Being a Corvette freak and having driven and raced them for over forty years I just had to have one after checking Chaz' web site every night.
Called Steve and he sent me the information video and brochure. Being a GM dealer for the last thirty years, I was so impressed with his attention to detail, I gave him the order right away.
Sat down the next day and ordered a new white convertible with Torch red interior and black top. Called some friends at GM and they were so impressed we got a build date of October 8th. The car was shipped to Windsor, Ontario on October 22nd to a friendly GM dealer.
Today (October 24th) it was delivered across the border to Steve and hopefully #19 will be ready for my wife Gloria and me to pick up and drive to Florida about November 15th. Praying no snow before that happy event.
I presently own twelve Corvettes of various years with the mid series (3) being my favorites. Also own two ZR-1's and a 2002 black Z06 (current driver). We are so excited with this 50th coming down I don't know if I can concentrate for the next two or three weeks.
Thanks to Chaz and his ongoing praise of Steve and his work, it wasn't hard to make the decision. I am sure even though I don't know him that Chaz is as fussy as I and want the car to be perfect.
We are leading a contingent of forty Corvettes from Eastern Canada to join up with the New England caravan next June for the celebration in Bowling Green. Can't imagine how great it will be to lead in the 50th Commemorative. When it gets back to Canada in April or May the tinkering (Corsa exhaust, Michelin tires, mass air flow and forced air system) will begin to get ready for the caravan.
Enough of my rambling but the purpose was to thank Chaz for his running saga and convincing me to take the plunge. So lets hope #19 pleases us as much as Chaz and Gael's appears to have pleased them.
.. so Gloria and I switched to an alternate plan and continued our plans to go to Florida anyway and purchase a C5 there. Being a dealer sure helps with both buying and selling.
We settled on a 2000 Mag Red convertible with oak top and gray interior. Cleaned it up to our standards and since it still had warranty we got the few little problems fixed and decided to leave it in Florida for the winter.
Back to #19 and the production,with Steve's help we were kept updated on the progress and by e-mail photos were able to appreciate the work that goes into his cars.
Received an e-mail from Steve around the middle of December telling us the car would be ready Christmas eve. Well that presented a problem as we had a foot of snow here in eastern Canada and no way to handle the transportation across the border then on home. Customs required that I be with the car when it crossed back into Canada.Taxes,duty and such were to be declared and paid.
With Steve's permission we decided to delay the delivery until January 18th and attend the Detroit Auto show at the same time.
On January 17th we flew to Windsor Ontario and booked in to the Windsor Casino hotel. Our good friend Dan Kane (the Chevrolet dealer in Windsor) had a new Cadillac waiting for us and was so kind. Dan was also the one to take our host car across the border to AAT in October for the conversion.
Bright and early after arrangements with Steve we headed across the border into Michigan and on headed North on I-75 to Rochester Hills. Had to be the coldest morning of the early winter with wind chill and temperatures at -10 below zero. Almost like home.
With great directions from Steve we had no problems and arrived at the shop before 9:00am. Both Steve Sr. and Jr. were ready for us and after exchanging pleasantries, Gloria said, "If you don't show him the car he (me) will explode!" Well all of my expectations were fulfilled with the 1st look. Photos,brochures and the web did not have me prepared for the thrill of seeing it in the flesh. #19 was covered and after the wraps came off I was breathless. This coming from a guy who has been a dealer for 30 years and seen many unveiling of great cars and trucks. Wow, Wow!
The car was spotless and detailed to perfection. Gloria also had an ear-to-ear grin and I knew it had just become "OUR" car. Here I have to stress the quality of the project. Not a flaw could I find.
Both of the Pasteiners were so wonderful and hospitable we hated to leave and at this time the phone rang with the best news of all. Thorsen's transport were coming out of Ohio with two antique cars aboard and were willing to stop in Rochester Hills to pick up my car and bring it into Canada. With the use of AAT's fax and photo copier we were able to get the necessary border clearances and the car would be picked up on Monday noon.
The trip back to Windsor and the Auto show were the climax to a great weekend (fell in love with the Caddie XLR) and Gloria proceeded to donate some Canadian money by way of the Casino to the Windsor economy.
On Wednesday the 22nd at 7:00am the truck arrived at the dealership in Moncton with a temperature of -30C. For some reason I didn't mind the cold. As the tailgate came down on the enclosed trailer..
.. my heart was pounding and the staff was starting to gather for the work day. The driver put on his coveralls and started the unloading procedure without a hitch. The car was still spotlessly clean and well protected.
Once inside, the comments were coming from early morning customers and the staff. Not one critical word from anybody. The most heard was"What is it? Well, the explanations started and cameras came out of nowhere.
On Saturday Gloria and I had the pleasure of entertaining a few couples from our local Corvette club for a look see. Great comments and lots of pictures. Certainly caused a stir among the "Vette Fans" and pleased both the old and new model enthusiasts.
Sunday was cover-up day and after disconnecting the battery we said goodbye to "MYNEW53" (Gloria and Wendy's choice for the license plate). Corvette club called and want the car for the lead (on a turntable) car for the 1st large show in April.
Off to Florida for the rest of this miserable winter and will have to wait until April at least to get the first drive in MYNEW53
I would be remiss if I didn't take time to thank Chaz for making this site available so we also can extol the virtues of our great car. I still believe GM should have done more, model-wise, to celebrate the only car built in the US to sell out for 50 years with the most famous nameplate in their stable.
Also want to publicly thank Steve Pasteiner and his staff for their hospitality and great quality care to produce a great symbol for the 50th Anniversary!
Here's a photo of MYNEW53 in front of the last Corvette warship left in existence. Members of our Corvette club were guests of the HMCS Sackville a few weeks ago: