The Big C brings out the best in some people.
In this case, a double case of the Big C – Cancer and Corvettes – did the trick.
A fellow named Larry ordered a new 1976 Corvette some 44 years ago – a dark red four-speed manual that finally arrived after six months of antagonizing wait because, he says, only automatics were being shipped.
Fast forward to a few months ago, and Larry had decided to order another Corvette, a 2020 mid-engine example, his eyes opened to the fragility of life six years earlier by the loss of his wife to a sudden aneurysm.
At first, Larry was ready to bide his time and join a waiting list for the ultra-hot Stingray, just like thousands of others around the country. Then came the diagnosis of an “aggressive” form of cancer. Suddenly that waiting list seemed like an eternity that he might or might not have.
That’s when Larry eventually reached out to the folks at Hagerty, who quickly determined that they wanted to help him any way they could after hearing his heartwarming story.
Fortunately, Hagerty had just heard from an Atlanta-area businessman named Tony Hull, who put them in contact with Jim Frageau at Blasius Chevrolet-Cadillac in Waterbury, Connecticut, who was able to move Larry to the front of their waiting list after a customer decided to wait on a convertible.
With no reason to be particularly frugal, Larry decided to check off many of the option boxes for his Long Beach Red coupe, including full-length black stripes.
“It would be easier for you guys to list the options he didn’t take!” Hull quipped.
“I knew I wanted the Z51 package – that’s a must-have for me – but I didn’t want to spend too much extra money on the nice-to-haves,” Larry said. “I was saying ‘No…no…no…” to the options. Then I realized there was no reason to hold back.”
Until the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country, Larry planned to fly across the country to Blasius, then take his time driving back home in his Corvette with his girlfriend riding shotgun.
While Larry said he wasn’t afraid to go pick up the car – “What’s it gonna do – kill me?” he joked – the folks at Hagerty didn’t want him to take any chances.
So they made a call to Bob Sellers, COO of Reliable Carriers, who said: “As we learned about the situation, we knew this man needed his car and needed it now. So we made it happen. It’s what we do!”
Thanks to Reliable Carriers, Larry’s new Corvette recently arrived safe and sound, but Hagerty took it a step further, recruiting an enthusiast near his home with a dark red ’76 similar to Larry’s original ‘Vette to show up and surprise him with a trip down Memory Lane.
The infamous Washington rain even held off for the “welcoming ceremony.”
So what does Larry think of his new ride?
“It’s a firecracker,” he says. “Soon as we hit five hundred miles I’ll light the fuse.”
Our best wishes to Larry and his family, and we hope he has many more miles left in the tank.
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