Early Birds: Corvette lovers showed up well before the opening of the event at George Matick Chevrolet.
It seemed it was just after dawn broke when Corvette connoisseurs started showing up for the Detroit Grand Prix special Corvette Caravan Experience at George Matick Chevrolet in Redford Township, MI.
The caravan would soon head out in a couple hours in a colorful, zippy stream down metro Detroit’s highways to Belle Isle for the races. So each of the attendees was sure to park their cars in perfect order. Later, local police would help accompany the parade, so that the dozens of cars could cruise together.
They "break for breakfast!" at Matick's Corvette Caravan Experience.
Attendees also received gifts.
Ron Tiburzi and his C2 of Livonia and Polly & Bob Girkin of New Hudson join in on the fun.
A'Vette lover relaxes before heading to the track.
Richard Heldenbrand with America's Corvette Club checks out the Corral.
Joann Ashare arrived in an inferno orange 'Vette with her boyfriend
Racer Danny Kellermeyer revs up the crowd.
A Revvin' Ribbon
America’s sportscars — awash in brilliant oranges, bright whites, pretty silvers and oh-so-hot reds — sailed around the Motor City expressways like a multi-hued, extra-long kite tail on a windy day. Behind the wheels were Joe and Mary Karey of Oakland Township in their 2009 cyber gray convertible. Bob and Polly Girkin of New Hudson also joined the fun. The Girkins arrived in their 2001 beauty just after Joann Ashare of Bloomfield Hills and her boyfriend from Novi pulled up in a splashy inferno orange 2011. Ron Tiburzi of Livonia also made it, driving just a few miles from up the road in his 50-year-old classic-blue ‘Vette.
The Matick Chevy-sponsored Corvette Caravan Experience provided a chance for fellow Corvette owners to chat about everything from speed to engines to color selections.
The Caravan Experience drew folks from all over metro Detroit. After enjoying a hearty breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, pancakes, fruit and more, the sportscar owners were welcomed by Matick Sales Director Paul Zimmermann and owner Karl Zimmermann. Paul asked the attendees, now fueled with their caffeine/coffee, “Are we Corvette owners?” “Yes!!” they all replied, sounding louder than the motors they’d soon rev in Matick’s parking lot.
Karl introduced racecar driver Danny Kellermeyer, who spoke to the crowd about the Belle Isle racecourse, racing tires, race types and more. (Kellermeyer is sponsored by Matick Chevy and races in a variety of competitions in the Midwest. He runs D.J. Race Enterprises).
Drivers arrived in, well, droves, onto the island, snaking their way into a special Corvette Corral, which showcased about 140 Corvettes including the 50-plus from Matick. There, they enjoyed refreshments in the Corvette hospitality tent and prepared to hear presentations from Corvette engineers and specialists on the new C7’s interior, chassis and Corvette racing. (We'll post here about their presentations soon.)
Meanwhile, the piece de resistance roared just a few feet away from the Corvette Corral Hospitality Tent, as the first races of the day began.
“This Corvette Experience turned out great,” said Paul Zimmermann of the dealership. “Next year, look for even more surprises.”