When Keith Richard Litavsky returned home from fighting on the front line in the Vietnam War, he did so with two Purple Hearts and one more mission to accomplish.
That mission took him to an Illinois car dealership where he purchased the car he had been dreaming about while serving overseas: a marina blue 1967 Chevrolet Corvette.
Paid for with money he'd sent home from the war for that very purpose, Keith Litavsky took meticulous care of the car.
INDIANAPOLIS — A marina blue 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe bought by a Vietnam War hero and maintained by his son sold for $675,000 at an Indianapolis auction Saturday.
The unrestored sports car, with 8,553 miles on it, was bought by Carmel, Ind., resident Gary Runyon at Dana Mecum’s 30th Spring Classic at the State Fairgrounds.
"It was very exciting but also very, very difficult," to part with the car, said its owner, Matt Litavsky. "It was all kind of a haze."
Litavsky's father, Keith Richard Litavsky, bought the car after returning from the Vietnam War with two Purple Hearts in the 1960s. He cared for it meticulously and seldom drove it before dying of cancer in 1993 from exposure to Agent Orange. Matt Litavsky kept up the same level of care, driving it a total of 15 miles over the past 15 years.
Keith Richard Litavsky, the original owner of the Corvette, served fearlessly on the front line in Vietnam, carrying his wounded commanding officer out of a firefight, who would later die in a helicopter crash and leave Litavsky as the only surviving soldier in his unit. After returning from Vietnam decorated with two purple hearts, he went right to Jack Douglass Chevrolet in Hinsdale, Illinois, and purchased his dream car—this 1967 Corvette—with money he’d sent home for that purpose. Sadly, Litavsky died before his time of cancer from exposure to Agent Orange on his last mission in Vietnam. But his legacy lives on in the Corvette being offered in Indianapolis by his son Matt, who was given the car just before Litavsky’s untimely death in 1993.