Car Stories

Get in line, take a number, wait, wait and maybe….

Today, we continue with Part 2 of the C-5 Corvette story.

corvette 1997 by Magdalena Mroczkowska. 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.


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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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