Sunday, June 16, 2024
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2019 Gate City Corvette Club’s Spring Fling a Success!

This past Sunday the Gate City Corvette Club once again held their Annual “Spring Fling” event at the Budweiser brewing fields in Merrimack New Hampshire. I came to this very same event last year amongst early morning rains and ominous clouds that deterred would be attendees last year. This year the weather cooperated.

Oh – the weather outside was not frightful

In fact, it was quite delightful. I took the Targa top off the Vette and thrilled in the morning drive in the upcoming sun. When I arrived there certainly were a lot more folks waiting in line than last year.

To Be Judged Or Not to be Judged

I’m going to be honest, I was judged last year.  That being said, there were not many people in my class last year. (Because of the weather) So – I was having doubts about being judged this year as I had assumed I would be amongst the much stiffer competition. (More on that later.) Suddenly, quite literally, at the last second when asked if I was getting judged I found myself automatically saying yes.

Don’t Judge me!

This is considered one of the very first Judged Corvette events of the year. It’s taken rather seriously too. I learned this last year when I looked around watching people wipe down their wheel wells. As I was doing final wipe downs of my car I watched as custom corvettes pulled in…Many other generations of Corvettes began to pull in at a steady pace.

And while there was a ton of 5th, 6th, and 7th generation cars flooding in I realized that while there were a few 1st, 2nd and even a few 3rd generation Corvettes, I realized I was one of the few C4 or 4th generation corvettes in attendance being judged. I realized I was all alone in my division.

All Alone…. So Alone…

I walked past a bunch of 6th Generation Corvette convertibles that were overflowed into my area over to the other lone C4 Corvette Convertible. My Car is not a Convertible thus we are in different divisions of our Generation. Both of us Lamented about hows sad it was that there was very little representation of the C4. We joked that the C4 was considered the Bastard Step Child of the Corvette world.

We just want acceptance! And a Story.

Now I make it sound so sad, but truth be told it really isn’t all that bad. I can tell you I spoke with a lot of folks who came up to my car to admire it. I told my story on how I acquired it and everyone was super polite and genuinely enjoyed looking at the Car.

But, there is a bit of a C4 stigma in the rest of the world. Whenever I’m out and about I can tell you one story that sums up the “C4 Stigma.” I was with my wife in the Corvette on 101 in Nashua. We were actually on our way home from a car show.

As we pulled up to the light first at the line a Duramax Diesel truck pulled up next to me… All rigged out and he starts goosing it… The light turns green and in a puff of black smoke, this guy pulls away…I can’t tell you how many times big diesel trucks do this and usually, I just let it go.

When we got to the next light I can hear these guys shouting to each other over their loud diesel warble. “See I told you I could smoke that Corvette, It’s the crappy wedge ones that have no power.” My Hands gripped the steering wheel tighter… My heart rate went up a few notches…I looked at my wife who normally laments every time I start pouring power to the rear wheels who also heard what was said. All she said was “Show them…. But just don’t get arrested…”

I goosed the gas a bit… “Diesel guys” heard me and I heard them cackling realizing I was up for a re-match. When the light turned green I saw the Anti-Slip light turn on and the gas pedal began to fight me to maintain traction. I powered on slipping into second, third, I skipped right into 6th gear, and in the mirror, I saw a truck trailing black smoke following behind getting further back. And I coasted to the next light.

At the next light Diesel guys pulled up next to me again and I heard them trying to get my attention. I looked over to see the driver hanging his head out the window, “Wow that ain’t stock!”… I said the following: “Actually it is stock, we just normally don’t feel the need to prove ourselves.” And Off I drove when the light turned green.  

The C4 Misunderstanding

The C4s get a bad rap by everyone outside the Corvette community. But to be honest, it still happens even within the Corvette community. When the 1984 Corvette came out it was at the time the most technological car in existence. It was a feat of engineering and computer controls. It had the most advanced engine controls and braking ever put on an American production car. And let’s face it, if there was not a C4 with the advanced engine management and advanced technology of its time, there would never have been a C5. Or a C6 and C7.

So where the hell are they?

This C4 would have beat my car

SO – that begs the question? Where did all these C4 Corvettes go? Over 350,000 Corvettes were built in its 12 year period so again we have to ask? Where are all these 4th generation Corvettes hiding? Sadly I think that is it. Going outside the judged area to the Coral I saw quite a few C4’s sitting majestically in the sunlight. I suspect that if I was able to ask any of the owners why they were not getting judged?  They would think and/or say: “Oh this car isn’t worth getting judged.”

I think they are wrong.

So – The beautiful grey convertible and the (Ahem) Beautiful White Coupe both drove home with 1st place trophies. That C4 I saw outside? Would have made my car 2nd place without even having to work very hard. The rest of the generations battled it out with 9-20 other card in the individual categories and sadly only 1 C4 and in some instances C3’s per category.

The Corvette Club of Rhode Island

All that being said one thing I want to say is about Corvette people… Corvette people are just a bunch of fun people and nowhere did I see this demonstrated more than in the group of Corvette enthusiasts I sat with from the Corvette Club of Rhode Island. They in fact won the participation award and let me tell you what a group of fun folks. While waiting for the awards I was sitting with a bunch and many well-intentioned jokes and good ribbing from a comfortable group of people that just exuded fun. My hats of to them for representing the Corvette community.

This: is a fun Group!  PS: I stole this photo from their club page. 


A great time again and again.

So I had a great time. I wish there were more C4’s but then again, I looked at a bunch of other cars that I wish I could own. Check out the corvettes and other Cars I saw at this years “Spring Fling”

Share with Other Car Enthusiasts!

Joel Chappell

Joel Chappell or MrJoelieC (Pronounced: Mister-Joe-Lee-See) Is a guy passionate about "Car Shows" and the "Automotive Scene." For the last few years, he has been getting back into photography to share what he sees at the many Cars Shows he tries to attend. he has created a few websites, and because of his passion for cars and car shows he made this one – the one you are on now.

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