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April 23, 2012

Becoming a Corvette Girl

1967 CorvetteFor our second wedding anniversary last August, my husband totally surprised me with a 1967 Corvette Sting Ray. I was completely shocked and over the moon. We have quite the car collection but I would consider them basically “his” cars.  I have always been a huge Corvette fan. My father owned 1957 and 1971 Vettes since before I was born. My father passed away almost 14 years ago now but the cars are still in my mom’s possession.

This particular car my husband bought for me was the exact car that I had the amazing opportunity to drive in Brad Paisley’s “Old Alabama” music video last spring. The video was shot in the Charlotte, North Carolina using Mr. Hendrick’s Heritage Center and many of his spectacular cars. My husband is currently and has also, in the past worked for Mr. Hendrick and over the years they have developed a close friendship. So I am sure making the deal to buy the car wasn’t all that difficult.

Me Driving the Stingray in Brad Paisley's "Old Alabama" videoThe car is awesome.. a completely restored big block 427 cu in./ 390 horsepower convertible in Marlboro Maroon. The guys at Hendrick Performance even suggested I try to win a NCRS Top Flight Award with it since it is in such great condition. So, of course I soon as I heard the words “award” and “competition”, I was ready to sign up!

It was a very educational experience to try to win this award. First, I became a member of the NCRS which stands for National Corvette Restorers Society. Then the work began. With the wonderful help of the people from Hendrick Performance, we started to go through the car piece by piece. And as you could probably guess, the further we dissected the car, the more we found wrong. My poor husband about had a heart attack the day he walked into the shop and we were in the process of pulling the engine out of it. I think his words went something like, “let me get this straight, I bought you a fully restored 1967 Corvette and within months you have torn it apart?”.. whoops!

My fathers vettesThe judging process to win a Top Flight Award is rigorous and fine detailed. They break down the judging into five parts.. Mechanical, Exterior, Interior, Chassis and Operations. Within each category, there are pages of items to check. They check everything from paint markings from the assembly line to the date stamp on the windshield wipers. Luckily, the Hendrick team has been through this whole process a few times so they were a huge help in preparing my car.

In January, after lots of hard work, we took the Corvette to Kissimee, Florida for the NCRS Winter Regional Meet for the car to be judged. It was really a great event. The NCRS officials have so much passion for Corvettes and they are so dedicated to preserving the history of one of America’s greatest sports cars. There were Corvettes from all over the country from every year they were made starting in 1953.

Top Flight AwardIt took about a half of a day for the judges to go through my car. It was way more nerve racking then I would have guessed. They double check things, they discuss things, they take close up pictures to zoom in on things. There are only a few regional meets held each year so it would have been a huge disappointment if we didn’t have success.

But I am very happy to report we did WIN a pretty blue ribbon.. the Top Flight Award! With all the wonderful experience I gained throughout this process, I think I am ready to start restoring one of my dad’s Vettes! I am quickly becoming a “Corvette Girl”!    

Erin Evernham



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