A Series of Fortunate Events

When I think back now, the whole Corvette experience started for me in 1963 (I still have the dealer brochure). Something about those lines, the cool sounds from a high revving motor and a thought to the future when I could get my first set of wheels. Over the years I had to pass on two opportunities for a 1965 and then on a 1978.

I was even more determined not to let another one pass me by when my friend Mike showed up with his gently used 1994 Red Coupe. True friend that he is and knowing my passion for Corvettes, he invited me to go along with him and a few other Corvette owners to Corvettes at Carlisle. The awesome ride from his place in Pennsylvania along the hilly, twisting back-roads brought out all the finest points of his car. The clear blue sky highlighted the small caravan of polished Corvettes as we drove through the streets of the small towns along the way. People sitting in the town square or walking along the sidewalks would point and wave, knowing that we were heading to one of the biggest Corvette events in the country. The weekend there was fantastic with hundreds (thousands?) of Corvettes on display and cruising the streets of Carlisle. On the way back I did not hesitate to say yes when the topic of returning the next year came up.

After waiting patiently for 52 weeks it was time to return. The day before we were set to leave I took my usual lunch time walk. I though it was the heat that afternoon that was getting to me, but when I returned to my desk I became very ill. I was so dizzy I could hardly walk. A coworker called my wife and then drove me home. My wife left work early and immediately took me to the hospital. I did not know what was happening to me but I knew I would probably miss out on the trip to Carlisle. After a few hours in the ER the diagnosis was that I experienced a case of vertigo. Nothing too serious, but I should rest the next day which meant no drive to PA. I called Mike and told him the situation. He was leaving the next morning and I told him I would drive myself out to Carlisle on Friday and meet up with his group then.  The thought of driving there in my Buick instead of a Corvette was a little depressing, but at least I would still get to go.

The next morning I was feeling much better but I knew I needed the day just to rest. My wife went to work and explained to her coworkers what had happened to me. At about 10:00 I was surprised to get a call from the owner of the business where my wife works. He asked how I was feeling and told me that he also had a case of vertigo a few years earlier. He asked if I still planned on going to Carlisle. I told him I was leaving Friday morning and I would meet the others at the fairgrounds. He then offered me one of his Corvettes (he and his wife each have one) to take to Carlisle for the weekend.  I thanked him for his generous offer but said no. He told me to think about it and call him later in the day. I immediately called my wife to find out what was going on with the owner. She said he knew I had waited all year for this trip and “the only way to go is in a Corvette”. I told my wife I was very surprised by the offer, but I would have to turn it down. What if something happened to the car?

I called the owner back at about 2:00 to again thank him and regrettably turn down his offer. He said, “if you’re worried about the car, don’t be. It’s insured whether its sitting in the garage or you’re driving it. I know how careful you are and I am not worried”. Then the line that changed my mind, “you only go around once”. At that point I thought about those words. When would an opportunity like this ever come again? I had to say yes.

My wife drove me to the owners’ house after supper to pick up their 2004 convertible. I called Mike and told him to save a spot for me on the fairgrounds, I was driving a Corvette to Carlisle!

I returned the car to them on Monday with a full tank of gas, a fresh coat of wax, and about 700 more miles on the odometer. At the company Christmas party a few months later, the owner told me to plan on taking his other Corvette, a 2006 coupe, to Carlisle the following summer. How could I argue with him?

Towards the end of June last summer my wife called me at work to tell me some news. The owners had just told her that they planned on selling the convertible and wanted to know if I was interested in buying it. I had visions of owning that car in a few more years when the value had gone down a little more. My wife said,”you’ve always wanted one, just do it”.

The title transferred on July 3rd and my wife and I celebrated a great summer with many miles of top down cruising… and many more to come.  By the way, I drove myCorvette to Carlisle last summer. 

One Response to “A Series of Fortunate Events”

  1. FredD says:

    Great story! I TOTALLY agree and I like to add a couple of words to the old saying you mentioned, “You only go around once, Do it in Style!”.

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