Rear View Mirror - November, 1992: Homecoming events jinxed by rain; Magnificent cars at the Otis Chandler museum; Decision to change from Thanksgiving dinner to Christmas dinner; Palm Springs Road Races; First flyer for the West Coast Corvette Expo; Happy hours at Spoons, Jolly Roger, Marie Callenders and the Fisherman; '62 Vette stolen in '71 returned to owner; Route 66 display at San Diego Automotive Museum; and Dave McLellan announces intention to retire.

Well, the ZR1 hasn't sold yet. Having it up for sale has made me very nostalgic, however. Since many new members don't know me very well, this is a good time to recount my years of Corvette ownership.

It all started long, long ago. I was a relatively klutzy kid, and my father decided to help me improve my motor skills and coordination by having me build and race slot cars. At the time, my father was head salesman for a company called Bruck Braid and Associates. Bruck made all sorts of braided and woven materials, from the fringe for patio umbrellas to control wires for the Saturn V rocket. One of their customers was Revell, a model car manufacturer in Culver City (right near our home, and near Guildstrand Engineering and Traco, too). The braid they bought was for the electrical contacts for the slot cars to pick up energy from the track. My dad took me on a tour of the plant, and I acquired my first Vette - a 1/32 scale white '64 coupe. Later we together built a 1/24 scale blue coupe. I still have both, although I severely modified the '64 and would run it on 1/24 scale tracks (the model equivalent of putting huge drag slicks on a real car). I also got a Ferrari GTO, but fortunately for my pocketbook never quite got into them quite so much!

A few years ago, a track opened up in Vista, and I tried racing them there. The local kids were amazed that someone would try to run such valuable antiques on an open track! Unfortunately, the permanent magnets have lost their energy and they can barely move.

The bug had bitten. When I was 16, I had a summer job fixing commercial washing machines. I scrimped and saved, and with a little help from mom, bought a '63 roadster for $1400, August, 1973. The guy thought he was ripping me off, but all it needed was a valve job on one side (as well as CA emissions, but that's another long, sad tale). I rebuilt the Holley, and managed to improperly thread the secondary fuel line, which burst into flame, boiling some paint off the hood and burning up the wiring harness, but luckily not catching the fiberglas afire - it was close. Champion Chevrolet put in a new harness, but it was from another year, and probably still causing electrical problems. The next summer, my friend painted it Pearl White with Metallic Blue stinger and a field on the back deck. Most of the five years after that I was in college, and only was able to garage it during the summers. Every rainstorm would soak the carpetting, which eventually rotted away. 1976 was "rebuild the tranny" time, 1978 the engine went, so a friend and I rebuilt it. It had been hotrodded by a previous owner as a tow car for a drag boat (!), and I kind of liked the performance, so I pretty much did the same - dome-top trw's, 1/2 race cam, etc.

When I graduated, I bought a pocket-rocket Plymouth (1600cc Champ with Twin-Stick - eight forward speeds) and the Vette became a weekend car. By 1981 I was finally starting my programming carreer, and in April when I saw the ad from Champion Chevrolet in the paper that said "Yes, we have 4-speeds!" I rushed out and bought one. Everyone thought I was nuts spending a years salary ($17,248 with tax, if memory serves) on a new Vette, especially when I already had one. 1983 saw my first unexpected layoff, just after I bought a house, so I sold the '63 to some Joe-Blow specialty car lot. They painted it the original Riverside Red and put in a new interior, displaying it on their lot on Sepulveda Boulevard in Hermosa Beach, where I often saw crowds of tourists salivating over it. They eventually sold it to a teenage girl who lived near my parents, so I would see it every so often and become morose. She continued to have electrical problems with it. Then, I saw it no more. Later that year, I started working in downtown LA, so I started buying commuter cars and relegated the '81 to weekend status. By '84 I was a contract programmer, so I was able to move to North County by '86. That's when I bought the Lincoln, as I would sometimes work from home, and sometimes have some killer commutes (to Long Beach, Burbank, Upland among others).

Around 1988 I became involved with North Coast Vettes, and started showing and autocrossing the '81. I won a big trophy at Reno in '89 for autocrossing. I have a video of me on a twisty course at Lake Havasu, too. In 1991, I took a Formula Ford course at Las Vegas (different from the raceway they use now), and during one of the lunch breaks I spun the Vette going about 15mph in the infield and cracked a rear fender on a pole sticking up in the middle of nowhere. I checked into having it fixed, and even changing the color of the car (I had always wanted a blue one, and the lying salesman that sold me the car told me they weren't making blue ones that year), but I was fairly depressed about spending thousands of dollars on the bodywork and more thousands hopping up the engine when there were all these new ones around, especially those ZR1's... so I tried unsuccessfully to sell it, and eventually got a pretty good deal selling it to Corvette Mike, who promptly shipped it to Japan. It had around 52 thousand miles on it. Now, it's deja vu all over again...

Membership News

By Shawn Silva

Membership Chairman

North Island Naval Aviation Depot American Heritage Celebration

October 22,1997 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM - Classic Car Show

By Anne Lamache

Andrew & Anne Lamache entered their 1967-427 Stingray, along with over 30 cars, mostly owned by employees of the Depot. The Over the Hill Gang displayed some of their vintage cars, which are always a delight to view. The assemblage of these timeless vehicles was well received. A grand stage, an excellent sound system, good band, American Indian, African and Polynesian dancing provided professional entertainment. Concession stands offered ethnic food, information and shopping. As the noon hour approached, employees streamed from the buildings to join in the

celebration. Mother Nature blessed us with beautiful weather. We were all thanked for participating in the event with the hope we will return next year. Each car received a dash plaque. Folks, this was a very well planned event, but let's hope for a better showing from the Car Clubs for next year's festivities.

For Sale

1991 ZR1, Black/Black, Both Tops, 30,200mi, $28,000

1993 ZR1, Bright Aqua, Lt Gray Lthr, Both Tops, 13,200mi, $36,000

"Mark" @ 406-443-6333 (MT)

Presidential Prattle


Terry Shrock


North Coast Vettes

P. O. Box 188237

Carlsbad, CA 92009

Sponsored By

Weseloh Chevrolet

Car Country Carlsbad

5335 Paseo del Norte

Carlsbad, CA 92008

(760) 438-1001

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