Two of the themes in Joni Page's life were established at an early age. "I wanted a convertible," Joni recalls, "like Nancy Drew had." Given that Joni had also established an affinity for vintage Corvette roadsters, that's the direction her drop-top dreams took, eventually being fulfilled in the form of this triple-black '93 convertible. It probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that the fictional detective influenced Ms. Page's choice of occupation as well, given she is also known as Animal Services Officer Joni Page of the Santa Ana, California, Police Department.
After earning a degree in criminal justice from California State University, Fullerton, Joni started off her law enforcement career by working in the Santa Ana city jail. After three years of helping to keep locked-up Southern California criminals in check, Joni decided to make a change, and transferred to the Animal Services section of the Santa Ana Police Department. "I like it," she says of the position she's held for two years. "There are hard days, and it's sad sometimes." No doubt Joni is thinking of a recent case, where she had to remove 81 cats and one dog from a one-bedroom apartment-all were too ill to be saved. On the other hand, there are the animals that can be helped, and that's what Joni focuses on, saying, "I like it 'cause of the animals I deal with."
One small downside to the job, however, is Officer Page's daily conveyance, which she refers to as "The Doggie Wagon." It may be well suited to the job, but, for a person whose idea of a nice ride is a Corvette convertible, piloting a paddy wagon leaves a bit to be desired in the driving excitement department. "The public watches," Joni has observed, "so you can't really put the pedal to the metal." That desire for something with the proper "oomph" was fulfilled last year-of course, the pedal in question was touching fiberglass rather than metal when pushed to the floor.
Joni's partner in Corvette crime was (and is) her husband, Jason. Jason had owned a '77 Corvette prior to meeting Joni. Though the Shark was long gone, the memories and desire were still there. "He was into it," Joni recalls, "and that was cool with me." After the couple married, careers were started (Jason minds the store at Page by Page, the duo's audio book rental and sales business), a daughter, Alexandra, born, and of course, Corvettes were dreamed of the whole time. They finally took the plunge last summer.
"It wasn't a conscious decision," Joni remembers. "We were always looking in the Auto Trader, but figured we couldn't afford it." That assumption was quickly reversed during the couple's first trip to Corvette Mike's Anaheim, California, showroom. "We happened to be in the area and decided to stop by, as we had never been there," Joni tells us. "The car was screaming to come home with us...it took about two minutes to decide."
The car in question was a triple-black '93 convertible, stock except for Borla mufflers and chrome ZR-1-style wheels, and showing just over 20,000 miles on the clock. The deal was made, and the Pages immediately set out to give their new black beauty a bit of attitude. Plastic surgery was performed by adding a high-rise hood and an ACI rear wing, both from the Corvette Central catalog. The engine is stock for the most part. The LT1 breathes through an opened-up airbox and K&N filter; out back, the Borlas were replaced with a pair of muffler eliminator pipes. A 2,700-rpm stall speed torque converter and 3.75:1 gears hint at the Page's future plans for their Vette-we'll get to that in a moment.
In it's current form, with some extra-dark tinting added to the windows, the '93 is just what the doctor ordered for when Officer Page gets off duty. "That sound, and those tinted windows...after people watching me all day, no one can see me...I just go," Joni exults. And while she issues the standard "we watch it" disclaimer, she does 'fess up to some extracurricular activity. "You should see our street," Joni admits with a laugh. "Our neighbors probably hate it, but half of our tires are on the road." Hey, it just sounds like a little healthy stress release to us!
As for where this Vette is heading...well, we're pretty certain its gonna get harder for Joni to motor around unnoticed. There's talk of an ATI supercharger, and the Pages have already ordered a 12-point rollcage from Chassis Engineering. With larger tires and the proper seatbelts, Joni figures they should be ready for a run at the track. That should be some run, given that Jason, the mechanic in the family, has said, "I wanna see what it feels like to go 10s." And though he comments that Joni has "no idea" what it's like to go that fast, he thinks it's great that she's into it. When asked if he's concerned, Jason just says, "No, I want her to!"
Joni, of course, answers, "Oh, yeah," when asked if she's into this hardcore stuff. "I want my opportunity to take it to the races...Jason's the mechanic...just let me drive it." In fact, Joni concedes that the '93 could "ultimately" end up as a race car. "But not," she says, "until I get a '60." See, while she's "biding time" weighing her professional options (which could be taking the next step and becoming a full-fledged police officer, or going back to college for a law degree), Joni's also saving for the car she's wanted all along. And, while they're also getting their C4 into fighting shape, the whole family has embraced the Corvette hobby. Joni and Jason recently made their first trip to Bowling Green for the 50th Anniversary Kick Off; at home, 12-year-old Alexandra has already decided that she also wants a Corvette. Officer Joni may want to keep a low profile during her off hours, but we have a feeling that the Page family and their Corvettes are going to find it increasingly difficult to stay incognito.