This was the most memorable Hall of Fame
event that I have attended!
In addition to the 3 new inductees, no fewer than 17 former inductees
were also present. What a goldmine of Corvette history!
Thursday, Sept 3
Departing Decatur AL, 5:04 am. Necessary to
avoid Nashville traffic!
Success: arrival @ NCM 7:55 am!
Skydome Ribbon Cutting
After John Cafaro and David Bolognino told the
story of the restoration of the sinkhole 1 Millionth Corvette, the car was
Then the really cool part: When the car was originally built, wherever possible,
all the parts were signed by the person who installed it.
During the restoration great care was taken to preserve those signatures or photographically
recreate them on a new piece if the
original couldn't be saved. One part couldn't be saved and the signature
couldn't be recreated - the vent panel behind the right front
wheel. They were able to track down the worker who had signed it, and Angela
was there in the Skydome to re-sign the replacement
panel! David then installed it on the car to complete the restoration!
Here is that 1 Millionth Corvette as it was about to be lifted out of the
And back on 4 wheels again.
The new Corvette Plant Manager, Kai Spande,
introduced himself in the theater. A serious Car Guy, he
personally did a body off restoration on his 69 Vette, and currently drives a 37
Chevy street rod that he built!
Next, Harlan Charles introduced the 2017
Lifetime Members' Dinner
At my table:
Jim Perkins spoke.
Friday, Sept 4
Past & present HOF inductee open
discussion. Fascinating - every one of their stories included links
to one or
more of the others with them on the stage!
L-R: Gordon Killebrew, Rick Hendrick, Russ McLean, Fred Gallasch,
Jim Perkins, John Cafaro,
Ron Fellows, Gary Claudio, Gib Hufstader,
Werner Meier, Alan and Don Barker, Gary Mortimer,
Ray Battaglini, Jerry Palmer,
Dave Hill, Joe Spielman, Wil Cooksey.
Not on the schedule: the
reveal of the just-completed restoration of Rick Hendrick's very first Corvette!
He bought the black 63 convertible for $2000. His first date with his wife was
in this car, on which it broke down. A few years later he sold it to finance the
start of his first dealership. Decades later, he found it and bought it back.
The fully restored rolling chassis now provides the base for the glass
conference table in his conference room! The body, or most of it, was used to
create this spectacular resto-mod.
short delay waiting for the arrival of Rick's surprise guest, country music star
Brad Paisley. Brad had just walked his new Z06 through the production line at
the plant, and the engine, that he had built earlier in the week, started on the
Rick and Brad (black T) pull
the cover off.
Hall of Fame Banquet
Saturday, Sept 5
My C6 on the counter top in the Corvette Cafe
HOF Inductee seminars
Rick Hendrick, introduced by Jim Perkins.
Herb Fishel, introduced by Jerry Palmer.
Russ McLean, introduced by Joe Spielman.
These seminars were more fascinating
Corvette history, a great conclusion to a truly memorable event!
Time to head home. (Yes, it was hot!)
Final stats, back in Sweet Home Alabama.