One of the joys of owning a Corvette is knowing it's among the fastest and best-handling sports cars in the world. Unfortunately, if you use your Corvette's speed potential on America's highways, you're likely to face the strong arm of the law. The only way to legally run flat-out in the United States is at sanctioned track events.
This isn't the case in Europe-especially in Germany. On some sections of the famous Autobahn, there are no speed limits. Many Corvette owners fantasize about driving their cars in Europe, but that rarely happens in real life. For a small number of C5/C6 Registry members, however, that fantasy recently came true.
Dan Adovasio and Jake Drennon founded the C5/C6 Registry on Labor Day 1997, and it has grown to include over 7,000 members since then. Jake and Dan have created many memorable events, including the C5 Birthday Bash at the National Corvette Museum and car corrals at Daytona, Sebring, and Road Atlanta. The Registry has also been a strong backer of Corvette Racing. When the C5-Rs were struggling against the Vipers, the Registry always showed support for Corvette Racing's efforts, bringing large groups of members to each race to cheer on the team. This enthusiasm did not go unnoticed by David Hill, Gary Claudio, and Pratt & Miller.
When the team announced its intention to compete at Le Mans in 2000, Registry members approached Jake and Dan about going to the race. The duo liked the idea and wasted no time assembling the first "Trip of a Lifetime" to Europe. Putting their creative skills to work, they first secured Le Mans race tickets from GM Racing's Gary Claudio. Next, they offered members the option of shipping their cars to Europe and actually driving them to the event. A total of 24 couples signed up, and all decided to ship their C5s to Europe. In addition to attending the race, they spent two weeks touring the country. Because the trip was so well received, the Registry did it again in 2001. That year, 21 couples watched the C5-Rs finish First and Second in class and give the Corvette its first class win since 1960.
The tragedy of 9/11 put a damper on returning to Europe, but members continued to ask Dan and Jake to schedule another trip to Le Mans. Finally, the two agreed to serve as tour guides for one last trip to Europe, in 2005. Because of rising travel expenses, only 14 couples signed up. A mixture of C5s and C6s was shipped by freighter, with cars departing from New York, South Carolina, and Florida in early May and arriving in Antwerp, Belgium, in early June.