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SURREY NOW & THEN: End of the road for Corvette shop after 53 years

Bruce Iggulden started the business in Newton as a 21-year-old
Brothers Glenn, right, and Bruce Iggulden, second from right, outside their Corvette Specialties shop in Surrey with longtime employees Kiong Chong, far left, and Dave Ferguson. The shop is closing after 53 years in business. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

The door is closing on a Surrey auto shop that has motored along for 53 years.

The family-operated Corvette Specialties was opened by Bruce Iggulden in Newton back in 1971, and the shop has been doing business in Bridgeview since the mid-1980s.

Bruce and his younger brother, Glenn, are longtime Surrey guys who’ve specialized in car repairs, parts and sales for many years, but they say it’s time to retire.

Well, kind of.

“I’m going to retire from all this,” Bruce said at the shop, “but retiring for me is doing what I want to do whenever I want to do it. I’ll still keep the phone number and email address, and I’ll keep the online site for awhile. I’ve still got all the parts here in containers, storage.”


The auto shop site, at Scott Road and King George Boulevard, has been sold and slated for construction of residential towers, according to Bruce.

A retirement party was planned for May 11, four days before Corvette Specialties closed forever.

“People wonder where they’re gonna go now for body work, and I’ve got the same question,” Glenn said. “I have no idea who to tell you to go see. There’s nobody doing it. There’s body shops that will do some fiberglass repairs. There aren’t many young guys who want to do this anymore, it’s hard to find employees, really hard.”

• RELATED STORY, from 2017: Retirement time for Surrey’s long-established ‘Tom the Tire Guy’

Photo from the 1990s shows Iggulden brothers Glenn, left, and Bruce with the 1969 Corvette they raced in Mission. (Contributed photo)
Bruce Iggulden in his teens with a 1968 Corvette, his first. (Contributed photo)
A photo from the mid-1970s shows Iggulden brothers Glenn, left, and Bruce, right, with Doug Chamley, the first employee at their Corvette Specialties shop in Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Iggulden brothers Glenn, left, and Bruce outside their Corvette Specialties shop in Surrey. (Contributed photo)

It’s the end of an era in Bridgeview.

“Or maybe just the end of an error, I don’t know,” Bruce, 74, said with a smile. “We had more than 40 Corvettes parked here at one point, for sale or being repaired. I figure that we sold probably three or four thousand since the mid-’70s. It’s a pretty long run.”

As a 21-year-old Bruce started the business in Newton at a place with apartments located above the auto shop.

“I had a Corvette that I needed to get rid of because I couldn’t afford it, and I needed to paint it before I could get rid of it,” he recalled. “So I found a body shop that had closed down and I said, ‘Can I use this shop for the next two weeks?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, fill your boots.’ It was peanuts what he charged, and I went in and painted my car. Then a guy knocks on my door wanting me to paint his old Ford. So that one job led to another, then another and another.

“I was always good at anything to do with my hands,” Bruce added. “We switched over to strictly Corvettes pretty much in ’74, a few years later.”

One location in Newton led to another, then another, and Bridgeview ended up being a final shop site for the Iggulden brothers and some of their longtime employees.

“Back in the beginning,” Bruce noted, “I made up my mind pretty early that there was nobody going to look after my retirement and that I’d have to have my own pension, because I don’t have a pension, and that I was going to try to buy the building I was in.”

This chapter of Corvette Specialities may be done, “but we’ll all keep dabbling” in the business of cars, noted Glenn, who’ll turn 67 in July.

“I’m done here, but I’ll still keep working on cars,” he said. “I’m taking Bruce’s car home to my place, and I’ve got to finish building a windshield frame from scratch.”

That car is an ultra-rare 1953 Corvette that the brothers are currently refurbishing.

Bruce Iggulden with his ultra-rare 1953 Corvette he’s refurbishing. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

“It’s the first year they made a Corvette, and this is the 260th car off the assembly line,” he explained. “This is the only one in existence.”

Bruce has owned the special car for 50 years — “too long,” he said. “It’s taken us that long to get it done, and I spent 50 years documenting the car, proving what car it was. If it wasn’t for that car, there wouldn’t be a Corvette today — that’s what Corvette aficionados say.

“I’ve had that ‘53 as long as I’ve had the business,” Bruce added. “Watch that car when it goes across the block at Barrett-Jackson in two or three years, it will quite likely break a world record for price.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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