VM: Sixty years of Corvette performance is a lot to squeeze into 13 episodes. Did you find it a challenge?
DW: First of all, I think we have to start at the beginning to convey how big the Corvette brand is and where it came from. I agree it's almost impossible to do it in 13 episodes. Instead we purposefully sought out stories, which will hopefully have our viewers saying, "Wow, I never knew that about the Corvette."
VM: For you, what's one of the most dramatic never-before-told Corvette stories you'll bring to audiences?
DW: I'm excited that we hooked up with some of the men who were involved in the Corvette's initial hand-built production in '53. We were amazed that there are still some of these old dogs out there who started that assembly-line pushing. You've got to believe me when I tell you that their stories are amazing!
VM: Without giving away the secrets to every episode, what else can your audience expect from Vetted?
DW: We'll have modern-day celebrities from within the car world, such as Rick Hendrick and Ken Lingenfelter. We're also working out the details of taking two of the meanest Corvettes out there to an undisclosed track, putting two celebrities in the drivers' seats, and capturing the unscripted action. I can't divulge any more on that subject.
VM: Are there any planned episodes that won't make it into production?
DW: Yes, we lost the opportunity to show our viewers the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette assembly line like they've never seen before. The reason is that GM is making the 2014 Corvette molds in privacy, and they shut the plant down.
VM: What will hard-core Corvette hobbyists see in the show that's new even to them?
DW: Hardcore Corvette hobbyists? It's hard to find something new to them [laughter]. It's not an easy task, my friend. Regardless, I have to tell you, I think we found a few collector Corvettes out there that people are going to be shocked to [discover] still exist. We have a few one-of-ones, which will be in the series, and we didn't know they still existed. Once you see them, we think you'll be as excited as we are. We expect Corvette lovers to say, "I didn't know that car was still around."
VM: What's been the wildest idea for the show, even if it's still in the concept stage?
DW: That's an excellent question. We were approached by an individual whose friend is building an airstrip in Italy. I went to GM and asked, "Can we get three Corvettes-red, white, and blue-and put them in a plane and drop them off in Italy and ride around a little bit?" That would be a fun ride. You take the right people with the right story running around Europe in Corvettes, and find groups over there that have a passion and love for the Corvette, too. It does one big thing: It brings the world even closer together.
As of press time, SPEED has not yet released final dates and times for Vetted. Visit www.speed.com for up-to-date scheduling information.
04 Here's some of what you won't see on the screen. The video production crew does its work as Bennion talks to the show's audience about the Corvette.05 The show demonstrates strength in numbers in its pilot episode, and producers hope that TV audiences will respond in kind.06 Vetted's goal is to give back to the community, as in this auction to benefit the National Corvette Museum.