The Corvette is more than just a car--it's a symbol of American culture. Well, it's a symbol of American culture in other countries, at least; it's the American dream wrapped in steel and fiberglass and powered by a Big Block V8. In reality, most Americans' only contact with a Corvette is with the one that's in their neighbor's back yard, covered by a canvas tarp and waiting to be "restored." (Trust us, every neighborhood contains at least one broken-down Corvette that never seems to get fixed.) Plus, the Corvette has gotten a bad rap in America in the past two decades. It's the middle-age car, the vehicle of choice for balding, overweight, divorced men trying to recapture a bit of their youth. Since the mid-'70s, the Corvette has been a fuel-injected version of Viagra.
Still, no car has ever been able to match the Corvette's popularity since the first one rolled off the assembly line in 1953; almost 90 percent of Corvettes ever made are still registered. There is a privately sponsored Corvette Museum in Kentucky, and there are more than 400 Corvette clubs in the United States, Europe, and Japan. One of the biggest of these clubs is the Lone Star Corvette Club, based in Plano. The club was founded in 1982 to help cultivate enthusiasm for the car, and today boasts more than 725 members.
One of the club's biggest annual events is its Lone Star Corvette Classic show. Last year, the show attracted more than 200 Corvettes and 1,000 spectators. The show--one of the largest in the South--features everything from vintage models to the newly redesigned coupe, and probably more out-of-shape men in running suits than a convention of Mafia soldiers. Technical seminars and demonstrations will be presented, and trophies and cash awards will be given to Corvettes competing in such events as the "Wash and Shine" and various performance categories. Hmmm, 200 Corvettes in one spot? Sounds like a field day for the Dallas police.
The Lone Star Corvette Classic begins on Friday, August 14, with a welcome party at 5 p.m., and continues on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The show happens at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 14315 Midway Road. Admission is free. To enter a Corvette in the show, or for more information, call (972) 780-3825.