Corvette Ladies - Ladies First

Actually, It's "Ladies Only" With This Tulsa, Oklahoma, Corvette Club

Bob Wallace Sep 1, 2002 0 Comment(s)
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Cheryl Ashley '64 Coupe
Cheryl is a registered nurse working in cardiac care at a large Tulsa-area hospital. Her Fire-Engine Red mid-year is fitted with a transplanted big-block which Cheryl says makes it, "...fully equipped for success at the race track or doing burnouts." Cheryl and her husband, Michael, have four daughters and she relates that having a Corvette enables the Ashley family to have fun together, in activities they can all participate.

Corvettes and lace. If that isn't a textbook definition of cognitive dissonance, I don't know what is. Corvettes are bold, brash, loud, fast, and, in many instances, macho. Lace? Well, my 4-inch-thick Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language starts off its definitions of lace as, "A netlike ornamental fabric made of threads by hand or machine." I visualize lace as something delicate and frilly, a concept that is, to me, in stark contrast with anything Corvette.

Then there's L.A.C.E., an acronym for Ladies for the Advancement of Corvette Enjoyment, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Corvette club for women only. When I first heard about L.A.C.E. I was, well, skeptical. If a bunch of guys got together and started up M.A.C.E. (Men for the...) or somesuch, they'd probably get sued for discrimination or, at minimum, be branded as male chauvinist pigs of the highest order. But when I actually thought about it, L.A.C.E. makes sense to me.

In my experience, car clubs and car activities are very male-oriented, with the wives/girlfriends/significant others accompanying the men. Some of the ladies are actively involved, but it's still more of a guys-and-their-families thing. So why not a Corvette club that's of, by, and for the ladies?

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The ladies of L.A.C.E. From left to right: Glenda Cranson, Toni McClung, Diana Johnson, Sundra Fulbright, Elsie Lytle, Sally Williams, Officer John Singer of the Claremore Police Department (he's just a friend), Julie Jones, Nancy Orr, Debby Thompson, Carol Harrison, and Donna Reese.

Why not, indeed. L.A.C.E. was started last year by a group of women who were already active members of the Tulsa Vette Set to, as member Cheryl Ashley wrote, "...enjoy social gatherings with our cars." Most of the L.A.C.E. ladies we heard from are parts of multi-Corvette households; several of them were the prime instigators of their families getting into the Corvette lifestyle, and a couple are the Corvette owners/drivers of their households.

In just a little more than a year, L.A.C.E. has grown to over 30 members. The only membership requirement, other than being female, is to own or have access to a Corvette. The club's primary objective is to let women of all ages know that anyone can own and drive a Corvette-and to "show off, just like the guys." The L.A.C.E. brigade holds monthly meetings, does group shopping trips, and caravans to out-of-the-way restaurants. They're currently planning to conduct a defensive driving school for the members.

Like nearly every other Corvette club that Team VETTE has heard from or come in contact with, L.A.C.E. raises funds for a charity. L.A.C.E. selected DVIS (Domestic Violence Intervention Services) as their beneficiary because the ladies believe strongly in the importance of giving back to their community and that among abused and misplaced women and children are among the neediest members of society.

L.A.C.E. has a slightly different perspective on the Corvette hobby compared to the "usual" Corvette club. Not better, not lesser, just different. Team VETTE is pleased to salute, in alphabetical order, this talented group of Corvette ladies.




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