One of the things AaronZ51 learned while he was in the Marine Corps is to adapt and improvise.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that this disabled veteran didn’t let being wheelchair bound keep him from enjoying a new Corvette Z06 that he recently purchased from our friend, Rick “Corvette” Conti in Ohio.
And, before we go any further, a big thank you for your service goes out from CorvetteBlogger to AaronZ51.
And another thank you for helping to inspire all of your fellow Corvette owners never to give up, no matter what life throws in their way.
In a post on the Corvette Forum, AaronZ51 explains that he had his Velocity Yellow Corvette shipped to San Diego to get Guido Simplex hand controls installed. If you look at the photos, you’ll see there is an extra ring on the steering wheel – squeeze it for acceleration so you can drive with both hands on the wheel. The brake is just above his right knee, and AaronZ51 says overall the system is “light years ahead” of other hand control systems he’s used.
After picking up his newly modified Z06, AaronZ51 (maybe he needs to change that name on Corvette Forum to AaronZ06!) took his new ride on an 1,800-mile journey in five days and said afterwards that he is “thoroughly enamored” with the car!
He spent one day with his newly minted Jarhead son at Twentynine Palms Marine Base, then met up with another friend and his 2016 white Z06 for an afternoon of fun in Sacramento before getting his 500-mile oil change done at Able Chevrolet in Rio Vista.
From there, he enjoyed a cruise up the California coast through the Redwood forest and tried out the PDR on a great twisty road through forests and canyons – “a beautiful scenic drive I’d highly recommend to anyone in the area,” he said.
AaronZ51’s story has already inspired many of his fellow Corvette Forum members, including RedLS6, who says: “WOW! I didn’t realize that hand controls have come so far. That is incredible, and is a very nice setup. Back about thirty years ago when I was a teenager, my stepdad had several cars and a van, all of which were equipped with hand controls. He installed hand controls for a living. One of his cars was a ’65 Vette. I learned to drive with the controls, which consisted of a single steel lever just under the steering wheel, near the right knee, which connected to both the gas pedal and the brake pedal. ‘Gas’ was push the lever down toward the ground, and ‘brake’ was push toward the dash. It was a simple mechanical setup with some slack and play in the system…..not precision at all, but it worked. Your left hand could steer, but your right hand had to be off the wheel and on the controls.”
Another Forum member, Thomasmoto, says he can’t wait to share the news about AaronZ51 and his modified Z06 with a friend who is in a chair and has dreamed for several years of having a performance car he can drive by himself.
Perhaps 12vette summed it up best when he wrote: “Your attitude toward life is why good things happen to good people.”
We at CorvetteBlogger certainly hope AaronZ51 enjoys many more miles of fun in his beautiful new Z06!