This is the third part of my C-5 Corvette story.
I arrived at the Nashville airport on June 26th. Katrina had flown out a week earlier for a dog show. She was to pick me up at the airport; she was late. As I waited I saw a lady with a brief case bearing a large C-5 Corvette logo. Of course I was dying to know if she was with the factory, she was. She said she was there to deliver a bunch of automotive magazine journalists to the factory to test the 1998 Corvette convertibles. She had 8 brand new, yet to be seen by the public, 1998 Corvette convertibles waiting for tests, and I didn’t even know the fate of my 1997 and these guys were going to play with 98 Convertibles!
When Katrina finally picked me up at the airport we were off. The next morning we headed for Bowling Green to visit the Corvette factory and Corvette Museum. I still had no idea about the status of my own personal dream car. We got to the factory shortly after the first tour had left, but there was another in the afternoon. Not to waste time we began to snoop around and see what we could find. We soon caught the eye of a gentleman with a big camera that thought we looked lost. I said well, kind of, I explained that we planned on taking the tour later in the afternoon but I had a new Vette on order and I wanted to know if it was built; or if it was on the assembly line; or would it be postponed and be a 1998? Our new factory friend took us out into the heart of the facilities (behind signs that said NO ADMITTANCE) to the plant supervisor’s station. I offered up the order numbers for both my car and that of my partner. The supervisor and several others then took off in search of information on the cars. While we waited I asked our back stage tour guide what he did for GM. He said he did public relations work for Corvette and in his spare time he was the Mayor or Bowling Green!
Katrina and I continued to wait. We could see new ’97 and ’98 Corvettes coming off the assembly line. They would then be tested and repaired if they failed certain tests. Suddenly, one of the gentlemen returned and we had information! My car and my partner’s car were both built on Wednesday the 25th, two days prior. Remember the three-day shut down? If the plant had not been down my car would have been built on the 20th, my birthday!
From here the three of us went to the car storage lot, there were hundreds of new C-5’s. The Mayor took our pictures with both cars, incredible! Here we were, in a lot having our picture taken next to my car, when only an hour earlier we tried to photograph the same lot full of hundreds of Corvettes from a distant street with a telephoto lens and were run off by security guards!
TO BE CONTINUED