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Reunion 2003!


It was a rather small party, compared to the '01 event, but a nice grouping of fun people nonetheless. Unlike the '01 event, there was no rain - the roads were dry! Somewhere over 25 Pace Cars (and under 50 riders-drivers) were to be counted on different days over the period from Wednesday, October 8 (at Indianapolis) to Sunday, October 12 (at Bowling Green). Remarkably, there were more '95s than any other years except '98s, and all the '95 cars belonged to members of our Registry. There were (3) '02 Pace Cars (aka '03 50th Anniversary models with Pace Car decals) including my own (the only coupe). The NCM's Larry Hayes was in charge of the program in Indianapolis, and he did a super job of organizing and implementing the events.

Participating in the lap at the Indy track were '95 PC owners: John Hess (#425), Jim Egan (#444), Brian Faulkner (#367), Nick Petlicke (Can. Seq. #12), John and Nancy Messersmith (#208), and Tom Mallory (#380). Nick took the time to show us all the automatic "Twilight Sentinel" light sensor on his dash that was required for Canadian importation. But you can defeat it by throwing a cover over the sensor -- I guess the authorities hadn't figured on that one!

Above: The Pacers lining up for the parade lap. Below: Jim Egan in his '95 Pace Car on the track.

On Friday, the group caravanned down to Bowling Green. Our small contingent was led by Otis Baker, new Director of the '78 PC Registry. Starting with a surprisingly nutritious breakfast at McDonald's next to the freeway, we covered the 230 miles in under-the-estimated time and arrived in BG early for the plant tour.

In reality, the agenda for this year was a duplicate of that in '01: the Lap at Indy, Indy Museum and gift shop visit, Caravan to Bowling Green, plant tour, Road Tour, dinners at Wendell Strode's 1869 Homestead and in the Museum, the group photos, and the "goodies" auction. The only different event was a lunch visit (during the Road Tour) to the Federal Grove Bed & Breakfast. All in all, many participants thought this was the best of all - led by NCM activities honcho Adam Boca, a "spirited" tour through the countryside, leaves just beginning to change, and the excellent home-style lunch were just fabulous. And the small size of the group added to the down-home feeling we all experienced.

Above and below: The Road Tour in Bowling Green.

Below: The BBQ at Wendell's Home!

Probably the most productive part of the events for the Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Registry was the chance to organize ourselves better. I'm very happy to announce that we have a new Director for the '78 Pace Cars, Otis Baker. Otis just retired as a Captain with the Indiana State Police - it was some comfort to have him leading us on the Caravan through Indiana - and he and his wife Sharon drive a very nice low-miles '78 PC L82 automatic. In addition, Bill & Gretchen Irwin, owners of an '86 convertible, volunteered to assist Ralph Christ with the '86 Pace Cars, as did Judy Martin (a fan of Gen. Chuck Yeager, the official pace car driver at Indy in '86). Also, Margaret Kemp (and Frank Kennedy) have taken up the gauntlet for the "Festival Cars", those special Corvettes that are used at Indy to augment the Pace Cars (for example, in 1990, when the Beretta came out in a coupe instead of a convertible).

Much of this organizational activity became public at the final dinner and auction at the Museum and was announced by the Registry Coordinator, Paul Barth. Paul, Adam Boca, and I were also very busy at the auction, and our members present raised over $ 1,500 for the NCM. This was enough to complete payment of our Registry commemorative brick design, a project started at the '01 Reunion, and then some. All of you PC owners who have contributed to the "Brick project" can now rest assured that it will finally be carried out! A special mention of thanks goes out to Jim Egan for his generosity in supplying items for the auction (and even buying some of them back!)

See you at our next Reunion, planned for 2005!!

T. Noel Osborn (’95 #216)

Email: thewave500@sbcglobal.net