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The History of the Corvettes Conquer Cancer 1997 Corvette
This page documents only the 97 C5 itself at major events, and doesn't cover all of the Tour activities.

Background on acquiring the C5

Late in 1997, at age 51, Sandy was undergoing rigorous chemotherapy for a recurrence of breast cancer that had spread to her lymph system. During the infusions, she would think happy thoughts.  These thoughts always included traveling with her husband, Ben, in her beloved 1963 Corvette convertible. The months of treatments dragged on. During each session her mind would wander farther, to distant Corvette shows, where she would speak about cancer - about detection and prevention and research - and she would raise money for the American Cancer Society. 

The images became more vivid, and, without realizing it, she wasn't daydreaming any longer, she was planning!

She told Ben, "I know this recurrence is NOT a good thing. As soon as I'm done with this course of treatment, and while I'm still able, I want to sell the '63, get a C5, and go on a tour of the country, hitting all the major Corvette shows, speaking whenever I have the opportunity, distributing cancer information and raising money for the American Cancer Society. Whatever it takes, I'm going to find a way!"

Sandy became focused on making the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour a reality! Looking back on it later, she would laugh and say that the idea was "drug induced"!

Corvettes Conquer Cancer
was born!

Having made the leap from daydream to actual planning stage, Sandy's first call
was to her old friend, National Corvette Museum founder, the late  Dan Gale

  Dan immediately went into high gear, lining up the contacts in the Corvette field whom he thought could help. Throughout the rest of the winter and through the spring of 1998 Sandy developed a schedule of events to go to, and lined up a major sponsor (Kerbeck, the self-proclaimed "World's Largest Corvette Dealer") who was to provide the use of a new C5 Corvette for the Tour, and cover expenses. 

All this time,  Sandy was completing the debilitating chemotherapy, and undergoing screening for a bone marrow transplant at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Long before the days of Google, she became adept at searching the internet for information about her disease and the effectiveness of a variety of treatment options, including the bone marrow transplant. She didn't like what she found. The transplant would require that she be in total isolation for 1-2 months, followed by near isolation for many months afterward. This would obviously preclude doing her  Tour. The worst part was the fact that the prognosis FOR BREAST CANCER were not promising at all. She decided not to take that path, instead receiving radiation after the completion of chemotherapy. Months later, published results of clinical trials have supported her decision. 

Talks with the sponsor progressed to the point of "what color and what options" for the C5. Torch Red, of course, and automatic. The Tour schedule was filling in nicely, and would kick off with a sendoff from the Maine Governor's mansion on June 11!

Late in April, Sandy's beloved '63, "Velvet", was sold to a gentleman from Indiana, Mike Amick. This was a sad day for Sandy and Ben. The '63 had been a part of the family since 1977, and had been sold in '81 and repurchased in '90. Together, they were responsible for a cellar-full of trophies from shows, including a "Best In Show", and 60,000 miles of fun.
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Then came a major setback! The sponsor became increasingly hard to reach. Calls were not returned. Finally, the bad news: with less than a month before the Tour was to start, the deal was off!

For most people this would have been a disaster, but NOT FOR SANDY! She mulled this over for all of a few minutes, realizing that common sense would dictate quitting. Her determination to go through with her plan prevailed, however, and she called her friend, Sonny Soule, who dealt in used Corvettes locally. Then she started working on the finances.

Long story short: Three days later, on May 21, she picked up her new (slightly used) '97 Torch Red automatic Vette!
With the help of refinancing the house, cashing in her IRAs, and the sale of the '63, she now had a
nearly flawless 10,486 mile C5 for what became her mission: the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour
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21 days to get acquainted with the new car and get some graphics installed on it!

June 11, 1998

Graphics, CB and cell phone antennas in place, we got a sendoff from the
Maine Governor's Mansion by the First Lady, Mary Hermann, a bunch of friends, and the press.

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As we headed off on the Tour we stopped in at ValCom, my incredibly supportive employer!
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June 19, 1998

Benefit Cruise Night, Somerville NJ...
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...where we led the closing Corvette parade!
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June 25-28, 1998
Bloomington Gold
Our first National event!

On display in front of the Interstate Center.
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In front of the stage at the American Cancer Society "Relay For Life" where Sandy spoke and walked the Survivors' Lap.
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Behind the cruiser for the 60 mile, 1300 Corvette "Road Tour."
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July 4, 1998
Corvette show @ Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton OH.
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July 8-12
NCRS National Convention
Collinsville IL

Sharing the front apron with a rare '57 Fuelie.
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With Dave McLellan and our first sponsor, "Corvette Mike" Vietro.
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July 15-19, 1998
Black Hills Classic
Sioux Falls to Spearfish SD

(Notice addition of the new chrome wheels and donor Corvette Mike's decal)

Sioux Falls. While there the battery was replaced, under warranty.                    One of many TV interviews.
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On the way to Spearfish: Al's Oasis and Wall Drug.
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Vette Street USA, downtown Spearfish.
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Sandy got yet another TV interview; the broadcast.
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Mt. Rushmore - from the back.
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July 24-26 1998
Vette Fest
Boise ID

On the way, a stop in Missoula MT produced this.
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July 31-August 2
Vettes On The Rockies
Frisco, CO

Met Dave Hill.
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On the way to Anaheim, a photo op at Lake Mead.
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August 18, 1998
Reception at Corvette Mike
Anaheim CA

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Sights on the way back East to Carlisle

Tucumcari NM
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Shamrock TX: Anybody see the movie "CARS"? Look familiar?
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August 28-31 1998
Corvettes @ Carlisle
Carlisle PA

Dan Gale, "Corvette Mike" Vietro & Elfi Duntov.
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The Parade.
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The Awards Ceremony: After presenting Sandy with the DieHard Award from Sears...
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Chip then brought Sandy to tears when he announced that Carlisle Productions
would replace the bald tires on the Corvettes Conquer Cancer C5!

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September 4-7, 1998
Labor Day Celebration
National Corvette Museum
Bowling Green KY

We shared the front apron with Corvette Plant Manager Wil Cooksey's drag car.
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September 10-13
Effingham IL

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September 15, 1998
Mallett Cars
Berea OH

The first of what would be annual stops for Chuck Mallett and
crew to take care of any maintenance the car might need.

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Chuck mounts the new tires from Carlisle... and adds to the shine!
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The whole gang - Thanks Guys (and Bev, for a great lunch)!
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December 1998

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January 14-17
NCRS FL Winter Meet
Kissimmee FL

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Later that morning we met photographer Richard Prince to do a shoot for Corvette Fever Magazine,
commissioned by Chip Miller, honoring the 1999 Corvettes @ Carlisle "Chip's Choice" cars & owners.

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NCRS-FL Winter Meet at Disney's Wide World of Sports

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June 24-27 1999
Bloomington Gold
Bloomington IL

Same spot on the grass in front of the Interstate Center, next to the Chevrolet tent.
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July 10, 1999
NCRS New England Regionals
Woburn MA

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August 6, 1999
Benefit Cruise Night
Somerville NJ

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August 26-29, 1999
Corvettes @ Carlisle

Chip's Choice!

Chip designated the center of the Chip's Choice lineup for Sandy's display.
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TV interview at the table.
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Sandy died peacefully on March 6

Link to her memorial service, April 1 in Wiscasset ME


From here on you will mainly be seeing the major national events of each year.
In addition to those shown, we typically attend at least a dozen local shows annually.


April 14-16, 2000
C5 Birthday Bash
National Corvette Museum

Dedication of Sandy's Memorial Brick
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Link to Museum website archive photos of the brick dedication


Bloomington Gold
June 22-25, 2000

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Corvettes @ Carlisle
August 25-27, 2000

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A major surprise: Don Theune of Scale Visions makes extremely detailed model cars. For several years he has donated a one-of-a-kind model of a well known Corvette for the Carlisle Charity Auction. He met Sandy last year when we were in Chip's Choice and his display was across the hall. He was so impressed with her and her mission that he decided to do a model of Sandy's C5 for the 2000 auction, and took a lot of photos of her car. He told us that he was going to make a slight exception to his 1 of 1 policy and would make a second one... for the National Corvette Museum! They would each be unique: one with roof on and one with roof off. Wonderful!

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Then the surprise when I connected with him this year: He had made a third version... FOR ME.

Oh - the Charity Auction version sold for $1100.00, benefit for the American Cancer Society!


September 14-17, 2000

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NCRS-FL Winter Meet
Kissimmee FL
January 11-14

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Daytona Beach on the way home.


C5 Birthday Bash
National Corvette Museum

April 19-22, 2001

Sandy's plate, "DIDNTW8" on display.
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Also on display in the Spire is the
"Scale Visions" model of Sandy's C5.
by Don Theune.

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Parked with Chuck Mallett's display.
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Bloomington Gold
June 21-24, 2001

Bloomington has given us prime space right in front of the Interstate Center since 1998!
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It got really busy! On the turntable at the right is a 12 mile '67 L-88!
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Buzz McCarthy presents me with a check from the Cape Cod Corvette Club from their May Rally.
Standing with us are sponsors Chuck Mallett and Mike Milian "Corvette Mike New England".

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We did a Silent Auction for 1 spot behind us in the Saturday evening Road Tour.
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The winner: Keith Bacon, for $525.00 to the American Cancer Society.


"Drive Your Corvette To Work Day"
Friday, June 29, 2001

This was promoted by Mike Yager of Mid America Designs to commemorate the
first production Corvette, which rolled off the assembly line in Flint, MI on June 30, 1953.

I didn't just drive it to work, I worked out of it!
Naturally, that was the day I had 3 replacement monitors come in all at once.
That never happened before, or since!
I got them all swapped out (1 at a time).

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Thursday, August 23: Mallett Cars
Berea, OH

Chuck's crew changes the oil, installs pads & rotors, and installs the new sponsor's Firestones!
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Then, 1/2 mile away:

Corsa Performance
Jim Browning of Corsa offered to install one of their classy exhaust systems while we were in Berea.
We decided on the Touring mufflers with the Pro tips, with Corsa's x-pipe which completely
eliminates resonance, crackling and popping.

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Corvettes @ Carlisle
August 24-26, 2001

Early visitors to our booth: Elfi Duntov and Karen Gale.
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Firestone Mid Atlantic Rep, Sal Guinta.
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Wednesday, 8/29/2001

Bridgestone Park, Nashville: Bridgestone-Firestone HQ
That's Dave Gardiner, who arranged for the tire sponsorship!

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National Corvette Museum
Celebration and Hall of Fame

August 31, September 1-2, 2001

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Richard Prince's slides included this one of Sandy on the road in her C5!

Celebrity Choice Awards - I actually got one!
Dollie Cole, NCM Board Chairman and widow of Ed Cole,
who picked my car, gave me a little extra something with my award!

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September 13-16, 2001

Thursday, September 13

At 10:09 - a major milestone for the Corvettes Conquer Cancer C5!

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Arrival at Mid America's campus in Effingham. This poster on the door advertises the cancer
information program that Mid America has put on for the community on the Thursday before Funfest.

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Saturday, Sept. 15
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Dinner at Mike & Laurie Yager's house.
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Making Strides 2001
American Cancer Society Breast Cancer March
Damariscotta, Maine
October 14, 2001

For the 3rd year we led  the marchers.
(The 1999  event was the last public function Sandy was able to attend.)

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This event raised over $93,000 for the
American Cancer Society!



NCRS-FL Winter Meet
January 23-26, 2002

(with a couple days in Key West!)

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Those great wide tires make terrific snowboards!
At 3:30 the Super 8 in Danbury, CT was looking irresistible.
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Sunday, 1/20
Isn't it pretty? Not when driving a Corvette! 
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That became my first 1000+ mile day: Danbury CT to Richmond Hill GA (So. of Savannah) - 1001 miles!

On to Key West!

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At last, in Kissimmee!

Still sporting sand & salt from CT, NY & PA!
As soon as I checked in, I spent 2 hours washing the poor thing!

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Thursday, 1/24
I finally got to meet Richard Fleming.
He also lost his wife to breast cancer in 2000.
Click on this link for his story.
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Richard & I pose by my car.
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And again by his car.
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DC, but you knew that!
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C5 Birthday Bash
National Corvette Museum
April 18-21, 2002

A mob awaits the official unveiling of the 50th Anniversary Corvette!
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Don Theune model of the Tour C5, on display inside the Spire.
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New Sponsor:
Precision Valley Corvette Museum

Springfield VT
May 5, 2002

While at the museum grand opening I talked to the owner, Matt Alldredge, and asked if he would be interested in sponsoring my mission. Without a minute's hesitation, he jumped at the opportunity, agreed to take the prime space on the hood of the C5, and wrote out a check on the spot! It just doesn't get any better than that!

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2 weeks later:
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Bloomington Gold
June 13-16, 2002

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Featured in the Bloomington Gold's program, the Gold Standard
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The Road Tour:
After the DARE Corvettes, we were # 3.
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Monterey Trip
August 3-26, 2002
A few of the sights

August 5, Nashville
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Firestone installed the new tires as scheduled. The old ones showed only minimal wear @ 26k miles,
but Firestone wants to check them out. My rep, Dave Gardner (above), their Product Marketing Manager,
also gave me a check to Corvettes Conquer Cancer for $1000!!!


August 8, 2002

"Four Corners"
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Next was a FAST leg to Monument Valley. Emphasis on "FAST". Mostly 2 lane, through Indian
reservations, with little traffic. For about 1/2 hour, I was able to comfortably maintain 105 or better.
See below: note "speed" displayed on laptop screen.

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Monument Valley
Navajo land, straddling the UT/NM State line.
Below right - I am standing in NM looking into UT. The car is on the line.

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Without a doubt, this was the most spectacular scenery I have ever
had the pleasure of seeing, anywhere!

The 17 Mile Valley Drive: Light and low-clearance vehicles discouraged, according to the sign - in 3 languages!
This was a "road" much better suited to 4x4s than Corvettes: Very rough, deep sand, and stretches of
washboard just like extended rumble strips. I rarely reached the 15mph limit.

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August 9
Arrival in Monterey

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August 10
C5 Registry Dinner

After the dinner, John autographed the (dirty) underside of the hood of our Corvettes Conquer Cancer C5.
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August 11
NCRS National Convention

I found a good spot to display the car in front of the hotel.
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August 12
Monterey Del Oro 17 Mile Sunset Tour and dinner

The lineup.
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August 14
Laguna Seca Raceway with NCRS

On the track! We got 3 laps: Parade laps, regrettably, but that "Corkscrew" turn (r) was still a heart stopper!
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August 15
Cruising Monterey

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Saturday, 8/17 
Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca, with NCM Corvette Corral

Corvette Corral parking... in the fog.
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Sunday, August 18
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

So here's the drill: You park miles from Pebble Beach along the 17 Mile Drive. Every 3 or 4 minutes
a bus comes by to take you to a trolley which takes you to "The Lodge". For free!
Well, the bus is free; spectator registration for the show is $100pp.

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Jay Leno, moments before I shook his hand.
I knew he would be here so I had been watching for him!
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Tall guy in white hair & glasses to the right is Bob Lutz, former head of Chrysler and father of the
Viper and Prowler, now VP of GM! I didn't even notice him at the time, I was just focused on Jay!

This panorama is where I was parked.
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Time to head back East, to Carlisle.


August 20
Yellowstone National Park

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August 23-25
Corvettes @ Carlisle

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August 26 - the conclusion of the Trip Of A Lifetime!

Home again. That is one HAPPY cat in the window!
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The final stats for Monterey trip:
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Wednesday, Sept. 18
The annual service at Mallett's in Berea, OH.

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September 19-22

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A chopper circling overhead probably took these shots. We're in the red circles.
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October 27, 2002
Spontaneous cruise to the very top of Maine: Fort Kent

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Border crossing to Canada.
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End of Route 1 in Maine. It just stops.                                                              End of Route 1 in Key West back in January.
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January 22-25
NCRS-FL Winter Meet

Left is Buzz & Jackie Nielson's Commemorative Edition C5.
Right is Richard Fleming's Mag Red "Lady L".

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Special auction item for the Awards Banquet:

 A beautifully matted and framed print of the winning C5Rs at LeMans in 2001, autographed by the artist and ALL 6 drivers. What made this really special was this:  inset on either side of the print are photos of each of the drivers as they signed the print! Richard Fleming provided this very special item as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Thanks to Ed Augustine and the Florida Chapter of NCRS, Richard Fleming and winner Roy Wingert, we were able to send the American Cancer Society's Tampa Office the total of  $1770.00!

This is why we go to these special events, to be with these special people!
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April 24-27, 2003
C5 Birthday Bash
National Corvette Museum

April 23
Wheels removed in Firestone's Nashville shop to mount the new tires on the
new wheels provided by Mike Sweeney of Corvette Wheel Specialists.

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At the Museum's back door to set up my display, I found myself in good company.
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Thanks to Mike Sweeney, Corvette Wheel Specialist,
for the beautiful new 2001 style chrome wheels!
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Our parking spot for 3 days.
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Wil Cooksey's autograph on my hood, above John Cafaro's.
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I had to stop at the American Cancer Society on the way out of town for this photo op.
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June 26-29, 2003
Bloomington Gold

Our parking spot outside at Pheasant Run. We had protection...
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Saturday evening: The Bloomington Gold Road Tour
Lining up, as the storm clouds build.

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Another Harley Earl car.
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July 13-17
NCRS National Convention
Hershey, PA

The Corvettes Conquer Cancer C5 shared the front apron of the Convention Center with Chip & Judy Miller's
"Numbers Matching" pair, a 1953 and a 2003 Anniversary Edition, both with the same VIN: #181
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August 22-24, 2003
Corvettes @ Carlisle

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Corvette Chief Engineer Dave Hill waits patiently while I clean off the spot under the hood
that I had reserved for his autograph, then ponders a few moments before starting.
 Thanks Dave!


Sunday, August 24

Instead of heading home to Maine at the conclusion of Corvettes @ Carlisle Sunday afternoon, we turned West toward Ypsilanti, MI. That is the location of GM Powertrain Division's Engineering Center. 

Background: For the past 4 months, we had been getting the Check Engine light from error codes in the car's computer indicating a slipping condition in the automatic transmission. The condition was not noticeable in normal driving. That is, until the computer put it into a fail-safe mode that would actually cause the tires to chirp shifting into second gear pulling away from a traffic light! Embarrassing! If I cleared the codes, operation would be normal again until the next incident. I asked friend Powertrain engineer (and serious Corvette guy) Bill Nichols about it, and gave him the codes that were reappearing. He did some research, and determined that probably a valve was wearing. He managed to convince the powers that be that it would be a useful exercise for them to examine this trans with 150,000 real-world miles on it. With Chief Engineer Dave Hill's OK, GM would replace the trans for me!

Monday, August 25

At 6:16 Monday morning I was in front of the Powertrain Engineering Center in Ypsilanti.
The car and I were immediately directed into the shop.

Long story short: at a little past 3:00 we were back outside with a new tranny! 
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That's Powertrain Development Manager Dave Stark on the left and the tech who did the work on the right.

Unfortunately, GM Security impounded my camera immediately upon entering the facility,
so I couldn't get any photos while inside the building. Bummer!

Back on the road to Maine.
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January 22-25
NCRS -FL Winter Meet


On my last outing in November, the water pump decided to retire at 156,000 miles, decorating the engine compartment with DexCool. I got in touch with my buddy Bill Nichols at GM Powertrain for a replacement. He's the guy who got the ball rolling to replace the transmission back in August. He came through again, and on 1/13/04 (sponsor) Strong Chevrolet installed, not just a new water pump, but a C6 water pump - a 2005 part! A very different design, but physically interchangeable. Powertrain  justified this as a means of getting a lot of miles on the new design in a short time. Glad to help out!

The old and the new.
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Jerry Burton (tan shirt),
Editorial Director of Corvette Quarterly Magazine
and author of "Zora Arkus Duntov - The Legend Behind Corvette",
stopped by for a visit.

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Our booth saw plenty of traffic as we distributed cancer information and raised money
for the American Cancer Society. Richard Fleming was a tremendous help, as always,
and he donated the 1960 Corvette print seen leaning against the table. This was auctioned
off at the Awards Banquet (see below).

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This was as bad as the weather got the entire time we were at Old Town!
Across the way: "Yogi" Bair's Corvettes.

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At the Awards Banquet, Richard's print brought $500, our 50/50 produced $1285,
table donations came to $372 for a total of $2157. NCRS National matched
with $1000 for a grand total of
$3157 for the American Cancer Society!

On the way home, things got ugly: The Ice Storm of 2004!

January 26

After a night in Savannah, the forecasts were ominous: a monster snow/ice storm was moving northeast through the Carolinas and Virginia. After studying the weather maps and hearing that I-95 was already closed in parts of VA, I decided to stick with my original western route: I-95 to I-26, I-77, I-81, I-84, I-90, I-495 and back to I-95 near the NH border.

Conditions deteriorated rapidly. Within 100 miles, the rain started. It was immediately seen icing the trees. Soon, trees were falling onto the road (I-26) and cars & trucks were in the ditches! By the time I reached Orangeburg, SC, I decided it was foolish to continue, so I took an exit to find a room for the night. No power! They hadn't had power all day! I then started to backtrack. Traffic wasn't moving any better southbound as I tried exit after exit. It wasn't until I turned south on I-95 again that I found a Holiday Inn with power in St. George, SC. This was barely 90 miles from where I had started the day in Savannah. I was supposed to end this day in Scranton, PA!

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Tuesday, January 27

There was little traffic on the road, other than utility crews... and wreckers.
The Carolinas were pretty much shut down. Obviously they were unequipped
to deal with these conditions.

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In Virginia I caught up to the storm, which was all snow there.
Do I need tell you that late model Corvettes really suck in the snow?

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Once again I gave up, seeking refuge in Strasburg, VA, at the only lodging establishment in town: the Hotel Strasburg.
It was classic Victorian, and very pleasant, if pricier than my usual stops. I was supposed to be HOME by now!

January 28

In the morning the sun was shining brightly.
I was supposed to be back at work today. Maybe I'll actually get home!

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About an hour after entering Pennsylvania, just above Harrisburg - a near disaster!

Although it was clear, the surface was sloppy from the snow. An 18 wheeler decided that he wanted the left lane more than I needed it! I was near the front of his trailer as he started coming over. I'm simultaneously on the horn, flashing my lights and braking as I try to avoid him, and the deep, plowed snow drift in the left shoulder. To get into that stuff would have really thrown me for a loop. I almost made it clear, but the trailer's left rear tire just kissed my right front fender, pushing me slightly left so that I just clipped a chunk of drift in the shoulder before I cleared the trailer and could return to the road surface. 

Needless to say, I was livid! I immediately got on the cell phone to the PA State Police, and had them on the phone for 15 or 20 miles as I followed the truck, flashing my lights, trying to get him to pull over. He ignored me, but eventually pulled off at an exit and into a truck stop. Coincidentally, there also happened to be a State Police barracks at that exit.

When he finally parked, I pulled right across in front of him, and the first (!) trooper arrived moments later. I told him what had happened, and showed him the rubber burn on the fender lip. The truck driver was immediately belligerent, denying everything. This guy was a real classic: no teeth, severe Dunlop's Disease (gut hanging down over his belt). At one point he snarled at me "where are you from?" When I told him "Maine", he shot back "I hope you f*****g freeze to death!" He was so out of control that the trooper told him to get back in his truck and don't get out again until told to. Then he called for backup. At one point we had 4 cruisers there, as this guy continued to rant. He had such an attitude that the troopers were trying to figure some excuse to lock him up!

The last cruiser to arrive was the shift supervisor, who took over the job and released the others. He finished the accident report, and we discussed a court appearance. While I would love to confront this bozo in court, I told the supervisor that I really couldn't justify the cost of coming all the way back down to PA for court. He understood fully, but was not going to let the truck driver (from FL) know that! He'll have to appear. Of course, after 20 miles of sloppy roads, there was no trace of contact on the trailer's tire. Paperwork done, the supervisor sent me on my way, and started in on writing up the trucker for whatever he could. All that took about an hour and a half. I can't say enough for those PA troopers. They were great, very professional and very helpful.

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By the time I got to eastern NY on I-84, I caught up to the storm once again! Finding a Hartford radio station,
I learned that Connecticut was pretty much shut down. Time for yet another unscheduled overnight stop.

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Thursday, January 29

The Microtel in Bethel, CT was a good choice. I had stayed there in the past, but they had a
new feature that was much appreciated: free DSL internet service in the rooms!

Back home!
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 ...relatively minor damage.
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Chip Miller Memorial Service
April 3, 2004
Carlisle, PA

After the service, a procession wended its way through Carlisle to the Fairgrounds.
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The reception, appropriately, was in "T" Building, the site of "Chip's Choice" every year.
(Sandy was honored to have been one of "Chip's Choice" in 1999)

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As I left for home, it was strange to see the Carlisle Fairgrounds so deserted. Events held here in the future will
always be memorials to Chip for the fellowship that his inspiration, enthusiasm and perspiration brought together.

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April 22-24, 2004
C5 Birthday Bash
National Corvette Museum

We take a spot on the circle and set up our display in the Atrium area, next to Dana Forrester.
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Thanks to the generosity of the participants at this great event, I was able to send
$2257.00 to the American Cancer Society office in Bowling Green, KY


June 24-26
Bloomington Gold
Pheasant Run Resort
St. Charles IL

Friday Evening:
The American Cancer Society
"Relay For Life" of Kane County
Held at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva,
home of the Kane County Cougars baseball team.

This was the highlight of our trip to St. Charles this year!

Thanks to Cathy Storm of Bloomington Gold, we were invited by Karen Breier of the ACS Kane County Unit to participate in this very special event. Our first time at Bloomington in 1998 also coincided with the Relay for Life there, where Sandy was invited to speak at the opening ceremonies and she walked the Survivors' Lap. That one blew our minds as it was so far beyond anything we had seen at home in Maine. This one in Kane County far outshone any other Relay for Life I have ever participated in!

We had our own spot, the only Corvette inside the stadium, right inside the entrance.
It turned out to be a popular photo op for some of the Relay teams.

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This incredibly moving event raised $432,000 for the American Cancer Society!

Back at Pheasant Run

This was our spot this year: beautiful waterfront,
between the lake and the golf cart path, with Cathy Storm's tent, tables & chairs.

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August 26-29, 2004
Corvettes @ Carlisle

We had a lot extra going on this year: Paul Eggermann was taking orders (and running around taking pictures)
for his photo collage prints to help our fundraising by raffling a custom print.

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November 20-21, 2004
Chevy Vettefest
McCormick Place

This was a very late addition to our schedule this year. In October, we received an invitation to be a part of a special "Chip's Choice Reunion Showcase" at this prestigious event. How could I pass up an opportunity to pay tribute to everybody's friend, the late Chip Miller!

In the process, we managed to collect $220.00 for
The American Cancer Society's Chicago office.

Elevated views of the show floor, wide and zoomed. We are right in the middle, the only car in the hall
that was displayed on an angle. Hey, why not? We had plenty of room, so we might as well dare to be different!

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Above photos were taken from behind the glass wall in the left photo below,
right above the word "SHOWCASE".

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Back home, the season ends.




January 19-22
NCRS-FL Winter Meet
Kissimmee FL

Same spot as last year, across from Bair's Corvettes.
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Total for the American Cancer Society: $2090!

The trip back to Maine once again turned ugly: The Blizzard of 2005!
Once again, it looked like I could sneak past it.

PA had more snow on the ground, but still clear, dry road and nothing coming down.
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What a difference an hour and a quarter made! This is what it turned to just above Harrisburg. The local radio station was reporting "Flurries later this afternoon, possible snow showers by the evening commute." This wasn't 3:00 yet! In the very same news break, the local news reported dozens of accidents and areas to avoid because of them!!!

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This told me to quit for the day. 
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The Frackville, PA exit had a Holiday Inn Express. I tried. I really tried. No relief for the white knuckles there. Off the highway, there was about 2" (of possible flurries) on the road, and I could barely move. The ramp to the HIE proved impossible, then it took me 1/2 hour to get back maybe 100 feet of almost imperceptible grade onto the local road!

From there, the ONLY possible option was anything downhill or level. Here we were all crawling along Eastbound at 10-15 mph, with the tail end still occasionally drifting toward the ditch from the crown on the road. All the while I was PRAYING that this didn't lead to the bottom of some valley in the middle of nowhere with no way out but UP! Indeed, the Westbound traffic was unable to move at all. They were trying to go up! The Vette's traction control and anti-lock brakes were getting the workout of a lifetime.

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Mercifully, I ended up 7 miles from I-81 in downtown Pottsville, and was able to get to the
Quality Inn Suites. I couldn't begin to get into their parking lot, so I had to
park on the street overnight, and hope that I didn't get plowed in... or towed.
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Tuesday, Jan. 25

Neither plowed in nor towed, we departed beautiful downtown Pottsville the next morning. Again, the
weather maps showed clear sailing along my chosen route up I-81 and East on I-84... right!

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20 minutes later, barely back onto I-81... snow showers and these reassuring scenes!
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An hour later, Scranton and Eastbound on I-84, it was still snowing, but getting brighter.
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By NY the sun was shining! (And no more big scary trucks!)


April 21-23, 2005
C5/C6 Bash
National Corvette Museum

Thanks to the C5/C6 Registry, the NCM and all the wonderful people attending, we were able to send
to the American Cancer Society's Bowling Green, KY office!

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Friday, April 22

Not a happy sight... but a happy outcome.
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Click on the photo for the full story.


July 1-4, 2005
American Le Mans Series
New England Grand Prix
Lime Rock Park
Lakeville CT

This is the Corvette Corral tent sponsored by Chevrolet that would be the center of activity for the weekend. The silver is the 2006 Z06 brought by Karen Rafferty, the new Corvette Marketing Manager. The red Vette with the Indy 500 decals is THE Pace Car that Colin Powell drove at this Year's Indy 500. Close-up shows the strobe lights integrated into the headrest fairings.

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Somebody caught me talking to C6-R #3 co-driver Johnny O'Connell.
He also autographed the driver's side under the hood.

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At the conclusion of the Sunday show, we all lined up in 3 groups for a couple laps around the track.
The Indy Pace Car, driven by Buzz Nielsen from the National Corvette Museum, led each group.

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Somebody got this shot of me from atop a stepladder as we started out onto the track. If you
look closely you can see that I am holding a camera to the window, taking the following shot!

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Monday July 4
Hank Vezina on duty.
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August 26-28, 2005
Corvettes @ Carlisle

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Dave McLellan, former Corvette Chief Engineer, was there for a visit.
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A short while later, another celebrity stopped by for a visit: the current Miss America, Deidre Downs.
She had seen our display while being driven by earlier in the day and wanted to come back.
Her "Day Job" career is in pediatric cancer care! She signed the banner and posed for a photo.

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Carlisle '05 ended on a very special note for us.

Dan Feidler, president of my club, Gate City Corvette Club, had somehow arranged with Lance Miller to present Corvettes Conquer Cancer with a "Big Check" for the money generated at their Fundraiser event held earlier in the month in Nashua, NH. This was done in front of the stage and grandstand, right before the final Carlisle feature: the Corvette Giveaway. Dan can be seen holding the "check" at the right edge of the left photo below. As we were waiting to do that, a white '53 Vette pulled up in front of our car. It was Noland Adams in the car that was the model for the new Corvette US postage stamp!

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Dan made a very moving presentation of the $8,000 check.
Noland briefly talked about the stamp and the '53 pictured on it,
then Carlisle drew the winning ticket for the red ZR-1 Corvette on the stage.
Carlisle ended with our car right there between the Stage and the Grandstand!
Thank you Lance, Carlisle Events, Dan and Gate City!

11th Anniversary Celebration & Hall of Fame
National Corvette Museum
September 1-4, 2005

Tuesday, August 30

At Mallett's in Berea, OH for the (sort of) annual maintenance on the Vette.
Chuck hard at work. This trip he replaced all 4 shocks, both belts, flushed the brakes, checked everything.
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He also autographed the fuel rail cover on the engine...
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Those Flames took all of 3 seconds - looked like he was scribbling!

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Thursday, Sept. 1

Our setup for the next 3 days in The Atrium section of the National Corvette Museum.
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At the Museum, the Vette was parked out on the Circle, next to Chuck Mallett's display.
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(Click image for link to the story)




NCRS-FL Winter Meet
Old Town, Kissimmee FL
January 25-28, 2006

A new year begins:

Sunday. January 22

On the way down, it was a bit FROSTY in Carlisle!
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Then, a momentous event:

Mid morning, I got a call from friend and cancer survivor, Paul Eggermann in NJ. He was on his way home after picking up his new C6 from Kerbeck's in Atlantic City, and was ecstatic! He said it was fantastic, and added that he thought I should have one! He said that he knew I had nearly 200,000 miles (see above) on the Corvettes Conquer Cancer C5, and, with my permission, in the morning he would start a nationwide fund drive to purchase one to replace the C5 so I could continue Sandy's mission! To top it off, he intended to have Corvette Chief Engineer Dave Hill present it to me on the circle in front of the National Corvette Museum on April 22, during the C5 Birthday Bash! He says there was a long silence on the phone as this sank in.

The rest is history... (click for details)

Wednesday, January 25
After spending 2 nights with Sandy's sister, her husband and
her parents in Ft. Myers, I headed back toward Orlando.

I had arranged to stop on the way at Jake Delaney's Corvette Ranch in Sarasota to pick up some tune-up goodies. When I got there, Jake insisted that they do the work too! His son Brian made short work of the plugs, wires & filters and some cleanup detailing, and I joined them for a great lunch as well. Thanks Jake, Brian and Teresa!

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Thursday, January 26

When our assigned space proved to be too small to fit both my display and the car,
our hosts quickly found this great alternate spot, right inside the entrance. 

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By the Awards Banquet Saturday evening, we had generated
$1300 for the American Cancer Society!


Sunday, January 29.


Some scenes from the Classic Corvettes of Orlando show

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April 20-22, 2006
C5/C6 Bash
National Corvette Museum

This was a landmark trip.
I would not be returning to Maine in the same Corvette I left home in.

The trusty old '97 C5 that had been with us since the beginning in 1998 had over 200,000 miles on it.
The bridle would be passed to a new C6 in a special ceremony in front of the National Corvette Museum.

Monday, April 17

The trusty '97 leaves its home of 8 years for the last time...
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Thursday April 20

The old and the new Vettes spent the day out in front of the Museum...
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Saturday April 22

This was the big day for the C6 Presentation and the C5 Auction!

Up at the crack of dawn to wash both cars (it had been raining off & on ever since I arrived in Bowling Green
on Tuesday afternoon.) Then to finish transferring everything from the old to the new. I almost overlooked
the EZPASS toll transponder hidden up behind the mirror.
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The final odometer reading of my ownership. What memories... they were great miles!

At about 10:00 I brought both cars up to the front of the circle and opened up
the old car so potential bidders could look it over. It still looked incredibly good!

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The C5 Auction

The auction of the old car had a little different twist: the high bidder would split the bid and write 2 checks
for equal amounts; one to the American Cancer Society and one to the National Corvette Museum. Both
are tax deductible. Then I would sell them the car for $1.00.

The auctioneer did his thing, and in a few minutes the car was sold, at $11,300!
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 I couldn't have been any happier when I saw who got the car, and they couldn't either!
Roman and Marilyn Sabadaszka first met Sandy and me at the Black Hills Classic in 1998
during our 2nd month on the road. They were volunteers manning the NCM booth right next
to us in Spearfish, SD.Marilyn was in tears, and she wasn't alone...

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Roman got to write the checks.
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The first one for $5650 went to Jessica Jones from the American Cancer Society's Bowling Green office.
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The second, for the same amount, was presented to Wendell Strode,
Executive Director of  the National Corvette Museum.

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As promised, I sold Roman and Marilyn the car for $1.00.
Happy Birthday Roman! (Yes, it was his birthday!)

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I had them sign the $1 bill and the fuel rail cover on the C6.
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But wait, it gets even better:

The Sabadaszkas announced that they were immediately placing the car on loan to the National Corvette Museum for 2 years. When they get it back, they will take it back home to Alpharetta, GA where they will leave it exactly as it is... and continue to take it to Corvette shows, raising money for the American Cancer Society!

It just doesn't get any better than this! The outcome exceeded my wildest fantasy: that the winner would simply donate the car to the Museum!

Here is the car as I last saw it: in a back storage building (with a '53) as it awaits its display
time in the Museum. (I signed the fuel rail cover with a "Thank You" to the new owners!)

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NOTE: In June the car was on the turntable in the front window
by the entrance to the Museum! Tom Rohrer sent me this photo:
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To wrap up this trip and bring it back to the PRIMARY MISSION, we were able to raise
for the American Cancer Society's Bowling Green office.

($5650 from the C5 sale + $1276 from the 50/50 + $200 in check donations)

The National Corvette Museum also got $5650.00 from the C5 sale.




April 22-26
C5/C6 Bash
National Corvette Museum

Two very special events with Marilyn Sabadaszka, who now owns my old C5:

Here's the old warhorse, which has resided at the Museum for the past 2 years. Marilyn and her husband Roman bought it the day I was presented with the new car. It even spent a month on the turntable in the front window. With the help of a jumper, it fired right up and idled right down like no time had passed, even with the 2 year old gas.

The odometer had gained 1 mile.
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Immediately after the revival of the old car was the Memorial Brick ceremony for Roman,
who died suddenly the previous summer. At Marilyn's request I was one of the speakers. There
were no greater supporters of the Museum and Corvette Racing than Roman and Marilyn!

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Another brick for Roman, bought by Buzz & Jackie Nielsen.
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February 8, 2010
Email from Richard Fleming


It seems we haven’t been able to connect the last couple of months. First it was the trailer around Thanksgiving and last month NCRS.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers – Lynette is doing better but still shaken. The recommendation on the trailer by one of your fellow club members
was a good one. Attached are some pictures – it is perfect – it’s a 16 footer and is much easier to maneuver than the enclosed 20 foot Pace that we have.
It’s exactly what I was looking for. 

You know that Lynette is very much into animal rescue. Attached also are a couple of pictures associated with that.

The first, Pedro, is a sad case – he was not well cared for and badly malnourished. Lynette is working on getting him back to good health and will then seek
a forever home for him.

The second is a totally different case. This one was from a very good home and she was very well cared for. We were fortunate to come across her.
She’s the perfect stable mate for an existing family member. While she’s not a rescue, she has now found her new forever home.

Look at all the pictures – a couple of them are pretty interesting.

Richard Fleming

Fight Breast Cancer www.LadyLCorvette.com

(813) 382-3201 - Phone

(813) 752-3868 - FAX





























Holy crap! He's bought the old C5!!!!

My instant response, February 8, 2010:


How did you pull that off? Marilyn told me that she was going to donate it to some charity; if she told me which one, I don't remember it. So TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!



The Rest Of The Story:

Another email from Richard, February 8, 2010:

I was able to go to the Rolex 24 the weekend before last. One of my sons and my oldest grandson came. Lynette spent the weekend with her daughter.
Through the course of the weekend at Daytona, I saw Tommy Faruggio a good friend and President of our Corvette club at least a half dozen times.
We had breakfast together one morning and went through the garages together a couple of times.

Monday morning after Rolex I went to Ferman Chevrolet (Tommy’s employer) to pick up Lynette’s Tahoe out of the body shop.  I had Lynette with me
and she hadn’t seen Tommy for a while so I decided to swing by his office to say hello. He was standing outside talking to a couple of guys with a Z06
He said he had to go to the main dealership office up the street and would be back in ten minutes. I know Tommy’s ten minutes often extend into hours
so there was no way I was going to wait. I got back in the Tahoe as the Z06 and Tommy drove off. I happened to glance over as I was driving away and
there she was! Until that moment, she was blocked from my view by two other cars. I was stunned and called Tommy on his cell phone and asked what
the story was on the car. He said that he and Andy Pilgrim owned it and had a guy they were selling it to. The proceeds of that sale would all go to Andy
Pilgrim’s foundation which promotes safe driving with young people. I asked if the deal was done and Tommy said not yet – the prospective
buyer offered $500 less than the $8,000 they were asking and they were haggling. I confirmed the $8,000 price and told Tommy I wanted it. My last words
in that conversation were, “It’s my car”. A couple of hours later he called leaving me a voice mail saying he wanted to confirm that I wanted the car. I called
him back and practically yelled saying “What part of, It’s My Car! Did you not understand?”.

The next day I get a phone call from Marilyn saying she understood that I wanted to buy the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour car. I didn’t know Marilyn and
asked what her interest was. She said she owned the car. Now I’m confused, but it was soon sorted out – it was Marilyn’s car but she was selling it and
all the proceeds to Andy Pilgrim’s Foundation. Andy arranged to move the car from Georgia to Tampa where Tommy was charged with the task
of selling it.

Tommy had a buyer who planned to turn it into a daily driver until I came along.

At first I was furious with Tommy and could not believe he didn’t tell me about it let alone nearly sell it to somebody else especially since we were together
at Daytona for three days. It shouldn’t surprise me – he gets going in 100 different directions and he just didn’t stop to think about it.

Oh well, in this case, all is well that ends well. I sent Marilyn a cashier’s check last week and she is overnighting the title and bill of sale.

The last thing we need is another Corvette, but we had already decided to sell three cars. We were planning  to keep one of the ’96 Grand Sports but the
Corvettes Conquer Cancer car is more important so we’ll sell both ’96 Grand Sports.

The CCC car is in pretty good shape except that the nose and back of the outside mirrors have a lot of stone chips. A guy that has been doing paint work
for me is going to fix that as his contribution to support the ACS  fund raising effort.


Another email from Richard, February 10, 2010:

I drove the CCC car today and am absolutely amazed! This is the strongest running non-Z06 C-5 I’ve ever driven. I believe she’ll run circles around Lady L
even with Jake Delaney’s tuning (which according to a dyno test was practically worthless). Did Mallett or anybody else do any performance enhancements to it?

You’ll get a kick out of this --- I had to physically take her to the tax collector’s office today for a VIN and mileage confirmation. I walked out to the car with the
deputy and tried to hand him the keys so he could get in and check the miles. He told me to do it and read it off to him. I asked him how many miles did he
think it had based on seeing the car – he asked for the model year – I told him. He then said were it not for the stone chips on the front he would guess
18K – 20K but his “final answer” was 40K.  When I told him 201K, he said “That’s impossible”. He stuck his head in to look at the odometer and just shook
his head. He said, “You know, I can never prove it but in my job I regularly see cars where I’m sure the miles were rolled back. This is the first time I’ve ever
seen a car where someone rolled the miles up.”


My response, February 10, 2010:


Great to hear! Glad she hasn't lost anything!

The only mods are the (donated) Corsa Touring exhaust w/x-pipe and the (prototype!) Z06 air filter cover Chuck gave me. The factory G92 Performance Axle
as does the 200k+ miles of "spirited" driving. 

The secret ingredient may be my personal, "conditioning" regimen of administering the "Italian Tuneup"
every time out: At least 1 triple-digit, full throttle blast, just to keep her sharp!

She also has (or had) Z06 shocks all around. Chuck sent them to me one time and I installed them. 

GM Powertrain replaced the trans @ 152k miles. (They also replaced the axle seals at the same time) 

The waterpump is actually a pre-production C6 part, provided by Powertrain, @ 156k. 

I replaced the starter, NAPA premium (recommended by Chuck!), @ 182k.

Fooled 'em with the mileage, huh! Out of curiosity, what is the odometer now? This is what I last saw, the day I started her for the first time in 2 years as she
was preparing to leave the museum to go to Marilyn's: http://www. corvettesconquercancer.com/08_ 0252e.jpg

Everything working? The oil pressure sender went ballistic just before she went to Bowling Green for the last time. Reese Cox (MTI) was supposed to fix that
and give her a general checkup when she got to her new home.

Thanks for the update - gotta love her!



Reply from Rich, February 11, 2010:

The current mileage is 201,600. Do you realize that is the equivalent of going around the world at the Equator more than eight times?

Your info explains a lot. Whenever I take her out, she WANTS TO RUN!

We live off a narrow two-lane rural road with deep ditches on both sides and frequent tractor and farm equipment trudging along at 10 MPH.
Not a place to let loose. Two miles to the east is State Road 39 with a 60 MPH speed limit. It is also a two-lane and is heavily traveled by semis. 
When I get on SR 39 she seems to say, “Come on you wuss, let’s go!” 


My reply, Feb 11, 2010:

Come on you wuss, you don't really need a lot of room for those ITs (that's "Italian Tuneups"): She gets there so fast that your exposure is very limited.

BTW, going across SD during the Black Hills Classic in '98 I briefly set the cruise at 151. As you probably already know about these cars, above about
120 they just seem to suck down to the road and feel much more stable!



Corvettes @ Carlisle 2010
August 26-29

The Reunion!

After strolling around the grounds visiting friends & vendors, I returned about 10:00
to find not only the tent, but the trusty CCC C5!

10_0526.jpg (288186 bytes)

It had been 2 year since I last saw it, but looked fantastic, totally belying its 203,000 miles!
And that last remaining space across the top of the windshield has been filled, next to the Carlisle 2005 sticker.

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  10_0536.jpg (149541 bytes)


Friday, August 27

Side by side: What a great sight! Richard had gotten the C5's badly sandblasted
front bumper repainted and matching decals made for the hood.

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  Reunion w.jpg (211639 bytes)
10_0542.jpg (214150 bytes)  10_0546.jpg (270260 bytes)  10_0547.jpg (244101 bytes)

Never thought I'd see the day, but I guess the ol' girl deserves to ride in her new life...
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September 12, 2010
Corvettes For The Cure
Ruskin FL

The show site, right by the beach. And, once again, the two Corvettes Conquer Cancer Vettes are side by side.
The blue/white car is Richard Fleming's spectacular Corvette GTP replica.

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  10_0852.jpg (206592 bytes)  10_0843.jpg (218922 bytes)

The TV show Tailfins and Chrome was there filming the event. Here the host, Jake, interviews Doreen Ernandez,
the event organizer, and Richard Fleming, owner of the GTP and the old CCC Vette. Then, after coming up with
the requisite $25 donation to the American Cancer Society, Jake signs the hood of our C6.

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  10_0895.jpg (236262 bytes)  10_0883.jpg (164664 bytes)  10_0887.jpg (142579 bytes)
Click here for T&C video

Richard's wife, Lynnette, proudly holds their "BEST IN SHOW" trophy awarded to the GTP!
10_0909.jpg (259241 bytes)



More email from Richard Fleming:

February 13

As many of you know, I have the former Corvettes Conquer Cancer C5 Corvette. Out of respect to Sandy and Ben Labaree who began the cancer
fund raising effort, we re-badged the car, Corvettes For The Cure.

For a variety of reasons which are too long to get into here, we’re going to sell it and donate 10% of the final proceeds in equal shares to the
Chip Miller Charitable Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

We’ll continue the cancer fund raising effort with our “Lady L” – a two car effort is just not possible for us right now.

The car will go up on eBay this Friday and I would like to send you a link to the listing when it launches. I would appreciate it if you would pass the word
or better yet, bid on it. It will be started at $4,999 with no reserve.

Incredibly, the car has 205,000 miles but it has been wonderfully maintained and is in unbelievably great shape. It runs stronger than any stock non-Z06 C5
I have ever driven!

Thanks in advance for your help.


Richard T. Fleming

Phone (813) 382-3201


Find the Cure for Breast Cancer

Photos posted on eBay:




The car sold for $8300 to Bair's Corvettes in Linesville PA,
where it will continue its cancer fundraising mission!
06_1390 crop s.jpg (75078 bytes)
(click image for link)

Bair's has been a sponsor of the C6 that replaced this C5 as the Corvettes Conquer Cancer car.

They have started their own Corvette cancer fundraising mission: www.pinkvette.net
to raise money for the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute located in Meadville PA.

The ol' C5 will be the support vehicle for that effort!

Thanks Brian and Yogi!



Repairs and modifications to the car

5/21/98     10486    Picked up car @ Corvettes North, Waterville ME

6/08/98     11805    Replaced gas tank for fuel pump noise (warr); turned rotors

7/14/98     17497    Battery, under warranty, at Terry Schulte Chevrolet, Sioux Falls SD

9/15/98     30234    Chuck Mallett "Race Prep"

8/16/99     51279    Rt mirror replaced

1/04/01     81358    Seat belt recall

3/27/01     85119    Idler pulley replaced

5/18/01     87891    Belt tensioner recall; r/f brake hose

8/23/01     95788    Mallett's: Firestones, pads & rotors. Corsa installed exhaust

11/27/01  104679    Battery

4/07/02    109760    Plugs & wires

9/16/02    128540    Alignment

9/18/02    128607    Mallett replaced all fluids

8/25/03    152040    New trans by GM Powertrain

1/13/04    156296    Water pump (C6 part, sent by Bill Nichols, GM Powertrain, installed by Strong's)

5/26/04    164613    Column Lock recall done; campaign 4006. Firestones, alignment

8/31/04    171902    Mallett replaced ATF and brakes

4/03/05    181749    I replaced starter (NAPA)

4/22/05    183689    BCM2 fuse for "Service Column Lock" message (link)

8/29/05    190262    Mallett replaced shocks, belts & air filter; flushed brakes; balanced tires

9/02/05    190794    BCM2 fuse for "Service Column Lock" message again. Disconnected purple/white wire on column (link)

4/22/06    201370    Sold to Roman & Marilyn Sabadaszka for $1.00 @ NCM auction