4’s, but they occupy a level of interest with me that is slightly below the other generations,” he said.

Michael got his very first car — a 1946 Chevy — when he turned 16 years old. “My dad owned the local salvage yard and wrecker service, so there was a constant flow of cars on hand at any given time,” he said. “ The key to this period of my life is the fact that my dad was a Chevy man. He had all kinds of cars at the salvage yard, but he always drove a Chevrolet. With that undeniable influence, I too, have mostly driven and collected Chevrolets throughout my life.”

Michael grew up around Chevys, and he took pride in each one he traded for before college.

He ended up trading his ’46 Chevy for a ’52 Chevy. He said it was a bit more stylish than his ’46, but it didn’t turn heads. “My third car was my first cool car — a 1955 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop,” he said. “Living on a gravel street there was dust generated by traffic, so I found myself washing the car at least once a day, rarely allowing it to get dirty.”

In his last year of high school, he traded his ’55 Chevy for a ’57 Bel Air. With three different Chevys under his belt before taking off for college, Michael was already a dedicated Chevy enthusiast.


Michael has created plaques for each of his cars, complete with a spec sheet and a story about how he acquired each car. Photo courtesy of Pepper Yandell.

Magically Inspired

Michael grew up with the old-school signage that made Chevrolet so popular during the ’50s and ’60s. “From ‘Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet’ to ‘See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet,’ these were some of the advertising slogans I grew up with, and for me, Chevrolet was all things American,” he said.

No matter how big the garage it’s never big enough. You’ll always try to fill the available space.
– Michael Brown

“The only new car my father ever bought when I was growing up was a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. We immediately drove it from southeast Oklahoma to Los Angeles and Disneyland.”

He went into greater detail involving his obsession with cars. “Chevrolet, and later the Chevy Corvette, became personal icons of my fascination with automobiles,” he said. “Certainly, when I was young, the thought of ever driving or owning a Corvette was not even within the realm of my reality. Later, when I could make it happen, that infatuation with Chevrolet was narrowed to a focus on Corvettes, and I’ve said this many times … you either like Corvettes or you don’t. But if you like Corvettes, you really like Corvettes. It’s an intrinsic attraction that is hard to describe but undeniable in its truth.”


Starting Off Right

According to Michael, the first car in his collection was a 1963 split-window Corvette coupe, which was actually his only Corvette for several years. However, he craved for more, as he really liked the 1962 roadster.

Like a lot of men who came of age in the 1960s, many of my cars reflect a time when ‘car envy’ was one of two things we thought a lot about
– Michael Brown

“I loved the design so much, that one day I found a ’62 and bought it,” he said. “As the years passed, I added to my collection as finances and space permitted. An old adage among collectors is that no matter how big the garage, it’s never big enough. You’ll always try to fill the available space. I’ve found this to be true as Chevrolet is my automotive heritage of interest.”

Michael said that when he designed and built his garage, he told his architect it was going to be a show garage, not a working garage. “Despite many of my Corvette friends telling me to add lifts to maximize space, I don’t like lifts because when one walks into the garage, he’s looking at mufflers and drivetrains,” he said. “Some are just not particularly attractive underneath unless one is a mechanic, which I am not.”

The Collection

Acquiring a staggering 17 Chevrolets, Michael has amassed a collection that spans six decades. Let us give you an introduction to each one, and what they mean to Michael. The collection is housed in a a custom-built and decorated 3,000 square foot garage in Texas.


Michael's garage is not just full of Chevys, but also various neon signage that gives a throwback feel to the collection. Photos courtesy of Pepper Yandell.

“Like a lot of men who came of age in the 1960s, many of my cars reflect a time when ‘car envy’ was one of two things we thought a lot about,” he said. “The non-‘Vettes in my collection, as well as many of the early Corvettes, harken back to a time when I was in high school, and cars represented a certain freedom from the angst most teenagers experience at that age.”


Michael's collection is absolutely stunning. Photos courtesy of Pepper Yandell.

1954 Corvette

Michael mentioned this is the only Corvette in the collection that features a six-cylinder engine, and an automatic transmission. This is because that was the only option offered in 1954. Its black paint is stunning, and also a rarity among first-generation Corvettes.


The first generation of the Corvette was truly the beginning of something great for Chevrolet.

1957 Corvette 

This roadster carries two significant options first offered with the 1957 model: a four-speed transmission, and fuel-injection under the hood. “With its 283 cubic-inch V8, it was the first time a buyer could get one horsepower per cubic inch,” Michael said.

This '57 Corvette is super clean, no matter what angle you look at it.

1962 Corvette

The last of the first generation, the ’62 Corvette’s dovetail rearend hinted strongly of what was to come the following year with the second-generation Corvette.


Michael's '62 Corvette resembles simplicity and elegance.

1963 Corvette

With 1963 launching the second-generation Corvette, this car is a rarity amongst the others in the collection. “The iconic split window coupe is the cornerstone of my collection. It was my first Corvette, and I’ve owned it for more than three decades,” Michael said. “Its classic, one-year-only design ensures its place in Corvette history, and its appeal now is as strong as when it was first introduced 53 years ago.”


Michael's '63 shines with greatness under the neon lights. Photos courtesy of Pepper Yandell.

1964 Corvette

According to Michael, the classic design of the year before was carried forward with two notable exceptions. “Gone was the beautifully-styled but controversial split rear window,” he said. “Also departed, were the two faux pressed-aluminum vents on the hood. With the exception of some invisible options in power, the ’64 looked very much like the ’63 from every angle.”


This '64 Corvette is an absolute beauty with its deep black paint and vibrant red interior.

1965 Corvette

Holding onto the same Stingray design, Michael tells us, “My ’65 roadster is among the last of the fuel-injected Corvettes, because not far into the production run of the ’65 models, the first big-block was introduced.”


The C2 Corvette became an American classic for their design and power capabilities.

1966 Corvette

Keeping things original, this ’66 coupe houses the original 18,000 mile big-block, and is equipped with factory side pipes. “This was the first 427 big-block engine, and the first Corvette where the back-up lights were incorporated into the taillights,” he said.


Michael's '66 Corvette is a pure show stopper.

1967 Corvette

What became the high watermark for C2 styling is that the Stingray finally got its stinger. “ The contrasting color on the faux hood scoop of the 427 big-block cars, gave it the appearance of a stingray,” Michael said. “Though other exterior adornments were scant, the ’67 Corvette has become among the most collectible of all early production mid-year Corvettes.”


It may be a roadster, but the '67 Stingray marked the pinnacle of the C2 generation Corvette.

1978 Corvette

Interestingly, Michael said 1978 marked the first year that Corvette was invited to participate in the Indy 500 Race. “To note that historic occasion for Corvette, GM produced 6,502 Limited Edition Pace Car replicas. One was built for each Chevy dealership in the country that year, though some dealerships got a number of them while others got none,” he said. “The one in my collection is one of only 202 that was equipped with a four-speed transmission.”


This Corvette is a stellar addition to Michael's collection as it was an official Indy 500 pace car, and limited in its production.

2003 Corvette ZO6

Even though 2003 marked the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s introduction in 1953, Michael said it was disappointing to many, as the body style remained unchanged from others in the C5 generation. “This ZO6 was purchased new, and has a model-high 405 horsepower,” he said.


2006 Corvette ZO6

Boasting 505 horsepower, this ZO6 was purchased brand new, and features a six-speed manual transmission.

Nothing has been modified on this Corvette. It's been kept pristine since Michael acquired it.

2009 Corvette ZR1

Michael said that many Corvette enthusiasts were rocked to their core with the introduction of the revived ZR1. “Earlier versions of the C4 generation were designated ZR dash 1 (ZR-1), but their power capabilities were lesser than the 638 horsepower supercharged engine offered first in 2009,” he said. The car was purchased new in Michigan and shipped to Texas. When it was introduced, it was the fastest production Corvette ever delivered off the factory line.

2012 Corvette

Chevrolet marked its Centennial with special badging and other distinctions, marking 100 years of the brand. Michael said each model Corvette was produced with special Centennial options, and dedicated vehicle identification numbers. The Centennial Edition in his collection uniquely bears VIN 100.


2015 Corvette ZO6

Once more, GM raised the bar for Corvette by bringing back the ZO6 moniker, and upping the supercharged power plant to 650 horsepower.


1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

The start of what became known an iconic era, Michael said this two-door hardtop represents a quantum leap in design for Chevrolet. “It became the anchor year for what enthusiasts would later call the Tri-Fives, the instant classic model years of 1955, 1956 and 1957,” he said. “Notably, 1955 was the first year of the incredibly long-lasting small-block V8 also.” Holding on to a piece of history, let’s not forget about his ’57 Bel Air.


1957 Bel Air convertible

Chevrolet produced an insane amount of cars, tallying an estimated 1.5 million cars of all models in 1957. “Of those, 47,652 are the now iconic convertibles,” he said. “Of those, only 68 were equipped with factory fuel-injection, an option first offered that year. This car in my collection is one of those 68.”

This Tri-Five represents a groundbreaking era in automobile design.

1964 Impala Super Sport 409

“Though first offered in 1961, the 409 cubic-inch V8 in the Impala Super Sport ended with the 1965 model year. In 1964, horsepower maxed out a 425 with the dual four-barrel-equipped engine, which is what this car in my collection has,” Michael explained. “In 1965, maximum horsepower fell to 400 before the 409 was discontinued.”


Inside and out, this Impala Super Sport 409 is a rare gem in the bunch.

Picking A Favorite, And Upkeep The Collection


Michael’s stellar collection of Chevrolets is an amazing sight and an unparalleled feat. Photo courtesy of Pepper Yandell.

When asked how he takes care of all his cars, Michael said each car is started and driven with some regularity, but never in adverse weather conditions. With such a vast collection, we asked Michael which one is his favorite from the bunch. “I’m frequently asked this question, and it’s almost like asking a guy which of his children is his favorite,” he said. “I like them all but for different reasons, because most of them are different from the others.”

Michael said the earlier model Chevys in his collection consisted of a raw, basic design with unadulterated power, thus they were and are still fun to drive to this day. “To change the spark plugs on the cars produced in the ’50s, ’60s and into the ’70s, you just changed the spark plugs,” he said. “And when you raised the hood to do so, there were the spark plugs, which were easily accessible. You consulted no computers, because you didn’t need to, and mostly because computers didn’t exist yet.”

In regards to the newer builds, he said they possess incredible power. Specifically, he said his newest Corvette, the 2015 Z06’s design is both incredibly efficient and amazingly intuitive.

After discussing old versus new-model Chevys, his favorite arose. “I always have to say that the ’63 split window coupe was my favorite build,” he said. “It was an instant classic with the one year rear window design and its streamlined appearance, which makes it move even when sitting still. The ’63 Corvette represents a moment in automotive history when design and function came together in superlative harmony. It’s just a beautiful car, and elevates my pulse to this day — the same as it did when I first saw one as a junior in high school. It was the Corvette I wanted then, but it took me 22 years to find one after high school, at a time when I could afford it. I never set out to have a collection, but it became the first, and I’ve now owned it for 31 years.”


Wrapping It All Up

It is clear that Michael is an avid Chevy enthusiast, who conveys his indisputable passion with Chevrolet and its offerings through the years. In possession of some of the rarest Corvettes around, Michael’s dedication to excellence has made his garage a destination for Corvette clubs to visit. With his website, Hooked On Vettes, Michael has created a thorough amount of content to educate enthusiasts on Corvettes and their unique attributes.

To see Michael’s collection in even greater detail, be sure to check out Hooked On Vettes. We were pleased to have the opportunity to speak with Michael, learning not only about his collection, but also the stories about how each car was attained.


Photo gallery


About the author


Nic Aguon is a graduate from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and mass communications and holds a passion for sleek and unique automobiles. Serving as a Staff Writer for multiple publications at Power Automedia, Nic pledges to bring readers clean and concise storytelling that hits the nail right on the head. A jack of all trades, his interests range from imports to American muscle, hot rods, and Kustoms.
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