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Fall - 2003 by Dan Adovasio

What a summer! I hope all of you have enjoyed your C5 summer. I know I have.
It’s been one fabulous C5 event after another. Check out “I FINALLY DID  IT…MY FIRST CORVETTE CARAVAN!” article on page 11. Everyone knows my expectations for the Registry have been far surpassed  because of its outstanding members and the 50+ events/races that  Chevrolet has helped us to enjoy over the past seven years. There’s not  a day goes by at the Registry office when we do not receive a phone  call or email about the future of the C5-C6 Registry. Yes, the era of the C5 Corvette is winding down. Since April’s Birthday Bash, I have been  on the stump at all our events preaching the word regarding the  Registry’s future. The Registry has evolved from being about Corvettes  into being about friendships and relationships. It’s the people who  make the Registry what it is, and it’s the Corvette that gives us the reason for being together and developing those relationships. As  members have told me, it would be disappointing to see the C5 Registry  fade away over time simply because a new generation of Corvette  emerges. Because of the support of all our members who have adamantly  encouraged us to continue, our decision is to continue the C5 Registry and start a C6 Registry (
www.c6registry.com) combining all of our owners and those to come into one organization called The Corvette  Registry. Our site will be divided into separate technical areas about  each generation, but our events will be focused on C5 and C6 members.  Don’t worry net/bulletin board members, your private areas will become The Corvette Registry Net and The Corvette Registry Bulletin Board. My vision is to keep us all together.

It would be difficult for me to lose any of the wonderful friends I have made simply because we don’t drive the same generation Corvette.

Please understand this is still a work in progress and all the details  are not finalized. I see The Corvette Registry as an evolving  organization that lives for today and anticipates the excitement that  tomorrow brings. I’m always thinking about different ideas to make the  Registry the most fun organization for Corvette owners on the planet.  My overriding theme will never change, which is enjoying our Corvettes and our fellow members. Did I mention it’s been a fun summer?? Corvette is 50 years old! What  an accomplishment for an automobile manufacturer to have a model that  lasts 50 years and is still true to its roots, a two- seat plastic  sports car. Even the penny-pinching bookkeepers, the New York pin  stripe ad men, and the ego “I want to put my brand on everything” executives all combined could not destroy the Corvette.

Over the last 50 years we’ve witnessed many models disappearing and then  reappearing and disappearing again…with no real direction and/or ties to its beginning. Can anyone say Thunderbird? I’ve seen manufacturers’ automobiles transformed from sports cars to four-door sedans to even station wagons, but with the same name. But not Corvette. It stayed  true to its heritage for over 50 years.

My Say on this is that Corvette has been around for so long because it has a spirit of its own, an infectious spirit. When you first see a Corvette, it moves you for years to come. You dream about driving and enjoying the ownership of a Corvette. The spirit touched me first in high school. The school rich kid had his daddy buy him a new blue four-speed ’65 Corvette Convertible. What a beauty! That infectious spirit stayed with me for 32 years until I bought my first Corvette, a Torch Red six-speed 1997 C5-Z51 Coupe.

I know that this spirit has infected many of our members over their lifetime. I believe that the spirit also infected the car world over the last 50 years, and that’s what has kept Corvette true to its beginnings as the American sports car. This year’s 2004 model begins the 51st year of the greatest sports car ever built. Our prayer is that GM and the Corvette enthusiasts continue as good keepers of the spirit and keep Corvette true to its roots for the next generations to enjoy. Corvette is truly the great American icon. Isn’t life great!!!

C5Ya! - Dan

Jake's Power Chat Fall 2003

Susanne and I sit in Bob Patrella’s [C5R# Y3932]
1953 Corvette,  produced just after Susanne
was born.

Members, over the past seven years I have occupied page three of the C5 Registry Newsletter covering almost every new C5 bolt-on performance upgrade from our corporate members, enhancing your knowledge of Corvette’s yearly improvements and keeping you posted on C5 tuner’s performance packages. Next issue “I’ll be back” to the issues related above, but…This time I want to be like Dan… and have My Say!

We’re here in Nashville for the 50th Anniversary party of Corvette with my beautiful wife of 24 years, Susanne, reflecting on what Corvette has meant to us since we met and began dating in 1978. Susanne and I found ourselves at the 50th Anniversary of Corvette in Nashville visiting the display which showed each year of Corvette and information about them. So here we are standing in front of a 1978 25th Anniversary (two-tone silver) Corvette, looking at each other and in near unison said, “Now there’s some memories!”

Being around Registry members since 1997, I know everyone has a Corvette story to tell and I know I’ll be in trouble for telling this one, but…when Susanne and I were dating, I purchased my first brand new 1978 Corvette with the new bubbled rear window (which reminded me of the ‘64s) and I fell in love. You’ll remember, at the time, it was a huge change from the previous ‘77s. As we all know, ’78 was also the first year Corvette had an Indy Pace Car that most dealers (including mine in Miami, Florida) sold for well over window sticker. It was soon to be Susanne’s 25th birthday and her mother and I conspired to throw a huge surprise party. The deal was she thought her parents and I were taking her out to an extremely fancy dinner club in Miami, which required reservations several weeks in advance. What she didn’t know was that the party was at her parent’s home, so I had to put my mind in gear and plot a way to have her leave their home for 45 minutes. As you would expect, Susanne was getting ready to go out to dinner and her mother and I had arranged for 80 of her closest friends to rush in and decorate for a fantastic surprise party!

So now for the scheme. I told her that we were going to drive my new Corvette to dinner and her parents could follow in their car. So I drove to the mall about a mile from her home and then pulled the distributor wire so it would only turn over and not start. I called her house from the mall (no cell phones in those days) and in the middle of her getting ready to go out to dinner she has to now come pick me up, which she does very graciously. She arrives at the mall and with a woman’s practicality was saying, just ride home with me and we’ll come back and have your Corvette towed later. But I continued to explain that I just wanted to keep trying to get it started and of course I kept insisting that it meant so much to me that we needed to drive my Corvette to the club. So I continued fiddling while Susanne remained calm, despite knowing that the reservation time was slipping away. Then suddenly my ’78 fired to life (imagine that!) and then we drove back to her parent’s home. Thanks to her friends, she walked in to one of the greatest surprises and evenings of her life! A year later we were married and honeymooned in “our” ’78 Corvette. Years later we went on to have an ‘88 red Corvette Convertible, then moved on to a ’92 LT1 Corvette Coupe, which lead to a ’95 Indy Pace Convertible.

It’s a perfect Friday in Nashville. The weather is cool for a June day, and the memories just kept coming as Susanne and I walked along the years of Corvettes. While looking at the ’97 torch red C5, of course it was the memory of the Registry’s beginning. I’ve known Dan since 1988 when he became an insurance agent in my district, and from day one he has always spoken passionately about owning a Corvette some day. It wasn’t until May 1997 that his dream became a reality. And from that passion came the Official C5 Registry beginning on Labor Day 1997 at the National Corvette Museum.

The dominant memory of the Registry’s beginning will always be John Cafaro, Chief Designer of the C5, coming over to our “Hill” to see his creation. In the Corvette world, this bigger than life creator spent nearly an hour talking to all 21 charter members of the newly formed C5 Registry, signing their C5s and sharing many stories of its creation. John Cafaro will always be our hero for designing a timeless style and a thoroughbred that will last an eternity.

Two steps forward… and a ’98 Indy Convertible brought forth the memory of Dave Hill at the first C5 Registry Birthday Bash (March ’98) introducing active handling to everyone present with a hands-on demonstration out at Beach Bend Race Way. Chief Engineer, Dave Hill became one of the greatest supporters of the Registry we have ever had, speaking at our dinners and assisting us in any way possible with our events. His support certainly won the hearts of our member’s, who graciously donated over $7,000 for a life cast of Dave, which stands in the National Corvette Museum today as a symbol of our appreciation for all he has done. I’ve known Dave and his wonderful wife, Karen, since the beginning of the Registry and I cannot thank him enough for all his encouragement and dedication for the C5 and the Registry. Paces away, the ’99 C5 brought the excitement of the Corvette being turned into the C5-R Race version to do battle with those “Stinkin’ Vipers”. Jim Campbell, Corvette’s Brand Team Manager, was the driving force in organizing a way for the C5 Registry to set up tents and viewing areas for our members to go and watch the newly formed C5-R Team do battle all over the USA and Europe. Jim, a big C5 thanks…you will always be our hero. While at the races, Gary Claudio, C5-R’s Team Coach, was always so cordial in assisting the Registry to feel right at home by having our famous C5-R drivers visit our tent or come to a Registry dinner prior to the races to autograph C5s and other Corvette memorabilia for our members.Y2000, while an exciting year for C5s, the highlight had to be the C5-R in its new color scheme traveling across the pond to France’s famed 24 Hour of LeMans… and so did 40 C5 Registry members and their C5s. Their jubilation still rings in my ears today recalling the once in a life time opportunity to have their C5 in a parade going through the streets of LeMans with 250,000+ Europeans celebrating and pointing at their C5s. If that wasn’t enough, the next day they were all treated to an early morning driver’s meeting from the LeMans track representative who said, “pleeze, don’ hit ze wall” as their only instructions! This was followed by a 20 minute run on the famed 24 Hour of LeMans race circuit. What an experience! Later that year Rick Baldick, Corvette’s newest brand manager, took over from Jim Campbell and continued to drive Corvette in a victorious way. Rick’s leadership and steadfast direction has been so evident since that day by his continued involvement in helping the Registry be very active at Corvette venues and C5-R races around the country.

And there it was, a millennium yellow (modified torch red interior) Z06 to top off 2001…what more can you say! All the LS6 power one could want…stuffed into a fantastic C5 package. Dave Hill’s toy represented a whole new way to just go racing! Whether your fancy was auto crossing, drag racing or a weekend track, you were in the right equipment. And when you were done cleaning up the competition, you just turn the AC on and head home. The highlight of the year for me was taking my turn to travel to LeMans with another 40 C5 Registry members and experience first-hand all the stories that the previous year’s members had been sharing with me, with a slightly different ending. This year the C5-Rs won their class at LeMans. What a trip! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, 2002 arrives with an Electron Blue Z06 on steroids.

They say it’s only an additional 20 horses, but I don’t know anyone who buys that. This year the Registry traveled to Monterey for our first California event and our 3rd Birthday Bash West. We were right in the middle of the Monterey historic races, Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, NCRS National Convention at Monterey, all topped off with the Monterey Corvette Club’s Poker Run through the beautiful Monterey peninsula. What a beautiful place! Between the graciousness of the Monterey Corvette Club and the fabulous enthusiasm of our west coast C5 Registry members, this might have been the perfect Corvette event. My memory lane walk ends with Susanne and I admiring a 2003 50th Anniversary Red Convertible knowing that every one of the 20,000+ Corvette enthusiasts around us had just relived their Corvette memories. Although certainly unlike ours, it became clear that this event is not the end of a time of reminiscing, but the beginning of a new future led by the 51st year of the greatest sports car ever built! John, Dave, Jim, Gary, Rick, Susanne… Thanks for the memories…

A 50th Moment —
Karen Hill and Susanne get to spend some catch-up time together while husbands Dave and Jake look on.

Rick Baldick, Brand Team Manager for Corvette (L), and Wil Cooksey, Corvette Plant Manager (R) shared with Susanne how much fun they have both had being involved in various C5 Registry events all over the country.

C5Ya! - Jake

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