Corvettes rule at Spring Fling
Bright, a Vietnam veteran who served with the Air Force, shook hands with well wishers. Many took photos of him alongside his “Vette” and the five trophies won by the streamlined bullet of a sports car. The gold-tone and metallic-red “Best of Show” trophy towered above four other tributes to excellence. Judges affirmed that the quality of the car’s engine, interior, exterior and overall appearance rated the quintet of honors.
“It’s a 2015 ZO6 and it has 650 horsepower that can do 200 mph,” said Bright. “It’s one of the fastest production cars in the world.”
The Gate City Corvette Club, founded in 1975, boasts 72 members, most with fast cars. They meet monthly at Nashua’s MacMulkin Chevrolet, the club’s official sponsor and a dealership currently stocking around 300 Corvettes.
It also sells Cadillacs.
The spring car show, conducted beneath a canopy of clouds trying their best to liquify, drew more than 60 entries to the grassy lawn at the
Anheuser-Busch brewery on Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack. Some contenders drove in from Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Forty-nine classes in three divisions – Show, Super Street and Street – offered good odds for winning some awards.
Nashua’s David Osgood, club president, said the turnout of attendees who are fans of the iconic Corvette was gratifying. He added, “We wait all year for this show.”
Numerous online sources note the first generation of Corvettes spanned the years from 1953-62. Subsequent evolutions led to a classification system of seven divisions based mostly on body-style changes and other innovations. The C-1 class indicates 1953-62. The C-2 class includes cars manufactured from 1963 to 1967. The newest models share “generation” C-7 class, models of 2014 through the year 2021.
Bedford’s Dean Gagnon, Gate City Corvette Club treasurer and Spring Fling coordinator, said the longevity of the club and the car show’s tradition of 38 years stem from the passion shared by those who love Corvettes.
“It’s a place where people who love Corvettes get together,” said Gagnon. “They compete at the show but they’re friends and it’s a friendly community.”
Club members were ineligible to enter the contest, open to any non-member from any town. John Bosco, of Hudson, is a member whose 2002 Corvette roadster convertible snuggled into the grass alongside a sidewalk near the trophy table and deejay booth. The license plate, “At Last,” reveals a wish come true.
“This car puts a smile on my face every time I drive it,” said Bosco. “It’s a Corvette, it goes fast, and I like the camaraderie of the club.”
Other vanity plates expressed owner moxie. They included, “SoQuik,” and “Awsum72” and “Vethead,” along with, “Cruzn,” and “650-HP,” and “Rocks.”
Many in the crowd enjoyed snacks and flavored ices supplied by Sillie Puffs, of Manchester, an enterprise known for gourmet cotton candy. Helpers Jacob and Nicole Poltack, of Sutton, along with Delia Bugley, of Derry, entertained customers with some line dancing to the oldies broadcast by deejay Rich Ouellet, of Dracut, Massachusetts. His “Richie O. & Co.,” deejay operation has played at many a Spring Fling.
Meanwhile, Lori Kunkel, of Bedford, and her son Jacob inspected the innards beneath the hood of a jet-black Corvette ready for judging. She said she would love to own a Corvette if it was a vintage model – 20 years of age, or more.
“I’m not up for anything new,” Kunkel said. “Our family has a history of vintage sports cars and I wouldn’t mind having one, at all.”