New Yorker Scott Koeppel grew up in a typical suburban community during a time when most youths approaching the magic age of 17 became obsessed with getting a license and, even more important, a car. Of course, most people’s obsession with cars wanes over time, as school, marriage, children, a career and lots of other important things take precedence. Not so with Koeppel, who has had a wide array of cool automobiles for nearly 40 years straight, beginning with his first Corvette in 1979.
“I bought the ’79 new,” he recalls. “It was a very nice shade of blue, and I got it loaded with good options, including the L82 engine and gymkhana suspension, which had a larger front sway bar and stiffer springs.” Koeppel enjoyed his first Corvette in its stock configuration for a very short time and then went to town modifying it. “I installed a lot of custom body parts that I bought from Eckler’s Corvette and then had it painted Admiral Blue Metallic, which was gorgeous. The engine in that car was reworked, and the transmission was beefed up to handle the…extra power.”
Koeppel readily admits that he’s something of an impetuous buyer when it comes to cars and trucks that get his attention. “If I go somewhere, or I’m driving along and I see something I like, that’s it, I buy it on the spot.” A few years after acquiring the ’79 Corvette he crossed paths with an ’83 Porsche 911 Targa and had to have it. A decade later he was cruising past a Chevrolet dealership on Route 17 in New Jersey and spied a ’93 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck sporting a very rare Indy 500 Official Truck option package, seductively perched on a ramp for passersby to see.
“It was super cool and very unusual. I didn’t know it then, but later learned that they made only 1,534 of [them]. I couldn’t stop immediately because I had an appointment I needed to get to, but on the way back I bought it.” As with just about every vehicle in the Koeppel garage, the Indy 500 Pace truck didn’t remain stock for very long, ultimately receiving modifications that included a Vortech supercharger.
A new ’02 Corvette followed the Indy truck, and shortly after that the automotive-ly omnivorous Koeppel bought a Mercedes convertible and then a Porsche 911 Turbo. The German cars held his interest for a few years, but then a chance encounter with a sixth-generation Corvette brought him back into the Chevy fold. A friend’s brother was leasing a C6 and couldn’t continue with the payments, so Koeppel took over the lease. He was so happy with the car’s performance that he bought a new C6 when the lease ended.
But of course it wasn’t an ordinary C6, and naturally, Koeppel had an uncontrollable urge to dig right in and enhance its performance. He bought a ’12 model with the Centennial Edition option package and shipped it off to Corvettes of Westchester for engine upgrades, then turned to Caravaggio Corvettes for a new interior and APSIS USA for various carbon-fiber parts.
Shortly after completing all of the modifications to his Centennial Edition C6, Koeppel got his first look at the coming C7 and fell instantly in love. “I simply had to have one, but I really wanted a Z06, which wasn’t available during the first year of production, so I planned to wait. Then, a salesman at Chevrolet of Smithtown I am friendly with called me and said they had a Laguna Blue Z51 that he thought I’d really like.”