We also stopped by Digital Corvettes and said hello to Rick Conti of EVS. We had dinner with Rick at the Corvette Bash in April and remained in contact with him via email. Rick is a fun guy and it's always fun seeing an old Corvette friend. Rick bought his son with him and gave us all posters.
By mid afternoon, we headed back to the GM tent in time to meet Will Cooksey, the Corvette Plant Manager. He also got in some pictures with us and we saw the Vette that he had 'burned' the back tire off of. While he burned the tire, it melted into little rubber pieces that flew off and took some of the back wheel panel with it. Will didn't seem to be the least bit upset and told his crew to get a new tire at the Goodyear tent and then have to car flatbedded back to the plant for a new rear fender to be put on.
By the end of the day, we were tired and yet excited. It had been humid and hot, a typical Carlisle Corvette weather day and the AC in John's truck felt good. We drove to Allentown and stopped at our usual dinner place--Cracker Barrel. Each year, on the same weekend as the Corvette show, there is a hot rod show in Allentown and we always see some great looking cars while we are taking a break for dinner. After dinner we continued our journey back to West Paterson where I then drove back to Brielle with fond memories of another great year at Corvettes at Carlisle.
The Excitement Grows
Besides checking the constraint list each week, there was not too much more we could do except keep our fingers crossed that our cars would be built on schedule and the looming UAW negotiations would not effect us. Mike and I calculated that if our cars were to be completed and roll off the assembly line on September 17th, they would have to start the built process either on the 11th or 12th of the month.
On Thursday, September 13th at around noon time my cell phone rang. It was our friend from Detroit calling to tell me he had a meeting that day in Bowling Green and was standing on the assembly line in front of my car! WOW!!! He told me that my convertible was the first to be built with the 4LT interior. I can't even begin to tell you how exciting that was to hear. He informed me that Mike's car was 5 cars behind mine coming down the line and Mike's was the second convertible with the 4LT interiors. As soon as I got off the phone I called Mike and gave him the great news. Then it hit us, I had just received a phone call from a GM president telling me he was looking at my car as he stood on the assembly line......we could not believe it. I immediately called back to Bowling Green and asked if he would be kind enough to send us emails stating that we got the first 4LT cars going to the public....he laughed and assured us he would.
That following Saturday, Elaine and Mike came down to our place and we planned out our entire trip and driving route back to Jersey. We spent about 2 hours going over the plans and making reservations for hotels, flights, and the car rental. We then went out and celebrated with an Italian dinner and some wine.
By Monday, September 17th, we had received our letters from the National Corvette Museum (NCM) informing us that we could pick up our cars on September 27th. But we knew our cars had come off the line and were sitting at the plant waiting for our arrival. The next step was to get the VINs from the cars. Lori called us, while we were playing golf and provided the VINs for us and then we contacted our insurance companies to get the cars covered. We also contacted Schumacher to make arrangement to pay for the cars and complete the necessary paperwork. We needed to provide the NCM with all the necessary documents prior to them giving us the cars.