Harley Earl Vette on West Coast
The Visalia Motorsports Council will host the second annual Visalia Motorsports Festival and Pan-Pacific Road Race Celebration during Memorial Day weekend. We're talking an action-packed weekend filled with car shows, cruises, and vintage racing. The highlight of the event will feature the debut of the Harley Earl Corvette roadster on the West Coast. Probably one of the most well-known factory Corvette "styling cars," this one-of-a-kind creation was hand-built in 1963 by the General Motors Styling Facility in Warren, Michigan, and delivered to Harley Earl for his personal use. Harley was GM's Chief Designer for decades and was responsible for influential cars like the Cadillac Eldorado and Buick Skylark. The Harley Earl Corvette's special features include a 327 churning out 340 horses, a leather interior, knock-off wheels, special side-port exhaust, and an experimental instrument panel with over 15 gauges. This car was also equipped with unique features that would be included on the 1965 models, including disc brakes and a rear-mounted battery. Come out and see what's going on-you won't be disappointed. For more information, call (559) 651-5025, or go to www.visaliamotorsports.org.
The National Corvette Museum will hold its first Annual Corvette Forum Cruise-In on May 25-28. Coordinated by the National Corvette Museum and co-hosted by corvetteforum.com, this four-day event celebrates the Corvette lifestyle. Festivities include guided tours of the Corvette assembly plant and Holley Performance, a full day of racing at Beech Bend Raceway Park, and presentations by those directly involved in the design and development of the Corvette. The event concludes on Sunday as the Museum hosts a viewing of the Indianapolis 500 in the Chevrolet Theater and then will bid farewell to all with a trademark "Final Road Tour," departing from the front circle of the Museum. It promises to be a great weekend for all involved. For more information, contact The National Corvette Museum at (800) 53-VETTE, visit their website at www.corvettemuseum.com, or visit www.corvetteforum.com.
Calling all Sharks!
Corvette clubs come in all forms. Many cater to any and all Vette owners, while others cater to a specific aspect of the Corvette hobby. For example, some clubs are made up of those who own solid-axle Corvettes, while others are comprised of those who only like to race. Well, there's another specialized club on the horizon that's dedicated to the '68-82 body style, commonly known as "The Shark." Centered in Monmouth County, New Jersey, the main objective of the club is for Shark owners to get together, have fun, and share with other owners the experiences associated with the unique car that the Shark-bodied Corvette is. For more information, contact Barb Balchus (732) 671-5668, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Carl Bessey (732) 531-5108, email@example.com.
Rush Time at the Museum
The National Corvette Museum does a great deal for the Corvette hobby as well as the community in general. However, it costs money to keep things going, and unfortunately, money doesn't grow on trees. The National Corvette Museum gets its money solely from its own events, and members' contributions. "The Museum's membership is the lifeblood of the Museum," says Wendell Strode, Executive Director. While the Museum boasts 4,700 active members, they are looking to do bigger and better things in the future. A membership campaign will provide the shot in the arm needed. Their 1999 membership drive brought 337 new members. For 2000, the newest program encourages members to recruit new members by offering special incentives that will only be available through a campaign that will end June 1st. There are several different levels that include perks like discounts in the Museum's Corvette store, free admission, a subscription to the Museum's newsletter, and a host of other benefits depending on membership level. The Museum's only purpose is to "Educate the public through the preservation of the Corvette's past, present and future heritage." For more information, contact Stephanie Ferrell, Membership Services Manager at (800) 53-VETTE, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before you put it away for the winter...
If you're the kind of Corvette owner who puts their pride and joy into storage during the winter, you know that fuel and coolant are some of the most unstable chemicals in your car. If you didn't know this, there's a website that's dedicated to the preservation of the cooling and fuel systems of older cars that are in storage or driven periodically. Fuel and coolant left untouched for long periods of time can destroy fuel and cooling system components very quickly and leave you stranded on a good day, or could cause a fire and burn the car up on a bad day. This new website is 100 percent free, and offers in-depth technical information, maintenance tips, and products designed to assist the enthusiast in addressing these types of specialized problems. Check out this new site at www.no-rosion.com, or call Applied Chemical Specialties at (800) 845-8523.
Cutting My Springs
We don't know how things are in the rest of the country, but here in good ol' Southern California, kids driving slammed-to-the-ground, wind-up compact cars that ride on rubber-band tires and sport options like two-foot tall graphics, indiscernible hieroglyphics, and wings as tall as the Sears Tower are about as abundant as fleas on a stray pooch (did I mention six-point rollcages made entirely of PVC pipe?). We're not sure exactly who wrote these endearing lyrics, but they're too funny not to pass along-enjoy.
(Sung to the tune of My Favorite Things)
Bright bluish fog lights and big yellow stickers Turn up the volume my headlights will flicker I think I look cool from the attention I bring... Scraping the speed bumps from cutting my springs.
Large yellow shift lights on auto transmissions
Speakers so loud that you'll scream in submission
My car really flies 'cause it has this big wing... But nothing compares to me cutting my springs.
When the bull stops, when the money talks, when I might lose face... I suddenly remember what my car can't do...and then I refuse to race!
Day-glow orange shift knobs and whiteface temp gauges Low-profile tires make me think I'm courageous Japanese characters, who knows what they mean? They're part of the package from cutting my springs
Coffee-can mufflers and Calvin is peeing People around me don't like what they're seeing They're all just so jealous, for I am the king... I rule the street after cutting my springs!
When the night falls, when the girls leave, while I can't wait... If I'm such a stud after cutting my springs...Why can't I get a date?
New Board Member for Museum
The National Corvette Museum has elected Jim Campbell to their Board of Directors. Jim has been Chevrolet's Corvette and Camaro Brand Manager since June of 1998. Jim has been a supporter of the Museum's efforts and has helped to enhance its relationship with Chevrolet. "I'm truly honored to have been elected to the Museum's Board of Directors. Although it has been open for a youthful five years, the Museum is a unique time capsule that celebrates the heritage of the Corvettes' past and present." Says Campbell, "I hope to further establish the Museum as a mechanism for making history, as well as preserving the marque in the years to come." Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode added, "The addition of Jim to our Board of Directors is a great move; the knowledge and sincerity that he has for the Corvette will be another step in accomplishing our vision as we move the Museum into the future." Congratulations, Jim.
So this is what it feels like...
That's the feeling Dick Self had when he decided to use the just recently closed Mustang Ranch 2, Nevada's most famous (or infamous) legal brothel, as a backdrop in a picture of his Corvette. Passersby saw a new Vette parked in the manager's parking spot, and immediately assumed that Dick was the manager! "They were asking me questions about what was going on, and then they realized I didn't know, so they took pictures of themselves in front of my Vette, and told all of their friends that it belonged to the manager." He took his C5's 15 minutes of fame in stride and ended up sending us one of the pictures. Although it may have been a hoot at the time, we're pretty sure that Dick is relieved that he's not the manager (for obvious reasons)-not to mention that his wife, Gretchen, wouldn't have been too thrilled.
Over 200,000 Served
The National Corvette Museum reports that 200,240 people visited the Museum in 1999. That's up from 154,595 in 1998. They credit much of the increase to the additional events and special exhibits during '99. One of those events was "Dinosaurs Alive!", an educational exhibit that featured eight life-size robotic creatures in a rainforest setting that brought in an estimated 54,000 people from February 15th through April 19th. One of their biggest events was on Labor Day, when the Museum celebrated its 5th Anniversary, bringing in an estimated 6,000 Corvettes from all over the country. "We are proud of the leap in progress and attendance so many have worked hard to achieve in 1999," says Wendell Strode, Museum Executive Director. The Museum has so much to offer, and we appreciate the work of everyone who helps to support the many events, and activities that we highlight throughout the year. We look forward to the opportunities that the year 2000 will bring." We look forward to it. To find out what's going on, contact the Museum at (800) 53-VETTE, or visit their website at www.corvettemuseum.com.
The New Jersey legislature has re-introduced Bill A.B. 616. If passed, this bill would prevent the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection from starting a vehicle scrappage program. This sort of program is particularly nasty, being that it will single out cars for scrappage simply because they are old, not because they're gross polluters. It's only a matter of time before they're pulling these shenanigans in your state, so the quicker we can stop this nonsense before it starts, all the better. For more information, go to www.sema.org/fedleg.