We arrived at the Hilton in Troy, and found out that Peg and Larry Martin were down the road at a local eatery called Cookers having a bite to eat so we left our luggage and were off to meet them. After lunch we went back to the hotel, and some of the others eventually arrived. Before we knew it we had about sixteen people in the lobby chatting. When Wendell and Jan Strode arrived we told them that we had been unable to check in due to lack of reservations; even the deskman went along with the fun. After laughing for a while all decided that we needed liquid refreshment and more food. So of course we moved the whole show to the restaurant for drinks and dinner. The actual unveiling was to take place Sunday evening, so we had Saturday night to just relax and socialize.
We had rented a car so Sunday around noon we left (with winter storm warnings in effect) for the Henry Ford Museum. Jimmy and Brenda Goodnight from Bowling Green joined us. We only had about three hours to spend, but we did make use of every minute. What an incredible place it is. The next time we get to Detroit we will definitely try to make it back there. This is a museum of many collections under one roof, done in first class style. I mean who but Mr. Ford would have the world's largest steam Locomotive in his garage?
We were in the balcony overlooking the pit area where there were many people relaxing on couches and enjoying appetizers. A slide show of the past generations of the Corvette was presented while people mingled and found seats:
Before being allowed to get up close and personal, Ed Wellborn, VP, GM Design:
Rich Wagoner, Dave Hill, Buzz
The whole program lasted about two hours and it was wonderful. Upon exiting there were goodie bags for us. Included in a Corvette bag were a 1/18 scale Red Corvette coupe enclosed in a case with a dated and numbered plaque, a copy of Corvette Quarterly, and a press kit containing CD and booklet. What a neat way to commemorate an extraordinary evening!
Oh, well; on to bigger and better things. It was like being a kid in a candy store with all the cars to look at and touch. From the Ford GT, Shelby Cobra:
After arriving at the hotel we decided that we should call AAT Cars (the people who made our 1953 Commemorative Edition Corvette) and see how far away they were from us. As luck would have it, they were about three miles up the road and since we had to find a "pack & ship" place to send back all the "Free Stuff" we picked up at the show, we were on our way. The owners, Steve & Steven Pasteiner:
.. could not have been more congenial. We talked for a long time about Corvettes and were treated to a tour of their facility and got to look at the birthplace of our car. I have to say that I was amazed there were as many cars in line for transformation. After a wonderful afternoon, it was back to the Hilton for a dinner at Charley's Crab Restaurant with the Corvette brand team and the rest of our crew. The wine was refreshing, the food was stupendous and the company was the best there could be. This was a really great way to end a "once in a lifetime" experience. Detroit was very hospitable although a bit cold. I have to say that both of us were ready to step off the plane in Tampa after getting up in the morning in 2-degree temperatures. Now I remember why we moved to Florida. The biggest decisions we make now are "top up" or "top down".
I can't thank the Chevrolet Brand team enough for a wonderful weekend. And I would be remiss if I didn't thank Dave Hill & the rest of the team for a lot more "miles of smiles" to come.