This is the fourth installment of my C-5 Corvette story.
The new C8 Corvette has been well covered in the media and the new 2020 convertible is now well documented. What is missing is some real world experiences from new owners. Obviously, factory delivery is not available at the time of this writing and I am sure security at the plant is even stronger than it was in 1997. As soon as some of you start getting the news that your C8 is built and on its way, tell us your story and what experiences you are encountering with this exceptional and historical vehicle.
As Katrina and I prepared to leave the Corvette Factory, the plant supervisor came up to us and thanked us for buying one of their cars! Imagine; they actually did care! Our next stop after the factory was to visit the Corvette Museum just across the road. Our new friend, the Bowling Green Mayor suggested that when we get to the Museum we check in at the information booth and he would have the pictures there he took of us with my new red C5 Corvette. Sure enough, two hours later we had the photos. We also saw Motor Trend Magazine and Motor Trend TV doing their test-drives of the 1998 Corvette convertibles. All 8 of the new Vettes were lined up in front of the museum, what a sight.
Katrina and I attended an International Kiwanis Convention and flew home a week later. The two new 1997 Corvettes that my business partner and I ordered six months earlier were now a reality. I continued to check on their progress through a special telephone number provided by the factory. When I returned to my office I checked on an update and they were immediately put on trucks to the shipping yard. On the following Monday, they loaded on a train headed to the West Coast.
When would my new C5 Corvette arrive, when would we be reunited? The answer came on July 11th, a Friday. I got up from my desk, looked out my office window and saw my car! The Chevrolet dealer was right next door to our office building. I knew my Corvette was to be the first red ’97 Vette to be delivered to that dealer. The car I saw was red and still in its factory wrappings just like I saw it in Bowling Green. I immediately ran to the dealership and followed the car back to the “get ready” stall. Yes, it’s mine! That was a long and exciting day. The dealer took his time to get the car just right and at 5:30 that Friday, six months after starting the process, I had my new toy, just the way I wanted it. It was one of the last built-in 1997!
Was it worth it? Yes! Although I have had many Corvettes over the years, the total experience of acquiring this one will provide a lifetime of fond memories. A couple of years later Katrina and I were married. She had previously purchased my 1980 Corvette L82 a few months after I acquired the C5. The 1997 Corvette was my daily driver; I eventually put nearly 70,000 miles on it. I never for a second regretted purchasing the first model year of the C-5. However, I did replace it with a 2001 ZO6! I was amazed at how much an already great car could still be improved!
The C5 ZO6 took over the duties of being a daily driver. It remains in my garage to this time and I have no plans of ever letting it go. I have owned over 25 Vettes in my life and it is my favorite. Sure I lust after the new ones every time one is released but so far nothing has swayed me to part with little yellow ZO6. I must admit that an under $60,000 C8 is tempting but I am a realist and know that by the time I got done with the order sheet I would likely be looking at a $100,000 Corvette and that would quickly quench my thirst for a new Vette.
There were a number of Corvette experiences and stories that resulted from the ownership of these C5 Corvettes. You might enjoy reading about how my little red Corvette embarrassed a Police Officer! Click Here to read more on these C5 Corvette Stories.