This was our 6th year as a guest at Carlisle, usually the
largest Corvette gathering anywhere, with typically
10,000+ Corvettes on the grounds!
Wednesday, August 20
As usual, I spent the night with my parents in Philadelphia.
Thursday, August 21
After arriving in Carlisle mid-day on Thursday, checking in at the Ramada and
at the fairgrounds, and confirming our usual excellent booth space assignment,
I spent the rest of the day scoping out the grounds for people I wanted to see.
Mike of Lusso Wax asked if he could use my C5 as a demo.
Worked for me - and the car never looked better!
The Dale Earnhardt C5R, now owned by Chip Miller.
Dick Guldstrand arriving from CA in one of his signature series Z06s.
Friday, August 22
Our display, fully set up.
Interesting and superbly crafted Corvette Nomad replica.
Gary caught me using the Waterblade after a brief shower on Friday.
The shower signaled a front coming through that brought welcome relief
from the intolerable steam bath that we endured Thursday & Friday.
Saturday, August 23
6:42 am: the dawn of a new day on the Carlisle Fairgrounds.
You couldn't imagine better weather for a Corvette show
than we had Saturday & Sunday!
This was my "Celebrity Pick" from the 2250+ Vettes in the Fun Display:
John Battista's Pennant Blue '54. The first Vette I ever saw in the flesh
was just like this, and I got a ride in it... in 1954! I was 12. Unforgettable!
The Charity Auction, which became a benefit for the American Cancer Society because of Sandy's efforts, this year raised
for the American Cancer Society.
Our own fundraising section: between our "Bullet Holes" and the '53 die-cast model
raffle (donated by Dave Castellano of Franklin Mint) we raised an additional
for the Harrisburg, PA office of the American Cancer Society.
Chip Miller achieved his goal of having 53 1953 Corvettes on display.
(Amazing when you consider that only 300 were made!)
This one needs some TLC!
View from the hill.
Gary, Cheryl & Taylor staff the booth.
Corvette Chief Engineer Dave Hill waits patiently while I clean off
the spot under the hood that I had reserved for his autograph,
then ponders a few moments before starting.
Corvette Plant Manager Wil Cooksey
autographs the fuel rail cover of Cheryl's '01.
Seen in the parking lot at the Carlisle Ramada -
what are the chances of this happening? And yes,
it was totally by chance, not staged!
(Check the plates)
(New Jersey & Ohio)
> On to Phase 2 of this trip <
Sunday, August 24
Instead of heading home to Maine at the conclusion of Corvettes @ Carlisle Sunday afternoon, we turned West toward Ypsilanti, MI. That is the location of GM Powertrain Division's Engineering Center.
Background: For the past 4 months, I had been getting the Check Engine light from error codes in the car's computer indicating a slipping condition in the automatic transmission. The condition was not noticeable in normal driving. That is, until the computer put it into a fail-safe mode that would actually cause the tires to chirp shifting into second gear pulling away from a traffic light! Embarrassing! If I cleared the codes, operation would be normal again until the next incident. I asked friend Powertrain engineer (and serious Corvette guy) Bill Nichols about it, and gave him the codes that were reappearing. He did some research, and determined that probably a valve was wearing. He managed to convince the powers that be that it would be a useful exercise for them to examine this trans with 150,000 real-world miles on it. With Chief Engineer Dave Hill's OK, GM would replace the trans for me!
Monday, August 25
At 6:16 Monday morning I was in front of the Powertrain Engineering Center
in Ypsilanti. The car and I were immediately directed into the shop.
Long story short: at a little past 3:00 we were back outside
with a new tranny! (Sadly, no cameras permitted inside)
That's Powertrain Development Manager Dave Stark on the left
and the tech who did the work on the right.
Back on the road to Maine.
This would be Toledo!
It was immediately apparent that the new trans felt more positive in its shifts. I also quickly noticed that both the trans and engine were running about 20 degrees cooler. By the time I got home, early indications were confirmed that the ole C5 was getting about 1 mpg better average mileage than it had for quite awhile. Whatever was wrong in the old box must have been causing a power drag and generating extra heat from day 1.
Final stats for the trip home from Ypsilanti to Maine.
Thank you Bill Nichols, Dave Stark, Dave Hill and Chevrolet for making this
happen! And this Vette has STILL, after well over 150,00 miles, never put
one drop of any fluid on my garage floor, other than the usual
a/c condensate. Not too shabby!
They are meant to be DRIVEN, Folks!