MEMBER PROFILE - Sue & Norm Wood's 2001 Roadster
Get It Out of Your System?
Ihave always loved and admired the Corvette from my early years to the present. I have fond memories of my father taking me to Dobles Chevrolet every September for the early unveiling of the new models (years ago Chevrolet made the dealers keep the cars covered until a certain release date).
In the mid seventies I had a close friend that owned a red roadster of the mid sixties vintage and every time I saw that car I would dream of owning my own some day. My wife, Susan and I were still in the newly wed stage of our lives and had many discussions about owning a Corvette. Suddenly it came to a point that we decided if I wanted a Corvette, lets do it now and "get it out of my system" before children come along.
My first Corvette was ordered from Dobles Chevrolet in May 1973 and we received the new 1974 white coupe with maroon interior in September 1973. This was our only car, so Susan drove it daily to work all year long. Yes, that's right, we drove it through the winter and as we were both skiers, we traveled to the mountains almost every weekend with skies on the luggage rack. Two years later our first child was expected, so the Corvette had to go for a larger vehicle.
Over the years every time I saw a Corvette, I would follow it with my eyes as it passed by thinking, that someday I would again own "America’s Finest Sports Car". Susan was about to find out you never get a Corvette "out of your system". As my youngest boy's graduation from college was approaching, I started talking about getting another Corvette instead of just thinking about it. One of my younger brothers was also thinking about getting a Corvette, so we started looking together. I was searching for a '74, '75, '76 era car, looking to bring back those fond memories of years ago. As we search we tried several cars, but every time my brother and I sat in a car, our shoulders were very close together and I kept thinking, I don't remember these cars being that small. (I won't get into why the cars seemed smaller). I decided that maybe a C4 was the better way to go.
After months of looking around and not finding anything to our liking or price range, I asked my dealership to keep me in mind if a trade ever came along. Well in early December 1998 a trade did come into the dealership, it was a '93 40th Anniversary Ruby Red Roaster. It had an
automatic, strike one, the hood had a lot of chips and needed to be repainted (in my mind), strike two, and the dealer had to put brakes all around and new exhaust system with a few other problems which brought their price up. Was that strike three?-Not yet! A couple times a week I
would stop by the dealer and look over the car, saying to myself, "should I - is this my car". I really wanted a standard shift and with what the dealer wanted for a price and what I would have to invest in the car to bring it up to my standard, it was more than I was willing to spend.
Well about mid January, I was working at the dealership (I contract to do their electrical maintance), as I drove through the lot I spotted this bright red Corvette in the back lot area but I didn't think to much of it as I thought it was in for some repair. Shortly after starting the job, one of the managers came to find me and proceeded to bring me over to this 1994 Torch Red with Red Torch interior coupe. He said the car just came in on a trade the night before (the woman bought a new 1999 pewter coupe off the showroom floor). This car was bright and in beautiful condition, it was loaded and had a 6-speed! He told me the price he was looking for, handed me the keys and said go try it out. The only catch was (isn't there always a catch) I had only two hours to make a decision as there were two other people coming to look at the car that afternoon. As luck would have it, it was one of the beautiful days in January with temperatures around 40 degrees (I think it's referred to as a January thaw) I proceeded to jump into the car for a ride, a ride to show Susan and hopefully get her approval. As she approached the car she reached for her sunglasses, "wow is this car bright!" was her comment. As we sat in the car and drove it around the parking lot discussing the price, she looked at me and said "if this is what you want go for it". This was not the perfect car I had in mind, as the mileage was higher than I wanted but the price was right. As I brought the car back to the dealer and handed the keys to the manager he looked at me and said…"well?" The deadline was approaching; it was time to make a decision - I turned to the manager and said, "sold!" with a smile. My second Corvette was to be a 1994 Torch Red Coupe.
In 1999 I joined Gate City Corvette Club and learned even more about car shows and cruises. A key issue that attracted me to Gate City Corvette Club was how involved the wives were within this club; this was something we could both do together. As we attended the car shows and club meetings I learned about the new C5 and its features. The more I learned the more I fell in love with the C5. I just had to convince Susan to let me buy a new car.
In the spring of 2000 I was slowly convincing Susan to let me buy that new Corvette. I had my name on a list at the dealership for a "possible" 2001 Red Corvette. It was during our Club "Springfling" show in late May that Susan and I were working, when she came looking for me and said, "If you have to order a new Corvette come and look at this one". My mind was going 100 mph, what was she taking me to see - There it was, a new 2000 black roadster with torch red interior and chrome wheels, it was stunning! She loved the color contrast, which was new for Corvette that year. I slowly looked the car over and said "if that's the color you want its O.K. with me" (I also loved it). Now, Susan showed signs of giving in! It was the time to move my name from a "possible" list at the dealership to a written order. I proceeded to call my dealer on Monday morning to make the color changes and submit the order. In July the order was accepted and on October 5, 2000 we became the owners of a new 2001 black roadster with torch red interior and polished wheels. My dream was once again fulfilled.
By Norm Wood (C5R# Z5226), Manchester, NH.