2005 has flown by and 2006 has arrived
with all kinds of wondrous Corvette events on the calendar.
This past year was very rough for many of the Corvette Community.
Weather has caused some horrendous problems no matter which part of the
country you live. The Gulf area is trying to recover from the
hurricanes, and flooding has taken its’ toll from the Pacific to the
Atlantic. Right now Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas are suffering from a
drought, and unseasonably hot weather that has spawned devastating
fires. Way Out West flooding and mudslides began 2005 and have now also
begun 2006. We must remember that we cannot control nature, but we can
do our best to help our friends. When we were in harms way, friends
helped us pack up our treasures and cars and took them to their home for
safekeeping. We must all try to be there for our friends and families.
Our Corvette Community is small and close knit, but it is also widely
dispersed, we cover the globe, yet we are all family.
2005 was also a fabulous year for the Corvette Community with the
introduction of 2006 C6 Automatic Paddle Shifter and the incomparable
2006 C6 Z06. Corvette Racing made all of us proud with their outstanding
2005 season. There were Corvette events both organized and impromptu
that gave us a great choice of activities in which to participate,
including a tour of Jay Leno’s magnificent garage - more about the
The Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca were held
Oct 14-16. Corvette Racing finished 1 and 2 in the GT1 class clinching
the GT1 Championship. The No. 4 C6-R driven by Oliver Gavin and Olivier
Beretta came in first, followed by the No. 3 C6-R of Ron Fellows and
Johnny O’Connell. Team Gavin and Beretta took the title from their
teammates by a narrow 19 point margin (197-177 points). This was an
exciting 4 hour race with the last part being run at night. The
Corvettes had to battle a pair of Aston Martin’s, a Saleen and a
Maserati to win the race. It was not a bad year as Corvette won the GT1
Manufacturer’s Championship, the Driver’s Championship, the Team
Championship, and the Pit Crew Championship.
The Corvette Corral was hosted by Chevrolet, Co-hosted by the National
Corvette Museum (NCM) and the Western States Corvette Council (WSCC).
The Facilitator for the weekend event was the International Motor Sports
Association (IMSA). We must really thank these sponsors and hosts for
providing all of the Corvette fans a great weekend of racing, fun, and
On Friday afternoon there was a Corvette-only Parade Lap that took us
around the track. Laguna Seca is an amazing track with elevation changes
including the famous “Cork Screw”. It was exciting to drive on the same
track that the Professionals race on; it gives us a brand new respect
for their talents.
The National Corvette Museum, WSCC and Courtesy Chevrolet of San Jose,
CA hosted the Friday night C6-R Racing Banquet where we were treated to
personal racing accounts as told by the #3 and #4 Corvette race teams.
These guys are so funny and you can really tell that they are committed
to their jobs. Whenever they decide to retire from professional racing,
they can take up new careers as stand up comedians.
David Hill, Corvette Chief Engineer, gave a slide presentation and
information about the new Corvette.
Chevrolet brought a Z06 rolling chassis to the Corvette Corral tent so
that David Hill and Tadge Juechter could explain the workings of this
wondrous vehicle. They also brought a Velocity Yellow C6 Pace Car, and a
Victory Red C6 Z06. Rich Mason brought his SR2 1957 Corvette Race Car
for all to admire. Karen Rafferty was there to answer a myriad of
questions from those waiting for their new C6 or deciding whether or not
to order one.
Carl and Bonnie Corbett [C5R# X2309] brought their brand
new Victory Red C6 Z06, Motorsport West Buzz & Ruth Marston [C5R#
Y4432] brought their brand new Velocity Yellow C6 Z06 and '06
C6 LeMans Blue Convertible with the new 6-Speed automatic paddle shifter
for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
In November, the National Corvette Museum held a never-to-be-forgotten
California event. The object was to raise money for the NCM building
program and to give members an opportunity to visit special Southern
California garages that most people only read and dream about.
This special tour began at Dick Guldstrand’s shop in Burbank. Many of us
have had the pleasure of hearing Dick’s stories, but few have had the
opportunity to listen to him in his own shop surrounded by Corvettes.
Dick recounted stories of Corvette racing from the very beginnings. He
made us feel as if we were actually there with him during these historic
events. Not always politically correct, but always entertaining, Dick
leaves us wanting to know even more about how Corvette Racing evolved
into our fabulous current Corvettes.
Next we went to Burbank Studios to view the Jay Leno Show. I believe
that everyone knows Jay is a “real” car guy. He made sure we had special
seats and then a group picture with him after the show. The show was
great, but what was BETTER was a trip to Jay’s garage where he keeps his
fabulous collection of cars. Jay believes that cars are to be driven and
chooses a different car from his collection to drive every day. Jay gave
us a personal guided tour and told us a little about many of his cars
and motorcycles. Every car is special to him and he drives every one of
them. We could have spent a lot more time there, but Jay did have to get
back to work and write his monolog for his next show. Thank you, Jay!
The following day we toured the famous So Cal Speed Shop. So Cal was
established in 1946 by Alex Xydias. So Cal is legendary for the many
custom and race cars that helped define the Southern California Car
Culture. There were Land Speed racers, drag racers, show cars and
cruisers. There were cars of every description and in all stages of
build or restoration. So Cal has worked closely with GM for many years
and there were GM Performance trucks and trailers in the yard during our
That afternoon we ventured into Los Angeles and the fabulous Petersen
Automotive Museum. Instead of going directly to view the exhibits, we
were taken to the storage area for cars not currently on display. Dick
Messer, Director of the Petersen Museum, guided us around the cars and
answered questions, but we had complete freedom to wander around to see
what was of particular interest to each of us. There was everything from
one-of-a-kind special interest cars to diplomatic cars, to extremely
limited exotics. Anything that you could imagine as a vehicle was in
that storage area. Sitting off to the side was one of Steve McQueen’s
old motorcycles, looking like it had not been touched since his last
ride. It was obvious each vehicle had its own story to tell.
Auto collector Bruce Meyer, former Chairman of the Petersen Automotive
Museum, invited us to his home to view part of his personal collection.
In this collection is the first Corvette to run LeMans, Clark Gable’s
last car, a 1956 Mercedes 300 Sc Cabriolet, Ferrari’s, street rods,
many other cars and personal memorabilia documenting Southern California
Any single stop during the NCM Southern California Tour would have
thrilled automotive fans, but collectively they were Christmas,
Halloween, 4th of July and the 24 Hours of LeMans all rolled up
together. This was truly an unforgettable adventure. Our Thanks to the
National Corvette Museum for this memorable experience!
December 1, Mike and I picked up our new Machine Silver Metallic Z06 at
the National Corvette Museum. This was a dream come true. There is no
better way to celebrate the acquisition of a wonderful new Corvette than
taking possession at the NCM. We began the day with a very special tour
of the plant. Our Delivery Team Member was Ron Barton. Ron retired from
the Bowling Green plant and was really able to give us a great tour. He
knew nearly everyone working there and let us advance at our own pace.
He was so knowledgeable about the Z06 that it really added to our
pleasure. When we got back to the museum we took a quick tour and then
started the paper work. This was so easy, the Museum makes it
Then we went to our Z06 - WOW!!!!!! it was now ours. Ron took us through
all of the little ins and outs of the Z06, pointing out things and
answering questions. It took a little longer because my cell phone kept
ringing with greetings from well wishers and Paul Eggermann reminding me
to wave at everyone. I felt as if all of our friends were with us at the
Museum. Chaz Cone captured pictures and put up a web page for us:
I really want to thank everyone for sending us the pictures they
captured from the web cams. Our drive home was fun and uneventful. Mike
and I split the driving duties and both came to the conclusion that this
Z06 is WONDERFUL!
THANKS go out from Mike and I to everyone for being a part of our R8C
Upcoming events -
February 4 & 5, 2006 Corvette Track Days, Spring Mtn, Pahrump
March 17-19, 2006, Gamblers Classic, Primm, NV
April 1 & 2, 2006 Corvette Track Days, Spring Mtn, Pahrump Nevada
April 8, 2006 San Simeon Tour www.svcorvettes.com
April 20-23, 2006 C5/C6 Birthday Bash, National Corvette Museum,
Bowling Green, KY
May 21, 2005 Plastic Fantastic, San Diego, CA
June 17-18, 2006 24 Hours of LeMans, France
July 14-16, 2006 ALMS Utah
July 21-23 Big Bear Bash, Big Bear Lake, CA
July 27-30 Vettes on the Rockies www.lgcacorvette.org
Aug 19-20, 2006 Vapor Trails Corvettes, Santa Maria, CA
Oct 4-8 Tombstone Corvettes & Ghost Riders
Oct 20-22, 2006 ALMS Laguna Seca, Monterey CA
Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2006 SEMA Las Vegas NV www.sema.org
November 4-5, 2006 Corvette Track Days, Spring Mtn, Pahrump
If there is an event that you believe others might care about, please
let us know.
Join us for some C5/C6 Fun.
Previous "Way Out West":