McDorman soon realized the store had never sold any Corvettes. He told Chevrolet that he wanted some, and in 1966 the company allocated him a single Corvette.
Chevrolet doubled his allocation to two in 1967. In 1968, he got four.
Dissatisfied, McDorman says he asked how he could get more. Chevrolet told him allocation was on a turn-and-earn basis. It was up to him to figure out how to earn more.
So he bought as many new Corvettes as he could from other dealers, often at sticker, so he could earn more Corvettes.
"In 1976, we delivered 340 new and used Corvettes," he says. "Most dealers are lucky to get 15 to 20 a year."
In 1976, U.S. sales of new Corvettes totaled 41,673. Sales peaked in 1977 at 42,571.
But McDorman didn't just sell Corvettes; he collected them. There, too, he has an exit strategy.
On Nov. 6, he sold 150 classic cars, including 89 Corvettes, at auction for $7 million. It was the third time he has sold off a collection.
He has put his collections to work for a good cause. For 37 years, McDorman has hosted an annual Corvette and classic car show. The shows have raised more than $200,000 for a children's hospital.
His most recent sale included cars once owned by celebrities, including a 1959 Corvette owned by actor Burt Reynolds and a 1994 Corvette owned by race car driver Mario Andretti. McDorman kept "eight or nine" cars, including a 1955 Chevy Nomad Station Wagon and a 1963 split-window Corvette.
McDorman regrets that he didn't try to sell his children on the car business. But he admits that few people feel as passionate about cars and the auto industry as he does.
"I'm as happy today being a Chevrolet dealer as I was the day I signed up," he says. "You can fake your attitude; you can fake your enthusiasm. But you can't fake passion, and I got the passion."