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The Lifestyle

41 Years Ago Today A Young Man Buys A 1966 Corvette…

by Keith Cornett on June 29, 2007

The date was June 29, 1966 and that young man was my father. Little did he know that his actions, 41 years ago today, would set into motion a chain of events that would forever change the life of his yet unborn son. Think I’m being dramatic? Read on…

Phillip Cornett was working for Ethicon, a division of Johnson and Johnson. That year, J&J awarded the top salesman from each of their divisions a 1966 Ford Mustang. My father won the Mustang, but being a Chevy man he said “What would I do with an old Ford?” The day he picked up the Mustang, he drove it Rohrer Chevrolet in Camden, New Jersey and traded it in for a 1966 Corvette.

1966 Corvette Sales InvoiceThe 1966 Corvette he purchased was the base model, a 327 cubic inch 300 horsepower engine coupled to a 4-speed transmission. It was a convertible, painted Tuxedo Black with Silver interior. The only options including the 4-speed were positraction, an AM/FM radio and whitewall tires. Total cost for the Corvette was $4,639.15. Phillip received $2,439.15 for the Mustang and agreed to make 36 payments of $70.28 per month to cover the difference. With Tags, Title and interest on the GMAC loan, his out-of-pocket cost was $2,530.08

My mother, who was dating Phillip at the time, used to refer to the Corvette “Phillip’s Last Fling”. They traveled up and down the east coast in that Corvette, visiting family and friends on Chesapeake Bay or cruising through the mountains to eastern Kentucky for family reunions.

Phillip and Carole got married the following year, and I came along a year after that.

I grew up in that car, going on drives with my dad, to car shows at the town square, or on parts runs to the local speed shop. The file on the Corvette grew as he rebuilt the engine in the mid seventies. It’s funny now that I’m involved in the same hobby to see who he was dealing with back then. I have receipts from all kinds of parts companies including a couple from “T Michaelis Corvette Supplies Inc”, which we know today as ProTeam.

My father passed away in 1982 at the age of 44. The Corvette sat in a barn in Indiana for eleven years. We would joke with my mother that she was the “Widow” with an old Corvette in the barn. Many tried to buy it but none succeeded. Just prior to Thanksgiving in 1993 she said “Come get it if you want it”. I don’t remember what triggered that conversation, but I do know that my wife and I flew to Chicago from Tampa that following weekend, picking it up before she could change her mind. We made the trip back to Tampa by towing the Corvette on a u-haul car hauler with a pickup truck borrowed from a friend.

Two years later I was doing what I had set out to do in college, selling advertising for a major market television station. But I came to hate that job and frankly it hated me, so in the fall of 1995 we went our separate ways. Filling my free time by surfing the web and teaching myself HTML, I built my first website, The Route 66 Corvette page which was of course dedicated to my 1966 Corvette.

My second website was built for a guy in Colorado who wanted to help people buy and sell Corvettes through a dedicated classified ads website. It was February 1996 and that site was www.VetteFinders.com. Four years later I bought out the owner and as of today, over 12,000 Corvettes have been bought and sold through the website. Other sites came later, www.CorvetteImages.com in 2003 and then www.CorvetteBlogger.com, the first dedicated Corvette blog was launched the summer in 2005.

Someday my son Phillip will know what it’s like to be behind the wheel of this car, shifting quickly though the 4-speed while the wind blows through the open cockpit and the exhaust roars. Perhaps he will think of me the same way I think about my father, riding shotgun silently beside me like Private Malone.

But that’s the future.

Today I sit at the computer in my home while my kids play close by. The phone will ring and I will answer a question from someone wanting to buy or sell a Corvette. And this story that I posted on my blog will be read by a couple thousand people.

All because a young man bought a 1966 Corvette Convertible 41 years ago today…

Thanks, Dad.


Related:
A Corvette Thanksgiving

 

Today is National Drive Your Corvette To Work Day and so I thought I would do just that. Despite the fact that I work in a home office, I was able to get the Corvette out on my weekly trip to our server hosting center to change out my backup tapes. As I mentioned in my earlier post today, this is also the 41st anniversary of my father buying the Corvette, so it was a nice way to celebrate that milestone as well.

Even if you didn’t or couldn’t drive your Corvette to work today, just get it out soon and enjoy yourself. These cars were meant to be driven!
Source:
Mid America Motorworks Related:
June 29th is Drive Your Corvette To Work Day Technorati Tags:
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Colin Powell’s Passion for Corvettes and Speed

by Keith Cornett on June 25, 2007

Colin Powell and the 2005 Indianapolis Pace CarYou know you’re still a public figure despite a three year retirement from public service when word of your shopping for a new Corvette makes “Washington Whispers“, a political rumors column at US News and World Report. That’s what happened this week with former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell presently owns a red 2005 Corvette but is looking to upgrade to the new 436 horsepower 2008 Corvette. According to the column, Colin Powell said this about Corvettes:

“You know they have this Z06 that’s 500 horsepower,” he says with awe. “They loaned me a Z06 for three days to see if I liked it,” he tells us. “I loved it, but I would be in jail by the end of the week because that thing was going 90 mph in second gear, and I didn’t know how I was going to use the other four gears.” Afterward, he made this mental note: “Powell, you are 70 years old. Stick to 400 horsepower. You don’t need 500.”
If shopping for a Corvette makes this much news, imagine when the retired General actually takes delivery. Perhaps he would consider an R8C delivery at the Corvette Museum?
Source:
US News & World Reports
Indy500.com Related:
Indianapolis 500: Corvette Pace Car Photoshoot Technorati Tags:
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The Ten Commandments of Corvette Ownership

by Keith Cornett on June 24, 2007

The Vatican’s release of a 10 Commandments on Driving has sure started a lot of conversations on the auto blogs and forums. The Church is hoping the list will remind drivers to be charitable to others and lessen the occurrences of Road Rage. Interestingly, the most common response I’ve seen to the list is that the Church only needed one commandment: “Move over when a faster car approaches you from behind”. But my favorite response has been the posting of The Ten Commandments of Corvette ownership by “Pewter Dream” on the Corvette Forum. They are:

  1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Corvette.
  2. Thou shalt not worship any other car besides Corvette. For there is but one automotive God.
  3. Thou shalt not (tell) kill (stories).
  4. Thou shalt not adulterate your Corvette with ricer wings and flares.
  5. Thou shall honor all of the mothers and fathers in the history of the Corvette.
  6. Thou shalt not give false testimony…at your speeding ticket hearing or about your Corvette’s horsepower or 1/4 mile times.
  7. Thou shalt not misuse the name of Corvette.
  8. Thou shall remember the day your Corvette came into your life and keep it holy.
  9. Thou shalt not steal a glance at that shiny Corvette next to you at the car show and wonder if he is a Rejex, Adams or Zaino fanatic, and then go home and start another “which wax is best?” thread.
  10. Thou shalt not make for yourself a shrine to your Corvette.
Do you have a Corvette Commandment that should be on this list?
Source:
CorvetteForum.com
KCBD.com Related:
What Would Jesus Drive Technorati Tags:
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SEMA Corvette Super Coupe Concept

by Keith Cornett on June 24, 2007

The V7 Super CoupeLos Jalops got us a pic of American Super Car’s Corvette Super Coupe Concept that is being built for the SEMA show in Las Vegas later this year. The concept, officially called the V7 Super Coupe will be powered by a Chevy LS motor with twin-turbos that should bring up the horsepower output to 1,000. Smoking!


Source:
Jalopnik.com

Related:
SEMA’s Outrageous C6 Corvette

 

The sponsoring dealer of my Corvette Club (Tampa Bay Vettes) received their allocation of the 2007 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car this week and offered club members a preview of the limited edition convertible Friday Afternoon. Ferman Chevrolet is offering the Corvette on a first come – first serve basis. MSRP is listed at $67,420 plus the $825 delivery charge. The replica Pace Car is everything I thought it would be. The graphics are well done but not overpowering like the case in some previous years (remember 1998 anyone?). I especially liked the embroidered logos on the seats, the matching fuel rail covers and of course the “winged tire” Indianapolis 500 badge on the quarter panel. Someone told me when I was taking photos that I should just download them off the internet, because they would be better. I laughed and said “Yes, but these are mine!” So while this is old news, photos and all, the experience of seeing the car up close and personal makes it all new again. Car people would understand that.

2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
So after the preview and some free pizza, the ride home turned out to be an event all unto itself. As it was a club event, I wore my uniform, the 1966 Corvette Convertible pictured below. And while the ride home normally takes about 25 minutes, I got caught in the middle of Florida afternoon rain shower. This is only the second time since 1993 that I’ve been caught in the rain and the first time since having the car painted. Needless to say, the cockpit leaked horrendously so I pulled under the Crosstown overpass until the worst pass. The joke about Florida is true…if you don’t like the weather, just wait 20 minutes. Soon, the heavy rain slowed to light sprinkles and I was able to finish my drive home.
1966 Corvette Convertible 1966 Corvette Convertible 1966 Corvette Convertible

Source:
FermanChevy.com Related:
2007 Corvette Pace Car Allocation Info
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500 Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans: Corvette Racing and the National Anthem

by Keith Cornett on June 15, 2007

Paul Reed Smith Guitars has been a sponsor of Corvette Racing for the past three years. So it’s no surprise that PRS axe-wielding crew member Mike West would try to get some “air-time” for their sponsor at the Le Mans Garage. And what a better way to do so than a rendition of the USA’s National Anthem. In France. Right next to Aston Martin’s Garage.


Source:
SPEEDtv.com Related:
LeMans: Podcasts From Corvette Racing Team Members
Le Mans Starting Grid Set: Corvette’s 3rd and 5th
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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A Very Busy Week for Corvette Fans

by Keith Cornett on June 11, 2007

This week in June is unique as there are two major events that are going on that will appeal to different parts of the Corvette Enthusiast spectrum. The Bloomington Gold Corvette Show kicks of on June 14th and runs through the 17th at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois. Judging for the Survivor class begins at 1:00pm. On Friday, the show will be in full swing with Gold and Benchmark judging underway and of course our favorite event, the Gold Auction begins at 3:00pm. We will have our usual preview of significant or unique Corvettes that we feel are that will be the ones to watch as the week progresses. To follow the events online, visit the Bloomington Gold website. The second major event we are following this week is Corvette Racings defense of their 24 hours of LeMans crown. As you know, the first half of the ALMS season hasn’t been all that exciting due to the lack of a competitor in the GT1 class. But all that changes in France as 15 cars are entered in the GT1 class. The team has one five LeMans championships in the last six years and this week the team may be facing their greatest challenge. Qualifying for the 24 Hours of LeMans is Wednesday and Thursday. The Race kicks off for us in the United States on Saturday morning. As always, we will have updates following the progress of Team Corvette throughout the week. I’d like to also thank Richard Prince of Richard Prince Photography for supplying us with several new photographs that will serve as our header this week. You can see more of Richard’s work at www.rprincephoto.com.
Source:
Bloomington Gold
CorvetteRacing.com
www.rprincephoto.com Related:
LeMans Preview: Corvette Racing Fastest In GT1 Pre-Qualifying Technorati Tags:
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June 29th is Drive Your Corvette To Work Day

by Keith Cornett on June 10, 2007

Friday, June 29th, is the date of the 7th Annual Drive Your Corvette To Work Day, sponsored by Mid America Motorworks. In honor of Drive Your Corvette To Work Day, enthusiasts across the United States make “America’s Sports Car” their commuter car for the day. Every year, the Friday closest to June 30, Corvettes official birthday, is chosen to observe Drive Your Corvette To Work Day. Mid America Motorworks promotes Drive Your Corvette To Work Day among Corvette owners and clubs. The goal is to have as many Corvette owners as possible drive their car to work that day. Launched in 2001, Mid America Motorworks’ Drive Your Corvette To Work Day is an annual event celebrated by thousands of Corvette owners.

“We understand why many owners consider their Corvette to be a special car and only drive it occasionally,” said Mike Yager, founder and “Chief Cheerleader” of Mid America Motorworks, the world’s leading supplier of Corvette parts and accessories. “But we think driving your Corvette to work, at least one day a year, is an excellent way to demonstrate just how popular Corvettes are. And it is a chance for Corvette owners to meet new Corvette owners.”
Those of us who work in home offices face a special challenge in celebration Drive Your Corvette To Work Day. Do we simply back out of the garage and then pull back in? Drive to one of the launching points and then turn around and drive home? I haven’t quite worked out the logistics of how to celebrate DYCTWD. But for those of you that do, make your plans now. Many larger clubs set up a launching point for members to leave from one central location so if you are in a club, make that inquiry now.
Source:
Mid America Motorworks Related
Corvette’s Mike Yager Named To Top 50 Car Collector List Technorati Tags:
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Shut Up And Drive: My Saturday Corvette Cruise

by Keith Cornett on June 9, 2007

I just haven’t been able to get my 1966 Corvette Roadster out as often as I’d like to lately. Work and family commitments generally limit me to the weekends anyways and the last few weekends have really been busy. But earlier this week, a post over at CorvetteConti.com made sure I got my car on the road this weekend. Rick was writing about the latest batch of Blue Devil/SS Corvette photos that surfaced via Popular Mechanics showing a Velocity Yellow mule when he wrote the following “Not sure who surfs the net more, me or CorvetteBlogger.com” Jokingly, I commented “Come to think about it, I am looking a bit pale.” But that statement made me realize I needed to get out this weekend. My late Saturday afternoon drive took me down one of my favorite drives when pressed for time: Tampa’s Bayshore Blvd to the Marina at Davis Islands. Just a quick trip actually, less than half an hour, but time well spent. I took the following photo with my camera phone.

1966 Corvette on Davis Islands
For those of you that haven’t been able to get out with their vettes lately, I say a quick Corvette cruise is better than no cruise at all.
Related:
Yellow Devil/SS Corvette Spy Photos Technorati Tags:
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