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By Dan Adovasio Email:c5dan@c5registry.com

The Corvette season for me always kicks off with the Birthday Bash!

Another Birthday Bash at the NCM has come and gone!  This 9th Birthday Bash was surely one to remember. It’s amazing that there have already been nine of these fantastic events! I like to call this one the “Changing of the Guard” Birthday Bash.  We had a chance to say goodbye to our good friend David Hill who retired as Chief Corvette Engineer last December and say HELLO to our new friend Chief Corvette Engineer Tom Wallace.  It was grand visiting with Tom and hearing his perspective on Corvette; where it’s going, and his vision of the Corvette product line of the future.  Tom has always been involved with the performance end of General Motors, from his beginning with the Grand National Buick up to his work with the SSR and the SS line of vehicles, such as the 395 HP Trail Blazer SS, the Cobalt SS, and many more.  Tom was the guy responsible for putting an LS-2 into the SSR which finally gave it a great boost based on its power to weight ratio. I’m really partial to SSR’s because I’ve got one parked in my garage! 

Some other significant things were happening at the Birthday Bash besides the changing of the guards.  An exciting moment came when Ben Labaree [C5R# W1097] received his brand new C6 Victory Red Coupe which was purchased with donations from Corvette enthusiasts, Registry members, and suppliers across the country.  Many of you know Ben and his dedication to the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour.  Make sure you read the inspiring article by Russ Caron [C5R# X2678] on page 9 of the spring issue of the Registry Magazine. 

At the auction, when Dan Say's, people buy.

Another significant event at the Birthday Bash was the banquet held Friday night to honor Corvette, the Race Car.  The last few years of C5 and C6 racing have surely put the “American Standard” Corvette Sports Car to its rightful place on the TOP of the mountain as the best race car the world has ever seen.  The Corvette factory team has broken all records in IMSA and Le Mans. They have more wins than anyone else, thus proving what we as enthusiasts already know, that Corvette not only belongs on the world stage, but is the lead actor. 

One of the other Corvette dignitaries in attendance was Gary Claudio.  Many of you remember that Gary Claudio was the Marketing Manager of Corvette Racing.  With an unusual stroke of brilliance, GM brass thought it would be an excellent idea to appoint the Racing Manager as the Corvette Brand Manager… a fabulous idea that has been a long time coming.  We now have, not just a true Corvette guy, but a true Corvette Racing guy running the show at Corvette.  If GM management continues making decisions like this, they may have a problem in a couple of years deciding what to spend their extra billions of profit on.  Gary is a fabulous guy, a good friend, and I know that with him at the helm there will be good things coming out of Corvette Marketing in the near future. 

The Registry booth was busy all weekend. Thanks to Dianne Thurn, Kathy Grace and Cindy Shockley for their outstanding customer service!

I want to thank all the friends who helped me at the C5/C6 Registry table this year at the Birthday Bash.  Check us all out… Dan and his girls.  There’s Dianne Thurn who is surely Walt Thurn’s better half.  Walt, as many of you know, writes many articles for our newsletter, but also for many other Corvette publications including Vette magazine and Corvette Fever.  Along with Dianne there is Cindy Shockley who works on a part-time basis at the Registry office in Merritt Island, Florida.  And last, but certainly not least, is Kathy Grace, not to be confused with Kathy Wilhelm who works at the Registry office and who many of you speak with regularly. 

Kathy Grace is my girlfriend!  I know it’s hard for many of you to believe, but I think I’ve got a chance as long as I keep her out of the eye doctor’s office!  Kathy is not new to Corvettes, having owned three of them in the past, but she was new to the warmth shown to her by the Registry members at the Birthday Bash.  As I always say, the Registry is such a great organization because of its members.  I’m very proud to be a part of this organization.

There were “Lot Lizard” parties in parking lots at night, beer socials in the lobby of many hotels, and lots more impromptu get-togethers.  I wish I had more space to talk about all of the FUN that we had at this year’s Bash, so be sure to read all the articles in this ACTION packed newsletter!  All in all, this Bash had to be one of the best ever!

There are also other great articles in this newsletter and I know you will read it cover to cover.   A lot of people put in a lot of time to make this newsletter something you will all enjoy.  If you have any ideas on how to make YOUR newsletter better, please let me know.  After all, this is primarily written by members for members, so let’s make it into what you want it to be! 

I look forward to seeing all of you at a Corvette Event this Summer!

C5Ya! Dan

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