It all started when I was 13. I was riding my bike home from a friend’s house and as I turned onto my street, there it was, a beautiful brand new 1963 split window coupe driving down my street! I was bitten with the “corvette bug” right then but it would take almost a lifetime before I was able to fulfill my wishes. I never did see that vette again but its memory will stay with me forever.
Fast forward through numerous cars including a 1957 Chevrolet Belair 283 Sedan, 2 Formula Firebirds, a Datsun 260Z, several other “family” cars a wife and three kids, paying for 6 college degrees for said kids, and then a retirement, I finally did it.
After I retired in 2007, I started looking for “my” vette. I was seriously looking to buy a C2 but old age (which means my back hurts when I bend over a fender) and common sense dictated that I look for a new C6. My wife, who thinks that cars are only for getting back and forth to destinations, was not very interested in me purchasing a corvette.
I was enjoying the bliss of retirement for about 3 months when the phone call happened. I got a call from my previous employer offering a contract job for 2-3 days a week for 3 months. It was an offer that my wife couldn’t refuse! I wasn’t all that interested in going back to work but my wife wanted me out of the house. I was getting under foot and cramping her style. The 3 months turned into 6 years and counting but the deal was made. I go back to work and I could buy the corvette that I wanted.
It was the spring of 2008 and the “Wil Cooksey” Limited Edition 427 Z06 corvette was just coming out. The crystal red metallic color was beautiful and so was the 427 engine! I was hooked but there wasn’t very many available, only 427 for the whole United States. I saw that Kerbeck’s was advertising one but we were going on vacation for two weeks. I thought that surely the car would be sold before we got back. Every day I thought about that vette until we got back.
The next day I drove down to Atlantic City. I didn’t even make it into the showroom. There it was, sitting in the lot waiting for me to buy it. A salesman came out and asked if he could help me. I told him I want the Limited Edition vette right there. Then the anchor dropped. He said that it just sold the day before. The picture of my dejected face at the moment would have been priceless but he continued that they had another one in the showroom. OMG!
After a short negotiation a down payment was made. Three days later with check in one hand and wife in the other, we were in Atlantic City again. While I was taking care of the paperwork, my wife was walking around the showroom floor. The only comment she had for me when she returned from her stroll was, “Did you buy the most expensive car on the lot?” I don’t know or care to know the answer but she was probably right. I only knew that I got the car of my dreams. I told her that I don’t want to be buried in the car but I’m never going to sell it.
Now, 6 years later, I am still very much enjoying “my” vette. I joined the Classic Corvette Club, gone to numerous car shows and love talking about corvettes with the many new friends I’ve made.
Whoever said retirement life is bliss was right!