When buying a used car, finding out its true history can be difficult. At best, you might have the Carfax records and an inkling as to how many previous owners it had. For one owner of a used Corvette, however, a ghost decal would come to suggest the car's potential celebrity past.
After buying a used Corvette in June, Reddit user R3dF41c0n posted online to ask for help. The car in question was a Chevrolet Corvette of the C7 generation. One day after purchase, the rear window revealed the ghostly remains of a large graphic decal, reading "Rich Piana 5%."
For those unfamiliar with the name, Rich Piana was a bodybuilder who parlayed his competitive success into a career as a motivational speaker. Piana won multiple contests as a bodybuilder, clocked up almost 1 million followers on Instagram, and often spoke of "the 5%" of people who he considered motivated enough to pursue and reach their goals. This ethos became the basis of Piana's "5% Nutrition" brand of workout supplements, which are still on sale today.
Piana had a taste for expensive cars, once posting to his successful YouTube channel about crashing his Bentley. As a bodybuilder, Piana was open about his use of steroids, which he considered mandatory to succeed in competition. However, he advised those on the fence to avoid using the drugs, due to the multitude of negative side effects. Piana passed away in 2017 after a suspected heart attack and was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in California.
The decal of the 5% Nutrition brand logo was the one formerly emblazoned on the back of the Corvette. That had Redditors suggesting the Corvette may have once belonged to the bodybuilder. Being a 2016 model, the car wouldn't have been in Piana's ownership for long if it was indeed his.
It's worth noting that a decal on the back alone doesn't confirm that the car belonged to Piana himself. It may have been a company promotional vehicle, or someone else may have had the graphic applied to their own car.
However, the owner noted also having to remove fake Z51 badges from the car, with other users sharing anecdotal notes that Piana once had a Corvette that was duly equipped. Piana also drove other black cars emblazoned with his company's logo, which lends support to the idea that this Corvette may have belonged to him.
Other cars that once belonged to Piana are still out there in the wild. One Twitter user posted a photo of Piana's Maserati, which has reportedly remained undercover at a Vegas condo complex for some time. The car bears a "RIPIANA" license plate, registered in the state of Florida. Piana was a fan of European cars, from the Bentley he was often seen in to a heavily customized BMW.
The residue of an old decal is one weird way to find out your car may have had a storied history. The fact that it didn't become obvious in this case until well after purchase is strange, but not unheard of. If something similar happens to you, you'd be best advised to use rubbing alcohol or any kind of "goo remover" to wipe the glass clean.
Got a tip? Let the author know: firstname.lastname@example.org