Corvette club of South Australia Inc.


Like many of us I fell in love with Corvettes at an early age and even five years ago did not think I would ever be in a position to have one. For me though it was always a C3 that I dreamed about! That Stingray shape is just beautiful.

Fast forward to 3.00 am on the 27th of July, 2018. We were awoken by a neighbour who said there was a fire behind our shed. Long story short, we lost our shed, several cars, 54 motorcycles and lots of other family history, collectables and historical stuff most of which was uninsured. But, the shed itself was insured so we duly arranged claims and got on with rebuilding.

Fast forward again to March 2019. Given that we no longer had our large collection of motorcycles, cars etc we had opted to put a smaller shed up and the rest of the space was established as garden. In March 2019 we were sitting there discussing the difference between the replacement cost of the large shed we had lost against the actual money spent on the smaller shed and beginning to plan what we could spend that difference on when a good long term friend posted on FaceBook that he was thinking of selling his Corvette. Barbara and I looked at each other and both realized the significance of the amount of difference in the shed values being almost exactly the price being asked for the car. Three minutes later, by FaceBook timer, we responded to his post with, 'Sold'. This was greeted with, but, but, but, ... I was only thinking about it...

It really wasn't a 'sight unseen' purchase though because having known Chris for many years we did know about the car and a lot about the condition it was in and what sort of modifications had been done to it so it really was an informed purchase.

A week later he drove it up to our place and there in our driveway sat my lifelong dream - a gleaming black 1974 Corvette Stingray with the T-top that I had always lusted after. Lowered a little, worked engine, good tyres, very neat interior and more, made me very happy. He had already been dubbed 'Ray' and carried his name and birth date on his number plate.

This car was the thing that turned the corner for us. After the fire we were devastated and took a long time to get our heads around what had happened. Rebuilding a shed and establishing the garden was therapeutic in many ways but Ray was our first toy as such and he put a smile on our faces every time we took him out. Suddenly we could see that there really was a future and it was worth pursuing.

Then February 2020 came around and whilst we were aware of the 'Corvettes Rock the Bay' event we had not really planned to be involved as we are usually away at a race meeting somewhere at that time of year. But, dates were a bit different and at the last minute we thought, 'Why not?' and sent off a message to the indomitable Catherine who informed us that we were too late to get an entry package but if we rock (pun intended) up on the day and saw her we could get in - thank you Catherine. So we did, and then after parking Ray wandered down to the Club tent where we joined on the spot and added to the club coffers via merchandise purchases. What with Covid and my race commitments we have not been to a lot of club events but with those that we have got to, along with our other forays around SA Ray has now done around 5,000 kms in our hands. Oh, and we have discovered that Ray has been in the Club for many years and we are now the third club member custodians of him.

Now, two years later, we have a couple of other toys as well but Ray is always eager to come out with us and still puts a smile on our faces every time he rumbles out of the shed.

Yes, he demands a bit of maintenance, but essentially he has been trouble free fun since we bought him. I do however have to relate a couple of incidents which he was involved in but certainly not to blame for.

First was only a few weeks after we bought him and we headed to Glenelg for lunch and some shopping. Upon returning to Ray we noticed a puddle under the back of him. The odour as we got closer identified it as fuel! Hmmm puddle of fuel with fuel still dripping down over the exhaust - I don't think I will start the car and I think I will stand guard to make sure no smokers come near while I call RAA, who then call the fire brigade!! Suddenly we have a fire truck, a policeman and a few locals in attendance. An hour later with fuel washed away and 2 fire extinguisher wielding firemen at the ready I fire up Ray's engine, said thanks for the help and headed home to check why the fuel had run out. Ultimately it was a combination of filling the tank a bit too much and then parking on a side slope.

The other incident occurred in Hahndorf. We were driving through and contemplating stopping for a stroll when up ahead we noticed another black C3 parked on the left with enough space for us to park behind him. We could not pass up the opportunity to have two black Stingrays parked nose to tail so pulled in. Barbara got out to head to her favourite shop and locked her door. I faffed about for a minute or two before getting out and as I did so the owner (as it turned out) of the other one wandered up to say hello. As we chatted I got out and locked my door in preparation for a wander down the street. Almost as I shut the door I registered that I had not put the keys in my pocket and sure enough a quick look revealed them still in the ignition! No worries Barbara has a spare set in her bag just in case this situation should arise. Quick call to her revealed that no, she had switched hand bags that morning to one that matched her clothes better and had not bothered to bring her spare keys!!! Meantime, talking to the other owner, I found out that he had actually broken down (power steering hose had burst) and he was awaiting the RAA. Oh good, I thought, when the RAA guy gets here he can get our keys out too. Well, he would but we had to ring and book the job first!! So while we did that quite a little crowd had gathered, first to admire these two similar cars but then as they realized what was going on, to have a little giggle about the situation. One small group in particular settled down on a nearby wall to watch! Eventually we had a job number for the RAA and he set to getting our keys out. Well that kept the onlookers entertained for some time. Turns out it is not so easy to break into a Corvette without doing damage - but half an hour later he succeeded and we had our keys. We said goodbye to everyone and rumbled off home.

We now look forward to many years of corvetting with some of the lovely people we have met through the club.

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