A B O U T U S
How it all Began...
Ken & MaryAnn Bodley
Jim Ennis, President
On behalf of the Syracuse Corvette Club, we welcome you to our new website! In fact, we welcome you not only to our website, but to our meetings, our events and our cruises, as well! Come experience firsthand what we are all about. Over 335 members can’t be wrong. We hope that you will consider joining us and becoming a member, too!
My first car was a 1963 Dodge Dart (slant six with a push-button transmission, 13” Road Hugger tires and a Cherry Bomb exhaust), that I purchased when I was 17 years old. I had to wait a little while for my first Corvette, which was a 1990 C4 Coupe, purchased in 2004. Currently, I am sporting around in a 2007 C6 convertible, but always keeping my eye out for that next wonderful model that knocks my socks off! Recently retired from a lifelong career with the Syracuse Fire Department, my siren has taken on a new meaning!
Since taking over the helm in 2015, serving as President has been quite gratifying. I accepted this task willingly, knowing the work that would be
involved. Now here is where I must insert a few accolades about our slate of officers. Teamwork, respect and humility are a few adjectives that come to mind. Talent, commitment and excellence sprinkled in there, also. Team is the key word, though, for which I am very grateful. We have made great strides and some pretty significant changes in the last few years - all for the betterment of the Club! By setting aside egos, we are able to hash out an idea, good or bad, and come to a reasonable conclusion for the benefit of the entire membership. Pretty amazing!
But it’s not about them alone, either. As you browse the pages of this website, you will see many members who have contributed. Some have hosted one or more events, chaired a committee, served on a committee, submitted photos and articles, led a cruise and it goes on from there, just too many to list. Our sponsors are second to none, also contributing to and hosting some pretty special events! No wonder our club is considered the premier Corvette club in the northeast!
Moving forward, with our growing membership and increased presence in the community, the club has the opportunity to share the Corvette experience and our enthusiasm for "America's Only True Sports Car".
Rick Rinefierd, Vice President
I have been a car guy as long as I can remember. Driving or riding on the surface of the earth has always been one of my favorite activities wherever the destination. When I was a little kid riding in the back seat of my folks car I used to stand on the hump and hold on to the front seat so I could see out the windshield. This was 60 years ago before seat belts, before all the politically correct safety concerns of today.
I was conscious of the Corvette before the TV show Route 66 came out. I already knew it was a special car, more so than the T-Bird or anything else.
The first time I ever saw a slot car track set up it was part of a Christmas display in a store. Sweetheart Corners. I was maybe 10 years old, awestruck, and had to have one. I was lucky, Santa Claus brought it. The 2 cars included were C 1’s, one red, one silver, and I was hooked.
On my 16th birthday I was in line at the DMV for the learners permit and passed my road test a couple of weeks later. It was still a long time
before I could afford a real Corvette.
I have an interest in, and like to think, an appreciation for all types of cars, --- new, old, classic, muscle, hot rod, custom, foreign, plus trucks, motorcycles, whatever. But the Corvette will always be at the top of the list. My first Corvette had a plastic body and fit in the palm of my hand. Symbolically nothing has changed
Mike Ramont, Treasurer
My first ride in a Corvette was when I was a Freshman in High School. My friend picked me up in his Dad's 1963 Corvette Convertible. It was then that I was bitten by the Corvette Bug. It took until I graduated from College that I got my first Corvette. It was 1969 Coupe 350/350 4 speed with factory side pipes. As the years went by and the Kids grew the next Corvette went on hold. After both Kids graduated from college, it was time for my next Corvette. It was a 1966 Convertible 4 speed 327/350. Then came the 2008 4 speed Coupe, and finally our 2014 Laguna Blue 4 speed Coupe.
I always remembered my friends Dad saying after my first ride. "Owning a Corvette will give you no regrets". How true this has been.
Sandra Winkworth, Governor
“Wheels Up at 8am”
Well, the 8am part isn’t my cup of tea! It means we’re off on another
Corvette adventure, though! So how could I resist?
With a very capable driver at the wheel and WAZE as the chief
navigator these days, it’s time for me to relax! Here’s my chance to
enjoy the scenery! Onlookers wave, smile and thumbs up as we travel
the highways and byways. In spite of what some may think, the
Corvette is actually very comfortable! Even with the convertible top
down, I can be lulled quite easily. I’ve also been known to catch a few
“ZZ’s” after a busy work week. Whether we cruise locally, or embark
on a several hundred mile trip, there is always something exciting and
fun to do with the Syracuse Corvette Club!
Serving as the Governor for the SCC may seem a bit mundane.
Logging members from a vast array of locations with an even greater
variety of cars is indeed tedious. Strangely enough, I find myself entertained by the vanity plates, some of the cute email addresses and the challenge of reading and unscrambling the scribbles!
Although most of our members reside in Central New York, we also span the whole state and from states as far away as South Carolina and Florida. There are the casual cruisers, those who love to race, collectors and restorers. Each member unique in their relationship with their cars, yet all with the one common bond that brings us together. Meeting at any given event, matching the faces with the names I’ve logged, has become a favorite pastime! Having the opportunity to visit and get acquainted - even better!
As of this writing, we have 328 members and growing. Check our listing of members, you may be surprised at how many you already know!
Marty Walters, Web Admin
My corvette story begins with the handsome, young, athletic bachelor who grabbed my attention. He just happened to be driving a new 1967 Elkhart Blue Stingray Convertible!
We started dating, and one day he taught me to drive a manual shift. It was on his winter driver, a Volkswagen bug. I must have passed that driving test and eventually was allowed to drive the vette. I certainly felt special driving that vette around town - especially knowing how to down shift...and managing a stop and go on a hill...so much fun! I guess I passed some other tests, too, as we were married in 1971.
Even though we have owned several vettes through the years, the '67 will always be my favorite. We eventually sold it to make a down payment on our first home. We also owned a '68 British Green Convertible which we sold when we started our family in 1975. These are familiar stories for so many corvette owners.
We are currently putting many miles on NUMBR5, a 1994 Black Rose ZO7 Coupe. Loving our Corvette cruises, trips and the awesome friends we have made in the Syracuse Corvette Club - our "Corvette Family!"
Ken and MaryAnn Bodley, Publicity
My interest in Corvette's started when I got out of the service in 1971. Bought my first Vette, a 1972, green coupe from an engineer at GM's Ternsted Plant in Salina. With him being a senior engineer, he was able to purchase a new Vette every year. I ended up buying his 73 convertible, 74 coupe, 76
convertible & 80 coupe. Then he retired. I decided to buy a new, off the showroom floor, 1982 coupe from Dave Ball Chevrolet, day before they started selling the 83 1/2 vette. I bought the '82 as it was the last year of the C3's, thinking it would grow in value as it aged. Mary Ann bought the 2006 Vette in 2012 and I finally parted with the '82 in 2014. It is now garage art, driven maybe 200 miles a year.
Dave Reeves, NCM Ambassador
Can You Top This?
After retiring in the fall of 2013 from a 40-year career with the Syracuse Fire Department, I decided it was time to indulge myself in a celebratory retirement gift . . . a C1 Corvette. I looked at a few (OK, more than a few) and I eventually decided that a 1962 would be my first choice. The cabin is a little larger than the earlier models, and it was the first year for the 327 V-8 engine, which many consider to be the finest engine Chevrolet ever made. In June of 2014, I found one in Hammondsport, owned by a dentist who had a small collection of cars but decided he wanted to thin things out a bit to enable him to buy another boat (such problems). I called him one summer evening in XXXX to see if he would be home (he would) and Luana and I hopped in the C6 convertible and took a nice ride up there from our home in Cicero. We found the 1962 sitting in the far right-hand
bay of a multi-car garage, all covered up. When we started to roll
the cover back, we found a very nice, 62,000 original mile,
matching-numbers car in the very rare Fawn Beige color – one of
only 1851 out of total 1962 production of 14,531. It was nicely
equipped, with the higher 300-horsepower version of the 327 and
a 4-speed transmission instead of the 3-speed that was standard
that year. It had the expected small number of nicks, dings and
scratches here and there that a car which is actually driven tends
to accumulate, but overall was very nice indeed. It had a fairly
recent black convertible top which went up & down well, and had
the proper deck lid mounts for a factory hardtop – but no hardtop.
This is actually fairly common among early Corvettes – the tops
are not the easiest thing to put in place or remove – and although
GM said that one man could do it, I would really like to see that -
and they do take up a bit of room to store correctly. After a couple of years with one, many Corvette owners couldn’t be bothered and decided to get rid of the removable hardtop. These tops came from the St. Louis Corvette Assembly Plant painted to match the car color, and (in 1962) with a white vinyl headliner. They accompanied the car down the final stages of the assembly line, where they were mounted for the first time before the car was shipped.
As I began enjoying my 1962, I realized that I would really like to have a factory hardtop so the car would truly be “as delivered”. Not the easiest task, even though there are companies today that specialize just in the restoration and sales of early Corvette hardtops. The waiting list to get a top done by one of these firms can take a year or more, and (surprise!) is very expensive. While a Corvette hardtop can be restored by the owner, it’s a complicated and time-consuming process most owners – including me – would prefer not to tackle. So, the search began. A year later, while we were at our winter home in Florida, I was reading through the usual stack of Corvette publications and found an ad for a Corvette hardtop – “Fits 1961 or 1962” – which is correct, due to a center ridge running down the trunk lid making the factory hardtop for those two years distinctly different from the previous years. The ad said the top was in “Very nice shape”, and the price was not unreasonable, if it was as good as advertised. I figured I could have it sanded and repainted to the color of my car and be good to go. So I made the call, and found the advertiser with the top to be a very nice guy, and very open & informative about the top. He owned and ran a small Corvette parts and repair shop near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and said he had owned this particular top (he had several others) for quite a few years. That set of a little alarm bell in my mind . . . “What’s wrong with it?” He said it was actually one of the nicest tops he had ever had, but it was an “odd” color that no one seemed to be interested in. You guessed it . . . it was Fawn Beige. He said it didn’t appear to ever have been repainted, that the plexiglass side and rear windows were clear – not cloudy like they usually got – and that all he had done was clean the white vinyl headliner and polish the stainless-steel trim. He said everything was there, including the correct factory mounting hardware. I asked him to send me some pictures, which he did (about 20) and it did indeed look very nice. I told him that my wife and I were in Florida for the winter, but that I would send him a deposit and pick the top up when we got back home to New York in the spring. He said that was fine, and the deal was done.
So, once we were home, I packed up my little Chevy S-10 pickup with tie-downs, blankets and pads and headed to Pennsylvania. Once there I found the top to be even nicer than advertised. The owner of the shop helped me load it, and I found that by setting it crosswise in the bed I could even fasten the snap-on bed cover so no one could see what I was carrying – which was good, as I had decided to spend the night at a Hampton Inn before heading home. Once I got home to Cicero, I called one of my sons to come over and help me set it on the car to see how much of a job it was going to be to mount it. When they were new, each top was individually fitted to the car it was intended for. The holes for the mounting hardware were drilled individually, and those who have purchased hardtops years later for their early Corvettes have found that it takes a good bit of fiddling to make the top fit correctly. So, with me on one side and my son Justin on the other, we picked the top up out of the truck and walked it over to the car. As we approached from the rear, we decided that our best course of action was to engage the two windshield attachment points, then lower the rear of the top to see how far off we were on the two side bolt attachments (one behind each door), and the two attachment points on the deck lid which would receive bolts from below. As we lowered the top down, I heard Justin say, “My side’s in” . . . and as I looked down on my side, I realized that my side was in as well. Everything matched up perfectly and the mounting nuts and bolts spun right on by hand, ready for the final tightening by the GM factory hardtop wrench which had also been included in the price of the top. I had helped a few people put on and take off early Corvette hardtops over the years, and I had NEVER seen one go on this easily or fit so well. I stood back and looked at my newly-mounted top, and knew I had made the right move. It really added to the looks of the car, and I would later find out that it made driving it quieter as well. And that’s where things began to get a little strange. I couldn’t help but wonder how that particular top came to fit so well, so I began consulting a few of the experts on early Corvette hardtops. They all said to check the plexiglass side and rear windows, as they were all “date-coded” by the factory. They also said that since the windows were so unusually clear, they may in fact be replacements and have no imprint at all. As my car was built in early February of 1962 (the 12th, actually), the top would have been assembled from parts received sometime just ahead of that in order to be painted, put together, and mated up to accompany its designated car down the line. All of the experts agreed that the original top for my car would have had windows with the proper GM imprint of January 1962 . . . and that, as it turned out, was exactly what the top I had just purchased had. Both side windows and the rear window were clearly heat-stamped, “JAN 62”. I couldn’t help but begin to wonder . . . Could this really be my original missing top? Over the next few months, as I used the documentation I had received with the car to trace the provenance of my 1962 from its birth in St. Louis on February 12, 1962 to my garage, I found out quite a few interesting things. My car was delivered new to Washington Motors in Abingdon, Virginia and ended up spending most of its life in Western NY State, where I eventually found the car. How might the original top have ended up in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area at the little Corvette shop where I found it? Looking at the roads and routes of the 1960s, a line from Abingdon, Virginia where the car was purchased new all the way up to Western NY goes right through the area of Pennsylvania where I found the top. So, you be the judge. The way the top fits so exactly (which never happens), the correctly date-coded windows, the original paint in a rare color – and the color is a perfect match, which in itself difficult to do – and the direct route on the map from Abingdon to Hammondsport to me – make it seem not only possible, but likely, that the top sitting on my Fawn Beige 1962 Corvette today is the same one that it wore when it left the St. Louis assembly plant on February 12, 1962. I have had more than a few “experts” look at it, and they agree. No way to prove it 100%, of course – but if nothing else . . . . it’s a great story!
MEETING AT GREGG'S RESTAURANT
L-R: Jim Negro, Ed Sutton, Marcia & Jon Smith, ? ?, Tom Davis, Rich & Dale Mizerski, Ron & Cindy Wilds, ? ?.
Jon Smith, Historian
The Syracuse Corvette Club was formed in 1968 by a group of guys who liked to party! Originally banding together for the purpose of gaining information, exchanging ideas and the mutual enjoyment of the Corvette sports car, it has also become involved in community projects and charitable organizations.
Incorporated on July 2, 1973, the Syracuse Corvette Club has established itself as one of the most distinguished and recognized Corvette Clubs in the Northeast.
Meetings were held in succession at: The Poor House East (1968); Bresee Chevrolet in Liverpool; Grape and Grog Restaurant; Gregg's Restaurant on Teall Ave.; Borio's Restaurant, Cicero from 1977 to present.
In September 2009, William H. Meyer, Jr., the Chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature, representing County Executive Joanie Mahoney, presented a Proclamation in honor of the Syracuse Corvette Club's 40th anniversary.
Held on the last Sunday in July at Sylvan Beach, NY, Vettes at the Beach, has grown to become the largest one day Corvette show in the Northeast. From monies generated since the first show in 1993, over $200,000 has been donated to local charities.
Under the leadership of 26 Presidents, the club has grown in membership of men and women while expanding its horizons to include anything and everything of interest to its members.
PAST PRESIDENTS (photo taken in 1985)
L-R: Marlene deZeeuw, Richard Greich. Row 2 L-R: Richard deZeeuw, Roger Preston, Rich Mizerski, Ric Rivette, Tom Schaeffler. Row 3 L-R: Rich Mirra, Bob Sperry. Back Row: Ed Sutton. Missing from photo: Pete Mitchell and John Extrom.
Rich Mirra 1968-70
Pete Mitchell 1971
Roger Preston 1972-73
John Extrom 1974-75
Ed Sutton 1976
Rich Mizerski 1977
Tom Schaeffler 1978
Dick deZeeuw 1979-80
Rich Greich 1981
Bob Sperry 1982
Marleen deZeeuw 1983-84
Ric Rivette 1985
Fran Beaubein 1986-87
Judi Beaubein 1988
Allen Hopkins 1989-91
Jack Birchmeyer 1992-93
Joe Pellacore 1994
Mike Green 1995
Jeff Bernatovich 1996-97 & 2000-01
Ernie Wheeler 1998-99, 2003-06
Art Petrozzi 2002
John Pouliot 2007-08
Michael Ergort 2009-10
James Bandoblu 2011-12
Peter Patrician 2013-14
James Ennis 2015-16
We are grateful to our sponsors for taking an interest in the Syracuse Corvette Club. Their support has helped to defray the expenses of several special member events. Hats off to them for their continued support!
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North Syracuse, NY 13212
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Text Msg • 315.436.1884
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