Today, we continue with Part 2 of the C-5 Corvette story.
Within a few days we were informed that there were production problems and 20% of the year’s production was being eliminated. Our cars were canceled! Next came the recalls for suspension flaws and supply problems. Of course our cars were to have the 6-speed transmissions, they were on hold, no remote CD changer and the list went on, everything we wanted was on back order or not available even if they could build the car it wouldn’t be what I wanted other than the color would be red. The dealer wanted to know if I want my deposit back? Did I want to wait for the car to come through as a 1998? Or, did I just want to wait and see if maybe, possibly, that the allocation may be given back. Don’t be stupid! Keep the deposit and I will pray for production problems to go away!
This was all taking place in February and March of 1997, two frustrating months later, in May, word came that the allocation was given back to the dealer and the car would be built! But how? Would it be a 6-speed? Would it have the other options that I wanted? The dealer said yes! But, the dealer also said there was some bad news. All Corvettes being produced at this time are required to have the glass top! Would that be OK? YOU BET, BUILD IT! Remember, I wanted that top to begin with but it wasn’t available at the time of order.
The next question was when would it actually be built and when would I really get to take delivery? Timing was such that maybe it could be built on MY birthday, June 20th. Once a week I would call the factory and check on the schedule. After weeks of no information, they finally said the car would be built the week of June 16th. That’s a Monday, the 20th was Friday of that week. It could still happen! We could still share a birthday!
As fate would have it I had to be in Nashville just before July 4th for a Kiwanis International Convention so I changed my airline tickets so I could visit the Bowling Green Corvette factory just 60 miles away. The last tour of the plant before it closed for vacation and the change over to 1998 production would be June 27th. Then word came that the plant was closed for three days during the week of June 16th for production line changes and, my car didn’t get built! We would not share birthdays. Worse, there was no word if it had been rescheduled for construction.
TO BE CONTINUED