Beautiful sunny weather greeted some 300 Corvette owners and their guests at the annual "Corvettes in the D" celebration along the Detroit River on Sunday, June 28.
After a rash of rainy and windy weather prior to the big event, Vette aficionado and "Corvettes in the D" organizer Larry Courtney laughed that, “The sun is always out for our events.”
Courtney, owner of the charismatic red, white and blue flag-wrapped Corvette convertible that is an anticipated staple of Corvette events around the country, said he “had a ‘special conversation’ about Sunday and, of course, the sun was shining for us – and we’re very glad! The turnout was great!”
This third Annual "Corvettes in the D" at GM’s Renaissance Center headquarters along the Detroit River, sponsored in part by General Motors, Corvette Central, Matick Chevrolet and Michelin Tire, was organized as a celebration of the Z06, as well as a fundraiser for veterans.
With the beautiful weather, Courtney said the anticipated 300 Corvettes provided a rainbow stream of perfect chassis, purring engines, and grinning drivers and passengers.
“We chose to feature the Z06 Corvettes this year because we knew that the convertible was coming out soon and the new Z06 would be a terrific machine,” explained Courtney. “So we put together seven great examples of the C5, C6 and C7 Z06 Corvettes to display, in addition to several other displays and Corvette activities, including sessions with the Corvette Mechanic.”
With a stroll down the “Z06 spotlight lane,” event-goers could view these special cars and talk with their owners. The chosen cars, brilliant in the sun, included:
- a 2002 with more than 250,000 miles and owned by a driver who likes to race
- a 2002 that has some modifications and low miles
- a C6 Black Centennial edition
- a C6 Ron Fellows edition and a C6 with a Katech package
- a C7 convertible and a C7 coupe
With the event’s celebration of the ZO6, each Corvette participant received a goodie bag – packed with care by Courtney’s wife and co-organizer, Verna Courtney – and containing a glossy, info-packed souvenir book that shares fascinating photos and facts about everything from Louis Chevrolet breaking Barney Oldfield’s closed-course, one-mile world record and Chevrolet’s partnership with Will Durant in the formation of the Chevrolet company, to Chevrolet’s place in the NASCAR era, photos and stories from Corvette owners and a list of Corvette events and related websites.
The book also shares structural, technical and design descriptions of the 2015 Corvette Z06, labeling the model as “the most capable Corvette ever,” the first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine with an eight-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel.
Young visitors were treated to a kids’ goodie bag, containing a special Z06 coloring book and crayons, a die-cast collectible model car, flashlight, pens, keychain, sticker sheet and stickers: all part of expanding the fun of being around Corvettes and their owners as they share stories and information while raising money for area veterans.
The Courtneys chose two local groups as charities benefiting from the Corvettes in the D admission donations: The Veterans Outreach Program of Southeast Michigan, based in Redford Township, and Operation Care Package of Michigan. Both are 501C charities, and both are staffed by volunteers, pay no salaries, and provide all proceeds to the cause.
The Veterans Outreach Program of Southeast Michigan helps veterans get the benefits to which they are entitled while providing counseling, job placement, education and housing. Operation Care Package of Michigan packs and sends goodie boxes to those serving overseas.
“Not only are Corvette owners some of the most fun people, they are also among the most generous,” said Courtney. “Sometimes I receive checks for the charities in the mail long after our events – and from visitors who live in other parts of the world.”
For more information about donating to the charities, the special souvenir publication or the 2016 event, email Larry Courtney or call him at 586-218-8616.
Guest post story and photos by Honey Murray
Posted June 29, 2015