An Idea Takes Shape
For the next week or so, neither one of us mentioned the idea of buying new Vettes, but it was not too far from our thoughts. I'm not sure who mentioned it again, but the subject came up during a phone conversation and some serious discussions were about to follow. Mike stopped by my house one night to go over some Corvette Club business. We were officers of the Jersey Corvette Club, which had been established in 1959 and we were meeting to plan events for the coming year. As the evening progressed the subject of 2008 Corvettes came up. So, we decided to visit one of the larger Corvette dealers in the state to see if any details were available on next year's car. That Saturday we drove two hours to the dealer and were a little disappointed that not too much information was available yet. The Sales Rep at the dealer seemed to know less about Corvettes than Mike and I did. We looked at each other as he talked and that "This is not good" look passed between us. Without a word being exchanged, we both knew this was not the place we were going to buy a car.
Over the next couple of weeks we hunted the internet reading all the Corvette data that could be found either on forums, magazines (Corvette Fever of course) or from auto websites. Since we were both members of the National Corvette Museum, we received their e-news letters. One of the letters mentioned the C5/C6 Bash that would introduce the 2008 Corvette to the public. Upon reading that article, the phones began to ring with the idea of a road trip. The excitement began to grow and the idea of buying 2008 cars was starting to take shape. I was definitely ready for another convertible, thinking to get another white one to match my '75. Mike was leaning towards a Z06 maybe black, maybe yellow. After a few trips to the dealer that we both had used in the past for Corvette purchases, I decided to order a 2008 convertible. Since no details were available this far in advance of the official introduction of the car, colors and options did not need to be decided upon.
Mike had decided to wait to place an order since he was still undecided about what model he wanted and if he should sell any of his current Corvettes. At the current time Mike had a 50th anniversary convertible, a '70 T-top, and a '66 black roadster. But the thing we both readily agreed upon was a Road Trip to the Bash.Solidifying the Game Plan
Over the past years, Mike had established a friendship with the owner of Schumacher Chevrolet, our local neighborhood Chevy dealer in Little Falls. The relationship had begun while two fathers were watching their sons play high school football. One of Mike's three sons was on the high school football team and so was the son of the sales manager of this dealership. When Mike mentioned that he might be interested in a new Corvette, the dealer invited him in to meet the owner, who was also a Corvette person. After a few preliminary meetings, Mike invited me to join him at the dealership to let them know we were serious about buying 2008 Vettes and about doing it together.
Schumacher Chevy was celebrating their 75th anniversary this year and immediately thought this would be a great publicity event for them. The dealership had been in the same family for 75 years, which was even more amazing. Schumacher contacted the GM Zone office and mentioned the potential story of two friends buying two Corvettes from a dealer celebrating a major anniversary. The GM Zone representative agreed immediately and a meeting was setup for all of to discuss this unique opportunity. Our biggest concern was that the dealer would be given the allocations for two Corvettes from the zone office for the first group of cars to be built. During the meeting we were assured that the zone office would make sure the dealer had the two allocations whenever they were needed What would the next step be.....the C5/C6 Bash at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.