Guests attending the Fifth Annual Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan began lining up their cars by 6:30 a.m. on June 4.
More than 113 ardent Corvette owners and their guests enjoyed an exclusive day of fast cars and racing entertainment during the Fifth Annual Matick Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix Corvette Caravan Experience on June 4.
Drivers from around Michigan and beyond first fueled up on a scrumptious Saturday morning starter’s breakfast buffet and listened to Corvette presentations in Matick Chevrolet’s huge metro Detroit showroom.
Then they climbed into their Corvettes to caravan to a decked-out Belle Isle in the Detroit River, home of an action-packed weekend of racing. Instead of having to take a shuttle to the racetrack, Matick Caravan drivers parked on the island in a special Corvette Corral located near the track.
Discounted caravan experience tickets — provided by Matick Chevy to each participant — came with reserved grandstand seating at the track’s Turn One, paddock passes to the garages, lunch and refreshments throughout the day at Chevy’s hospitality tent on Belle Isle – and a chance to check out Chevy product displays.
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan guests savored a starter's breakfast and heard Corvette presentations before driving to the Detroit Grand Prix excitements on Belle Isle.
Greg Frost, a GM test driver in Hamtramck, chatted with his brother, Monroe Frost, over breakfast at Matick Chevy. Greg from Detroit has attended the Matick Caravan three times before; Monroe, twice.
Greg drives a LT3 Laguna blue 2016 Corvette he bought in September. “I like the look of the car,” he says. “I love cars, all kinds of cars.”
Monroe was looking forward to the end of the racing on Saturday because “they let us do a lap on the track,” he says.
Retired EDS employee Stan Slishinsky of Chesterfield Township drove his 2004 blue C5 to Matick, bringing along his brother-in-law, Jim Etkie of Sterling Heights. “I love all the Corvette people,” says Stan. “And with our Matick Caravan tickets we can park on the island. I’m looking forward to it being a great day.”
Carole Dimitry of Oakland Township chatted with her friend, Pam Liedtke, as they admired the rows of new Corvettes inside the Matick dealership. Carole drives a white 2016 C7 Corvette she bought from Matick Chevy in Redford Township, Mich.
Almost every generation of these beauties was on display during the Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan on June 4.
“It’s our first time coming to this,” Carole says. “We came with four Corvette owners and we enjoy the camaraderie with the others.”
Pam loves the “comfort” of riding in her pal’s Corvette. “We just went on a trip in it to upstate New York, and saw the wine country,” she says. “We even had the car’s first oil change in New York.”
Flint Corvette Club member Mary Hall, wearing earrings adorned with tiny Corvette logos, was ready for the day. “I woke up at 4 a.m. to get here,” she says, showing no sign of fatigue.
Olga Strahan of the Flint Corvette Club, which Matick Chevy sponsors, attended the caravan with her husband, Jim. He had talked about his dream car for years, so she purchased one for him. The 2005 silver Corvette was secretively parked inside the family garage. Jim came home and opened the door. “I cried,” he says. So Matick’s Corvette Caravan was a special day for him.
Southgate resident Rose Morey was another newcomer to the Matick Caravan. “My boyfriend Dave Johnson brought us here in a white 2012 Grand Sport Corvette,” she says. Dave races in his spare time, she explains. “I tried it, but I don’t have the need for speed.”
Elvin Binns of Detroit, owner of a torch red 2015 Corvette convertible, calls himself a devoted Corvette fan. “I’ve owned them since 1977,” he says. “I love the handling, performance and look of Corvettes.”
The 6-foot, 1-inch Elvin says he has no problems sliding in and out of the lower profile car. “I’ve developed my own technique,” he says, a smile crossing his face. He planned to enjoy breakfast and then swing back home to pick up his wife, Dee.
Mike Gold, an electrical engineer from Huntington Woods, brought his friend, Mayer Mechlowitz, who works in Detroit’s Eastern Market as a butcher. Gold has two Corvettes – a split window 1963 and red 2015 Corvette, which he drove in the caravan.
Mike revels in his Corvette. “It’s fast, handles great and looks good. It’s comfortable. It’s a fun car and a great car for the money,” he says.
Matick Chevy Corvette Caravan guests fueled up on an early starter's breakfast spread at the dealership.
As the crowd finished up the buffet of bacon, eggs, fruit, donuts, juice and coffee, John O’Neill of Waterford grabbed bottles of water before heading out to his 2001 Corvette. “I love to see the cars racing in one place with Corvette enthusiasts,” he says. “I come every year with my wife, Shari.”
Ken Lingenfelter, who operates Lingenfelter Performance Engineering in Brighton, greeted familiar faces in the growing crowd. “We build a lot of Corvettes and Camaros,” Ken says. “I love being around Corvette people. And this new Matick Chevy showroom is amazing.”
He invited all to attend “Cars and Coffee,” held every Saturday at his Wixom location, 47451 Avante Drive, until Labor Day. Ken also welcomes all to view his 250-car collection at a June 18 benefit for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology for $15.
In her stylish cowboy hat, leather jacket and heeled boots, Beverly Ross of Oakland Township listened to the event speakers. Beverly, who drove her red 2008 Corvette convertible to the event, found her friend, Porki Mellado of Rochester, in the crowd. The two are long-time members of the North Oaks Corvette Club, which Matick Chevy sponsors.
“I love the cars and the people at this great Matick event,” says a smiling Porki, owner of a 2001 Corvette. “Matick treats us really nice.”
Beverly says she had been going to another dealer for years but switched to Matick, a drive of 30-plus miles, specifically for the outstanding service.
At that moment, the call came for the Matick Corvette Caravan drivers to head outside to their cars. Porki looked at Beverly with a big grin, adding, “Ladies, start your engines!”