There was a time when the word “geek” just wasn’t cool … and given my being out of touch with the youth of today I’m not sure if it is still cool? One thing is for sure; there are plenty of today’s geeks that have achieved many a lofty goal. I now find myself attempting to include myself in this august group. The major difference is I’m a Corvette geek, not a computer geek or another version that may actually make me wealthy enough to afford a new C8.
When it comes to Corvette knowledge, bits and pieces, facts or anecdotes we all have our sources. Many of us know people who have amassed a staggering amount of Corvette knowledge and we tap into this knowledge frequently. Oftentimes this is to reinforce what we either know or think we know. I frequently, operative word “frequently,” ask the likes of Franz Estereicher, Kevin Mackay or Walt Thurn when I come up short on the finer points of Corvette history or what’s going on right now … like with the C8.
Of course, there are always the Corvette archives at GM that can help with photos and other bits of info. The best source I have found to date is one’s personal library loaded with the best of the best in the world of the Corvette. At last count my car books number around 100 titles out of nearly 1,000 automotive titles. (I am a bit embarrassed about this number when compared to the number of books that I may possess on great literature or history, or any number of socially acceptable topics.) This collection is over a lifetime of procurement and having worked in the publishing business for nearly 50 years does make it somewhat easier to get a running start on collecting these books.
I am a car geek and I love all things cars … new cars and old cars, hot rods and street rods, muscle cars and stockers, custom cars and movie cars and the list goes on and on. Yep, odds are I probably have a book (or many) on all of these genres. And this doesn’t even get us into motor manuals, brochures and any other manner of printed material about cars. Of course, in today’s time frame all of this info can be found online and while I do avail myself constantly, the fact is, for me at least, nothing can replace the tactile romance I have with paper in all of its bound forms.
As for books I possess solely on the subject of Corvettes, which when I think about it is actually not such an extensive listing, I like to think I’ve got some good ones. Sitting on my desk right now are the following (and that doesn’t include a myriad of hot rod books, etc., from my other day job): The Corvette Hunter by Tyler Greenblatt (Kevin Mackay’s greatest finds), Corvette: America’s Sports Car by Jerry Burton, Corvette Quarterly (Winter 1992 … 1,000,000th Corvette), Corvette Special Editions by Keith Cornett, Legendary Corvettes by Randy Leffingwell, about 12 issues of Vette (well, what did you expect!), a reprint from Motor Trend of the 1964 Corvette road test, a fact sheet on Vic Edelbrock’s 1963 Sting Ray coupe, the complete factory manual on the 1963 Corvette and all of the dealership service counter parts manuals from 1953 through the ’80s on Corvettes—technically they aren’t on my desk but stacked up on the floor right next to me, (don’t ask!)—an accessory brochure for the 2016-2017 Corvettes, the factory media guide complete with CD for the 2005 Corvette and, one of my favorite easy reading titles, 1001 Corvette Facts by Steve Magnante. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my Corvette Black Book resides permanently on my desk and an additional copy in my computer bag. I suppose one might think I have a good-sized desk. Not really. But I do have bookshelves and some would say that I am not very neat or organized so there are piles … and piles.
I am totally engulfed with all things Corvette. While I have lots of books I did manage to cut my Corvette “teeth” on a 1957 when I was entering teenagerdom. I’ve owned a 1962 (red with black interior and a 340hp engine) that I had to sell because of one of those “life issues.” Currently, I have my 1968 (nearly stock) and my 1971 currently being readied to accept an LT1, TREMEC, Detroit Speed suspension and all other manner of impractical usery so that I may speed around an autocross. Nothing will ever replace the hours of digging through the pages of countless old books and unearthing heretofore unknown facts about Corvettes. Yes, I am a Corvette geek and proud of it. Vette