You might think that a rare beauty like this would be a natural on the show car circuit-and it is, but not in the way you'd think. Having spent parts of her childhood in Texas, along Route 66, April remembers the old drive-ins, diners, and motels that gave the thoroughfare its unique character. Because of those memories, and also because it's the biggest event of its type in the area, April always makes a yearly trip to the Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino (see page 40). Her Collector Edition even sports license plates reading "66ETUOR" (that's "ROUTE66," backwards, for those of you who don't have a mirror handy). And she did recently take the car's first trophy at a show in nearby Claremont, California (the judges had a hard time believing the interior was original). Most of the shows that April attends, however, are of another nature altogether, and that's where she earned her nickname, "The Vette Lady."
As a registered nurse, giving to others is a big part of April's life, so it's only natural that her '82 would get in on the act. She took the Collector Edition to a charity show to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, an organization that allows gravely ill children who are being treated at a hospital to be with their parents. There she met a youngster who was fascinated with the '82, and April was only too happy to let the little one sit behind the wheel. The beaming smile on his face was satisfaction enough, but when April later learned that the child was terminally ill, she knew that giving to others through sharing her pride and joy was going to be important to her. She hasn't missed a Ronald McDonald House event since, and her presence and generosity with her time and Corvette earned her the title, "The Vette Lady."
The Collector Edition has also seen its share of parade duties, escorting several local and state politicians and even a television star-Justin Berfield from Malcolm in the Middle-at a recent "Stars & Cars" event. Berfield, who is just a year shy of getting his driver's license, picked the '82 because he thought it was the coolest car there. April in turn promised him that he can drive her car after he gets that license. Now that's a good deal, and at least one member of a younger generation will probably see a Shark when he thinks of Corvettes.
As for The Vette Lady, her philosophy when it comes to the many offers she's received for her Collector Edition is pretty simple: "The money thing is nothing-I can get more money." What's irreplaceable is the fun she has with her rare piece of Corvette history, and the joy she gets from seeing others enjoy it. With April Zavela and others like her on the scene, the Shark-style Corvette will undoubtedly remain in the forefront of car culture, creating another generation of Corvette enthusiasts who will eventually enjoy and share their own Corvette dreams-come-true.