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!


Rob F.



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Lou’s Story

                                                         My Love affair with the Corvette



It all started out in the 40’s and 50’s, when as a young lad growing up in the city in North Jersey, I praised myself that I could name all the cars then driving on the streets.  Back then it was easy, because they all looked different.  My father would take me down to the showrooms of several dealers in late November to see all the new models.  I was hooked.


As I grew up, we moved to the country, here in South Jersey, (It Was Then).  I became an ardent hot rodder, with American Iron and custom cars.  But I always loved the sleek look of those foreign cars, the XK120 Jags, Porches, Austin Healys, MG’s, and of course, the Ferrari’s.  Well, I landed a job at Rolland Willis’s VW dealership on Rt. 130 in Burlington as a mechanic.  He had recently changed over from a Sports car center, so we had all types of these sleek machines coming in to chat and get service.  I was hooked again.

 

After loosing a drag race in my 55 hopped up Ford to a 51 Chevy no less, I decided I had to have a sports car that could out handle these Detroit Irons.  Being a racecar driver himself, Willey, (as I called him) would take me out in his 300SL and teach me to drive.  Showing me how to Trail-Brake in corners, Heel and Toe to downshift, (without feeling the sudden change in RPM’s,), find the right apex and be SMOOOOOTH.


One night on November 8 1956, my father came home and told me that Riker Chevrolet had a neat looking sports car in the showroom.  At that time, I did not know that there was a neat looking American sports car.  I was a foreign car nut by then, even though I had Detroit Iron.  What did I know?  Well, we went down to the Chevy dealer and low and behold, there was this Great Looking 1956 Corvette.  It was Cascade Green, had a 265 ci V8,  2  4 barrel carbs and a 3 speed box.  WOW!  This was the car for me.  Being a car nut too, my father talked me into buying it right then and there.  Ha, ha.  Of course, he made  the down payment.  And being a spoiled only child, I felt it my duty to oblige him.


That began my love affair with the Corvette.  I only had it for about 3 years, but no one could touch me on the back roads of Burlington Township, or the NJTP or the sweeping back roads from Burlington to McGuire AFB. Not even those fancy foreign sports cars.  It had too much power for them, especially after I replaced the 3 speed with a 4 speed in  57.  The only time that I can remember being beaten was when I tried to out run the radio of the NJSP. But that is another story.  I simonized it every month, kept it in dad’s garage, and never got it rained on. Dad drove it sometimes too. The top was rarely up, and in fact, when I sold it, I spent an hour or so just getting it up.         

 

Yea, I finally sold it with only 27,000 miles on it.  Wore out 3 sets of tires, though.  I needed the money to get married, so the car had to go.  Don’t have either one today.  I went back to American Iron.  Had some neat stuff though.  About  60 or so, in fact.  Several custom cars, 2 Firebirds, 3 Trans Ams, and the very last Burt Reynolds Bandit # 199 that was built by Trans Am’s Specialties, that was different than all the other Bandits.


Now, being married to a car nut herself, who has a beautiful 77 Trans Am, I finally bought my second Corvette.  A 1985 Medium Metallic Blue L98 with an automatic trans.  I would like to replace the tranny to a new 6 speed, but being retired, it may take a while.  I had no intentions of buying another car,  BUT,  one day at a car show, I saw this great looking Vette that was for sale.  It was really in great shape. Needs seats though.  After talking it over with my buddies, (Teri, my wife was not with me), I decided to buy the car, if Teri could see it first.  I knew that once she drove it, it would be a done deal.  The previous owner kept good service records and replaced several items, mostly spark plugs every 5 to 7 thousand miles.  He really didn’t know how to tune it properly.  Needless to say, but the next day after driving it home, it wouldn’t start.  Took it to Corvette Paramedics who replaced the starter and gave it a good tune up, set all the sensor voltages to the correct setting, and several other things . It runs very strong, shifts very positively and handles great since I put new Goodyear tires on it.  All said and done, my love affair with the Corvette is once again in, Full Bloom.     


Currently Sept 2006 I had to replace the battery and passenger side window.  While cleaning the carpets, the window suddenly, without warning, of course, just EXPLODED.  Little square glass pebbles all over the place.  Had to vacuum the driveway,  now that’s a first.


With the current price of fuel, I am very pleased that I can get about 25 MPG.  But that of course is on a long run, at 70 plus.   I think my wife Teri, drives a little faster then I do at this stage in my life.  She has the Need For Speed.  She is a very good driver though.  You should have seen her downshift and buzz around corners in the 96 Pontiac Formula we had.  She doesn’t heal & toe like I did, but she can really drive the wheels off of it.   She knows where the apex is.


Needless to say,  I would love to have paddle shifts pui in, like the Formula 1 cars.  But alas, I can dream, Can’t I?


Lou Giordano


My first. 8 Nov. 1956
Once a chick Magnet…………………………Always a Chick Magnet
No, I do not Have this now.