By Janet Curran, Registry Number W0477

2005 has flown by and 2006 has arrived
                                    with all kinds of wondrous Corvette events on the calendar

This past year was very rough for many of the Corvette Community. Weather has caused some horrendous problems no matter which part of the country you live. The Gulf area is trying to recover from the hurricanes, and flooding has taken its’ toll from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Right now Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas are suffering from a drought, and unseasonably hot weather that has spawned devastating fires. Way Out West flooding and mudslides began 2005 and have now also begun 2006. We must remember that we cannot control nature, but we can do our best to help our friends. When we were in harms way, friends helped us pack up our treasures and cars and took them to their home for safekeeping. We must all try to be there for our friends and families. Our Corvette Community is small and close knit, but it is also widely dispersed, we cover the globe, yet we are all family.

2005 was also a fabulous year for the Corvette Community with the introduction of 2006 C6 Automatic Paddle Shifter and the incomparable 2006 C6 Z06. Corvette Racing made all of us proud with their outstanding 2005 season. There were Corvette events both organized and impromptu that gave us a great choice of activities in which to participate, including a tour of Jay Leno’s magnificent garage - more about the later.

The Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca were held Oct 14-16. Corvette Racing finished 1 and 2 in the GT1 class clinching the GT1 Championship. The No. 4 C6-R driven by Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta came in first, followed by the No. 3 C6-R of Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell. Team Gavin and Beretta took the title from their teammates by a narrow 19 point margin (197-177 points). This was an exciting 4 hour race with the last part being run at night. The Corvettes had to battle a pair of Aston Martin’s, a Saleen and a Maserati to win the race. It was not a bad year as Corvette won the GT1 Manufacturer’s Championship, the Driver’s Championship, the Team Championship, and the Pit Crew Championship.

The Corvette Corral was hosted by Chevrolet, Co-hosted by the National Corvette Museum (NCM) and the Western States Corvette Council (WSCC). The Facilitator for the weekend event was the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). We must really thank these sponsors and hosts for providing all of the Corvette fans a great weekend of racing, fun, and seminars.

On Friday afternoon there was a Corvette-only Parade Lap that took us around the track. Laguna Seca is an amazing track with elevation changes including the famous “Cork Screw”. It was exciting to drive on the same track that the Professionals race on; it gives us a brand new respect for their talents.

The National Corvette Museum, WSCC and Courtesy Chevrolet of San Jose, CA hosted the Friday night C6-R Racing Banquet where we were treated to personal racing accounts as told by the #3 and #4 Corvette race teams. These guys are so funny and you can really tell that they are committed to their jobs. Whenever they decide to retire from professional racing, they can take up new careers as stand up comedians.

David Hill, Corvette Chief Engineer, gave a slide presentation and information about the new Corvette.

Chevrolet brought a Z06 rolling chassis to the Corvette Corral tent so that David Hill and Tadge Juechter could explain the workings of this wondrous vehicle. They also brought a Velocity Yellow C6 Pace Car, and a Victory Red C6 Z06. Rich Mason brought his SR2 1957 Corvette Race Car for all to admire. Karen Rafferty was there to answer a myriad of questions from those waiting for their new C6 or deciding whether or not to order one.

Carl and Bonnie Corbett [C5R# X2309] brought their brand new Victory Red C6 Z06, Motorsport West Buzz & Ruth Marston [C5R# Y4432] brought their brand new Velocity Yellow C6 Z06 and '06 C6 LeMans Blue Convertible with the new 6-Speed automatic paddle shifter for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

In November, the National Corvette Museum held a never-to-be-forgotten California event. The object was to raise money for the NCM building program and to give members an opportunity to visit special Southern California garages that most people only read and dream about.

This special tour began at Dick Guldstrand’s shop in Burbank. Many of us have had the pleasure of hearing Dick’s stories, but few have had the opportunity to listen to him in his own shop surrounded by Corvettes. Dick recounted stories of Corvette racing from the very beginnings. He made us feel as if we were actually there with him during these historic events. Not always politically correct, but always entertaining, Dick leaves us wanting to know even more about how Corvette Racing evolved into our fabulous current Corvettes.

Next we went to Burbank Studios to view the Jay Leno Show. I believe that everyone knows Jay is a “real” car guy. He made sure we had special seats and then a group picture with him after the show. The show was great, but what was BETTER was a trip to Jay’s garage where he keeps his fabulous collection of cars. Jay believes that cars are to be driven and chooses a different car from his collection to drive every day. Jay gave us a personal guided tour and told us a little about many of his cars and motorcycles. Every car is special to him and he drives every one of them. We could have spent a lot more time there, but Jay did have to get back to work and write his monolog for his next show. Thank you, Jay!

The following day we toured the famous So Cal Speed Shop. So Cal was established in 1946 by Alex Xydias. So Cal is legendary for the many custom and race cars that helped define the Southern California Car Culture. There were Land Speed racers, drag racers, show cars and cruisers. There were cars of every description and in all stages of build or restoration. So Cal has worked closely with GM for many years and there were GM Performance trucks and trailers in the yard during our visit.

That afternoon we ventured into Los Angeles and the fabulous Petersen Automotive Museum. Instead of going directly to view the exhibits, we were taken to the storage area for cars not currently on display. Dick Messer, Director of the Petersen Museum, guided us around the cars and answered questions, but we had complete freedom to wander around to see what was of particular interest to each of us. There was everything from one-of-a-kind special interest cars to diplomatic cars, to extremely limited exotics. Anything that you could imagine as a vehicle was in that storage area. Sitting off to the side was one of Steve McQueen’s old motorcycles, looking like it had not been touched since his last ride. It was obvious each vehicle had its own story to tell.

Auto collector Bruce Meyer, former Chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum, invited us to his home to view part of his personal collection. In this collection is the first Corvette to run LeMans, Clark Gable’s last car, a 1956 Mercedes 300 Sc Cabriolet,  Ferrari’s, street rods, many other cars and personal memorabilia documenting Southern California auto history.

Any single stop during the NCM Southern California Tour would have thrilled automotive fans, but collectively they were Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July and the 24 Hours of LeMans all rolled up together. This was truly an unforgettable adventure. Our Thanks to the National Corvette Museum for this memorable experience!

On December 1, Mike and I picked up our new Machine Silver Metallic Z06 at the National Corvette Museum. This was a dream come true. There is no better way to celebrate the acquisition of a wonderful new Corvette than taking possession at the NCM. We began the day with a very special tour of the plant. Our Delivery Team Member was Ron Barton. Ron retired from the Bowling Green plant and was really able to give us a great tour. He knew nearly everyone working there and let us advance at our own pace. He was so knowledgeable about the Z06 that it really added to our pleasure.  When we got back to the museum we took a quick tour and then started the paper work. This was so easy, the Museum makes it effortless.

Then we went to our Z06 - WOW!!!!!! it was now ours. Ron took us through all of the little ins and outs of the Z06, pointing out things and answering questions. It took a little longer because my cell phone kept ringing with greetings from well wishers and Paul Eggermann reminding me to wave at everyone. I felt as if all of our friends were with us at the Museum. Chaz Cone captured pictures and put up a web page for us:  
I really want to thank everyone for sending us the pictures they captured from the web cams. Our drive home was fun and uneventful. Mike and I split the driving duties and both came to the conclusion that this Z06 is WONDERFUL!


Special THANKS go out from Mike and I to everyone for being a part of our R8C Museum Delivery.

Upcoming events -

February 4 & 5, 2006 Corvette Track Days, Spring Mtn, Pahrump Nevada
March 17-19, 2006, Gamblers Classic, Primm, NV
April 1 & 2, 2006 Corvette Track Days, Spring Mtn, Pahrump Nevada
April 8, 2006 San Simeon Tour
April 20-23, 2006 C5/C6 Birthday Bash, National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, KY
May 21, 2005 Plastic Fantastic, San Diego, CA
June 17-18, 2006 24 Hours of LeMans, France
July 14-16, 2006 ALMS Utah
July 21-23 Big Bear Bash, Big Bear Lake, CA
July 27-30 Vettes on the Rockies
Aug 19-20, 2006 Vapor Trails Corvettes, Santa Maria, CA
Oct 4-8 Tombstone Corvettes & Ghost Riders
Oct 20-22, 2006 ALMS Laguna Seca, Monterey CA
Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2006 SEMA Las Vegas NV
November 4-5, 2006 Corvette Track Days, Spring Mtn, Pahrump Nevada

If there is an event that you believe others might care about, please let us know.
Join us for some C5/C6 Fun.


Previous "Way Out West":

Way Out West Summer 2005 Way Out West May 2005


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