Thanks to Joel Klein for these pictures and the write-up.
CJCC Well Represented At NCM 20th – Write-up by Joel
Six of our members' cars with their members recently attended the NJ Corvette Caravan to the National Corvette Museum's 20th Anniversary Party in Bowling Green Kentucky. Rick & Rae Artz, Bruce & Joan Cenicola, John Gendelman and friend Matt Wright, Kris & Liz Kisatsky, Joel & Carol Klein, and Scott & son Steven Zederbaum all had the time of our lives at what turned out to be the biggest and best Corvette party we've ever experienced. Bruce represented the CJCC as an NCM Ambassador, and both he and Joel volunteered to act as local leaders in the caravan.
The Caravan officially got underway on Sunday Aug. 24th when "feeder" caravans departed from "North" "Central" and "South" Jersey locations, and met at Corvettes of Carlisle - Carlisle, PA. Many NJ caravaners were all ready at Carlisle for the weekend. Notably, Bruce & Joel led the "North" group of 16 cars including some vette owners from Long Island and PA. At Carlisle at about noontime, a drivers meeting was held by Jeff "Zippity" Duda who organized and put together the NJ Caravan. During the meeting, Jeff outlined the route of travel and events along the way. Drivers handbooks and goody-bags were distributed for each corvette. The group totaled just over 200 cars, with almost 400 people. We also had groups from Denmark and the Netherlands along with the NJ caravan. Some of these folks actually shipped their Corvettes to the US for the caravan and some rented a minivan which Jeff supplied with "NJ Corvette Caravan Support Vehicle" windshield banners. Jeff's efforts and those of his crew of volunteers, (of which Bruce and I were proud to be members) were monumental. Providing all these materials, putting them together, planning routes, making lodging arrangements and assisting participants with reservations, organizing and leading the caravan, arranging events, directing parking, staging cars for events, etc. etc. were just some of the details that needed to be done to make the event successful.
We left Carlisle about 2:00PM on Sunday and cruised to New Stanton, PA where we spent our first night on the road. On Monday, we traveled through 5 states, with notable stops along the way. After leaving PA, our first rest stop was at a large Cabala's store in West Virginia. From there we cruised to Coughlin Chevy in Pataskala, Ohio (largest Corvette dealer in the Midwest) where we were treated to lunch, and got to observe Rich Conti (see conticorvettes.com) accept the ALS challenge by taking 5 buckets of ice water - delivered by 5 of Jeff's crew. This was posted on U Tube. Our route then took us through a portion of Kentucky and we ended for the day at the Belterra Casino & Resort in Florence, Indiana. While staying there for 2 days, we had the opportunity to run laps at the Kentucky Speedway, a NASCAR venue, hitting speeds over 100mph high on the embanked straight aways, and then downshifting and swooping down into the corners and then accelerating again on the next straight. Our cars never sounded so good! Thanks again to Jeff for making this possible. We also enjoyed a dinner banquet Tuesday night with Wil Cooksey (past Corvette plant manager) as the keynote speaker. And, some of us tried our luck in the casino, hoping to win enough for a new Corvette.
On Wednesday we met up with the New England Caravan and with a combined group of over 400 Corvettes (and a police escort for part of the cruise), we made our way to the National Corvette Museum where we were greeted by the cheers of those who were all ready there. This was a fantastic experience for us all. The events and attractions in Bowling Green were numerous, such as: visiting the museum and checking out the impact of the recent sinkhole; running "parade" or "hot" laps on the newly finished NCM Motorsport Racetrack; Corvette factory tours were enjoyed by many; sitting in on Corvette related seminars; touring the countryside (and taking the various "Bourbon tours",) including side trips to Nashville, only 1 hour away; etc. On Friday night, there was a catered barbecue at the La Quinta hotel for the NJ caravaners. Best of all was the camaraderie and fellowship of the thousands of Corvette enthusiasts from all over the world who attended.
Significantly, at the NCM Ambassador's breakfast, Bruce accepted the award for 1st Place, for Best Corvette Club Website on behalf of the Central Jersey Corvette Club. Significantly, the NJ Caravan also won first place as best caravan. It was also announced that Jeff "Zippity" Duda has been made the National Caravan Leader for the 25th NCM anniversary in 2019! Congrats. to the CJCC and to Jeff and again, many thanks to Jeff and his crew for a job well done.
We were fortunate to have "mostly" good weather, with some rain toward the end of our week in Bowling Green and on the way home. There were no reports of Corvettes melting in the rain, although one of our members did experience some leakage in the roof of his C1.
Everyone was on pretty much on their own for the ride home. Carol & I left Sunday morning with an overnighter stop in Morgantown W. Va planned. Things dried out by the time we got into W. VA. on I-79 where the posted limit was 70mph on "twisty" mountain roads through gorgeous scenery and we hit a stretch of about 5-10 miles where there was literally no one else on the road. We took advantage of both lanes and enjoyed the ride.....that's really what driving a Corvette is all about.
The only downside to all this was the fact that after this road trip, it took me almost 2 days to properly clean my car for the ice cream cruise we had on Wednesday Sept. 3rd.