This was my 13th year getting a "Celebrity Pick", and over the years I've had pretty good luck finding my target: That being the ONE Corvette that Sandy would have picked out of the 3000+ in the Fun Field. This was only the 3rd time that none struck me as her car. My fallback would be a Vette that grabbed me, for whatever the reason. As I was nearing the end of the very last row to pick from, this Pennant Blue '54 stopped me dead. The reason? Not because it was beautifully restored (it was!), but because it swept me back 58 years! I had been a car nut from my earliest memories, but the first Corvette I ever saw in the flesh (glass?) was just like this. It was in my next-door neighbor's adjoining driveway, in 1954, and I GOT A RIDE IN IT - at age 12!!! I still vividly remember every inch of that 2 mile ride, the sounds, the wind in the hair, THE SOUNDS!
I introduced myself and told Adam Ford (yes, Ford) and his dad, Glenn, this story. He said that his dad gave him the car for his 13th birthday as a learning project. He obviously learned well. That Copper '56 next to it is their latest project.
Funny how some things happen: Three days before this, on the way to Carlisle, I had stopped in Philadelphia to see my Mom (95) in a nursing home there. On the way out of town for the final leg to Carlisle, I swung by the old house where I grew up and that Mom still lived in until last September. They had bought the house in 1942, when I was 3 months old! This house, the one on the left, behind the big tree, had just sold and was being renovated, so I took this picture. I was able to show Adam where that first '54 I encountered in 1954 was parked, in the driveway on the right, just this side of where that white car is in this photo!
6909 Wayne Ave., Philadelphia
Adam & I really hit it off and talked at great length and got pictures. As I prepared to leave, Adam looked at me with kind of a twinkle in his eye, and asked, "Do you want a ride in it?"
(Thanks to Gary for the photos that follow)
I directed Adam to my booth.
Classic sh*t-eating grin!
"Do you want to DRIVE it?"
We did a quick loop of the grounds, then returned to the booth
to explain our history and mission to Adam.
Then we went on a longer drive; over the "Registry Hill", then down past the Corvette Engineers' tent, stopping frequently to gloat to friends encountered along the way. About 20 minutes altogether.
Finally, I just had to get Adam to sign the engine!
Thanks, Adam: You made my weekend!