Rear View Mirror - April, 1992: Run to
Ram's Hill in Borego; Diane De Chantal
and Donna Bernard host a "Revenge
Rally"; America's Cup Thunder & Wind
event, with special Corvette Beach Boys
concert; Planning for Weseloh Autofair
and North Coast Vettes Wine Run;
Planning trips to Vegas and the Big Bear
Bash; Steve Montagna wins NCRS Top-Flite award; And Bob Berglund becomes
president and John Pawoll vice-president.
Driving Home: I walk out of the office after
a mind-draining day, towards the ZR1
glistening with the afternoons rain. The
showers have passed, I am glad to see I
can fold myself into the leather seats
without being dripped on. As always, I wipe
the resistor on the side of the key on my
pants, so as not to set off the anti-theft no-start circuitry. The engine rumbles to life,
together with that strange whine of a starter
that sounds more Chrysler than Chevy. I
wonder if that gorgeous '66 roadster with
the knockoffs I saw at lunchtime in the
parking lot next door got rained on. I tinker
with the radio, pull and push on the parking
brake to, hopefully, disengage it, and fasten
the seatbelt with its strangely comforting
click. I briefly reflect on how much better
the seatbelt is than on my '81, which used
to tighten frighteningly on a bumpy road. I
pull around the parking lot towards the
street, deciding whether it is late enough to
take the short two left turns, or go around
the block as usual. Since I've nearly been
wiped out every time I turned left here, I go
around the block, not wanting to temp fate
on wet pavement. I get on 78, accelerating
to just before the ASR will kick in, in the
light traffic. The radio is playing decent
tunes, life is good. Within a mile, traffic
slows to a crawl, unusual for this time of
day in this direction. At the same time, the
traffic report comes on the radio. It talks
about a big hailstorm in Oceanside, says
nothing about the traffic jam I'm sitting in.
Impatient teeagers in ridiculously jacked up
minitrucks cut in front of me, as if they will
get there faster. I think of their poor
burning throwout bearings. I realize I'm not
far behind a diesel schoolbus, and turn the
vent off just a little too late. I decide
surface streets must be better, and start the
slow process of moving over two lanes to
get off by the next exit. I turn down the
radio, and start fiddling with the car phone.
As usual, it takes a number of tries to
unlock the anti-clone lockout. I call home
and let Laurie know the situation. She's
feeding the baby. Somehow, I'm not near
as upset with the traffic as I normally would
be, but more apprehensive. I decide it's
because I'm near two colleges with plenty
of less experienced drivers, it's just rained
and I'm surrounded by a number of cars in
various states of unrepaired damage. I get
off the freeway, and am confronted with a
yield sign and an old Toyota with a great
deal of front-end damage. I yield. I follow
the Toyota through a protected left turn,
which becomes a normal green light. The
Toyota stops in the intersection, because
the arrow went out. Eventually, he turns
left, and I follow. He goes very slowly. At
the next intersection, he goes through the
yellow left turn arrow and I have to stop. As
I watch the heavy cross traffic go by, I
notice a young girl driving an economy car
with a bashed in right side. She is using
both hands to put her hair in a ponytail. I
become more apprehensive as I wait for
the eight-way light. Eventually, I'm on my
way up Mission. Every so often, I get a
glimpse of the freeway. Parking lot. I hit
most every red light, and for some reason
everyone seems to want to race the Vette.
I pretend to ignore them as much as
possible. There is some pretty spectacular
lightning over San Marcos. I turn the heat
up a little, unusual for me. I steal another
glimpse of the freeway, it looks like it is
moving now, so I get back on. Just as I'm
merging onto the freeway, the sun comes
out, both directly in my eyes from low in the
sky and reflecting off the wet concrete. I
shield my eyes as best I can with my hand,
and try to see if I'm about to force anybody
out of the right lane. I can't tell, so I
accellerate and hope my previous glance
was sufficient. It was, but I see many brake
lights ahead. I wonder if I made a mistake
getting back on the freeway. Everyone
slows down, then speeds up again. The
storm has blown southeast, so ahead there
is just brilliant sky and clouds and
mountains and cities and valleys and trees
and ocean. I get off the freeway at the
usual exit, and there is much less traffic
than normal. I reflect that they must all be
stuck in San Marcos in a traffic jam. I
wonder what caused it, imagining some
nice Camaro spun out and munched, as I
had seen a few weeks before. I hope it
isn't anyone I know. I turn left instead of
my usual right, going to a little Mexican
take-out, as that is what Laurie wants for
dinner. I park and go in, and wait in line
behind what appears to be a large group of
dwarf eastern europeans from the turn of
the century. I surmise they must be cast
members from the childrens theatre
production of Fiddler On The Roof which
will be playing at the AVO across the street,
but it is still very surreal. Several of their
orders get very confused. When I finally
get to the counter, I ask the cashier if they
have any food left. She laughs. I order two
bean tostadas, two chicken tacos, a side
order of rice, and a quesadilla. I get mildly
concerned when I hear her repeat this
order for the cook in Spanish several times.
Eventually she takes three paper bags and
puts them in a plastic bag and repeats the
order back to me in English, correctly. I
take the bag and walk out, reflecting on
how handy it would be to have a hook in
the middle of the rear window to hang this
bag from. I put the bag on top of some
newspapers on the passenger seat, and
start towards home. Rounding the second
corner, a lady walking her dog walks out
right in front of me. I slam on the brakes
and clutch. Then I smile at her and wave
her past. The dinner is still upright, the
ABS works. I continue on towards home,
waving at one of my neighbors in his
gorgeous blue Dodge, who's stopped at a
cross light. I come around the corner to my
house, and brake to enter the driveway. I
glance in my rear-view mirror to see the
Caprice wagon almost rear-end me. I push
the button to the remote and the garage
door opens with its usual protesting
squeaks and squawks and groans. I pull
into the garage, just to the point where my
front wheels are not quite touching the
carpet, I can tell by turning around and
looking at the Vettes right rear corner. I pull
gently on the parking brake while pushing
the button, letting off the button just as I
firmly pull on the brake. I shut off the motor
and pull out the key. The singer on the
radio is blathering on in a monotone about
his girlfriend in a coma, until I open the door
to shut him off. I swing myself onto the
door sill, then up into the warm, dry garage.
All is right with the world. I push the button
to close the garage door, walk into the
house, and Allan sees me. Daddy's home!
Miniature Golf Tournament
March 16, 1997
By Don Wolfe
Our 3rd annual miniature golf tournament
was another fun event for 21 competitors.
We played at the Family Fun Center in
Vista and then caravanned to Live Oak
Park in Fallbrook for a picnic. Ever hear of
Sage Road? Shawn Silva said it made the
road going to his house look like a freeway!
The park, site of several previous wine run
picnics, was great as usual. Some of us
brought picnic lunches and others bought
carry out Mexican food at the little
restaurant across from the park. After
lunch, the ladies played Trivial Pursuit while
the men played horseshoes.
We have some very competitive miniature
golfers! Par is 52 and we had six players at
par or better. Ladies low scores were: 1st
place Trish Eaton, 49; 2nd place Helene
Sheehan, 51; and 3rd place Julie, 55.
Mens low scores were: 1st place was a tie
between Bob Levers and Justin with 49;
2nd place Terry Shrock, 50; and 3rd place
Richard Eaton, 52.
True or False
1. There was a prototype rear-engined Vette.
2. Zora Arkus Duntov worked on Porsches.
3. Zora Arkus Duntov was famous for hotrodding Fords.
4. It is not illegal to drive barefoot in California.
5. A dirty Vette once won second place in the Plastic Fantastic car show.
6. Some police agencies paint Corvettes black and white and put lights and sirens on them.
7. Your newsletter editor once won an autocross event because no one else showed up.
8. There are '83 Vettes.
9. Zora wanted the generation of Vettes after what are now called midyears to be midengined and four wheel drive.
10. Porsche 356's and Studebaker Larks were built together on the same production line.
11. In the early 60's Buick designed and produced an aluminum V8 which is still made by BMW.
12. The Queen of England has some of those engines.
13. Some Vettes are worth a million bucks.
14. General motors sued to reclaim prototype Vettes when the museum they were donated to closed.
15. They lost.
16. At least two options in 1991 cost more than an entire new Vette in 1981.
17. A Vette worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was confiscated by the US government and sold at auction.
18. A high-performance natural-gas powered LT-5 engine was an option on the GS-90 Corvette by Guldstrand.
19. Nobody bought the option, but development was paid for by a large gas utility.
20. John Wayne drove a Vette with a supercharged straight six.
21. There are 50% more '67 L-88's with Bloomington certification than were produced.
22. Chevy completely changed the 4-speed transmission on Vettes in the middle of the 1963 model year.
23. One year, the fastest Buick was faster than the Vette.
24. The Nomad show car was built on a Vette chassis.
25. Corvair was originally the name of a fastback Vette.
26. Some North Coast Vettes members have had their Vettes for decades.
27. The C5 took eight years to develop.
28. There is already a recall on it.
29. Part of it is Balsa wood.
30. The Wet Vette is a production boat with
styling to look like a Vette.
Answers to Trivia Time
1. True. It would pull wheelies far too easily.
3. True. The Duntov cam was a hotrodders dream.
4. True, although nothing stops municipalities from making it illegal.
5. True. That really ticked some people off.
7. True. They gave me the entrance fee back, and let me run anyways.
8. True. One in a museum, and a couple of development mules found cut in half in a junkyard in England are being restored.
10. True. In Belgium in the late 50's and early 60's.
11. True. They sold the rights and tooling to British Leyland, which eventually wound up under BMW. The engine wound up in the TR8 in the early '80s.
12. True. Land Rovers.
13. True. Although, a buck ain't worth what it used to be. Ever see the price on a '67 L-88, new? Sigh...
14. True. The Cunningham collection.
15. True. CERV prototypes wound up in private hands as a result.
16. True. ZR1 and Callaway Turbo. I paid $17,282 including tax for my gymkhana '81.
17. True. But they certainly paid more than $53.
20. True. It still makes the car show rounds, I saw it at Reno one year.
22. True. You can tell by looking at the thickness of the shifter shaft.
23. True. Turbocharged Grand National model.
24. True. Many books are incorrect about this.
26. True. 30 years in the case of the Lamaches.
29. True. Within the floorpan.
I would like to thank you for allowing me to
serve as President of North Coast Vettes
for 1997-1998. I would also like to
welcome the new Elected Officers and
Appointed Officials. Our Club is blessed
with a great group of members and I am
looking forward to working with all of you to
continue doing Corvette things and having
fun. "SAVE THE WAVE"
North Coast Vettes
P. O. Box 188237
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Car Country Carlsbad
5335 Paseo del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92008
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