CHAPTER TWO - Historically Driven  Go To Main Table  Go To More Book Chapters

Classic Glass

                        By George J. Kimble

The general decided to make a sports car

He wanted a two seater for a shining star

‘53 was the beginning time

He didn’t want owners to need a gold mine

He made it out of glass

 

He showed it off, an American dream?

Such a vehicle the people had never seen

A mighty blue flame six would power this

For the average guy to drive in bliss

He made it out of glass

 

Never before was there such a sleek design

All the young at heart for this car would pine

America was used to cars with lots of steel

Even racers wanted to get behind its wheel

He made it out of glass                           

 

Any man could afford a corvette on his wage

Chevy could now build upon a sporty image

Europe was the only place to build roadsters

“It just won’t last”, said all the big boasters

He made it into class

 

Now forty odd years have come and passed

On many tracks the Ferraris and Porches were harassed

A good idea was sure to stick

Steady improvements was the trick

He made it out of glass

 

Dontov and others knew of course

Even a blue oval named after a horse

Could never steal this ones thunder

This little car was no blunder

He built it out of glass

 

He knew that in evolution

Around the tracks in many revolutions

He had to make it the fittest

He made changes to be the winningest

He made it out of glass

 

Now many have tried

And some came close

But most have died

And are now just ghost

Corvette is the classic glass


Instincts of the Breed   

                By George J. Kimble

All along you had to know

This icon of yours had to go

The others would gather like a flock

From every city from every block

Like the horde they would rumble out

 

Over time you saw the wear

Here a chip and a scratch there

Change is certain for machine and man

Age is a wonder, time has no plan

You have changed you have no doubt

 

But off a distant siren calls

A yearning to return beckons all

Though we are tattered and frail

Long and winding we retrace the early trail

“A sojourn starts with just one step," you shout

 

Buffed and pumped our tanks are full

In gilded armor to the muster we feel the pull

Others now a circling lot

Our leader’s eyed he’s made his plot

Nervous thoughts as you ponder the long route

 

Like steeds of yore a caravan

We carefully follow our leaders plan

Horsepower strains at metal and glass

Upon the road we wheel at last

Shakes and rattles are a part of age’s pout

 

Homecoming, what is that?

Old memories turned to fact?

Steady hands your youth did mold

To make you strong to make you bold

Every effort to render your clout

 

Upon arrival many in your class

Have more gracefully weathered the past

Sheltered from the hourglass sands?

Restored by deft caring hands?

Ones value is not easily seen from without

 

In front of the Museum an honored post

Thousands of pilgrims from coast to coast

On every face a glorious smile

The long trek to Bowling Green was worth every mile

Our collective heart holds dear what it was all about.


Number Five Alive

                By George J. Kimble

 

Riding along in my automobile

My baby is beside me; I’m behind the wheel

Rumbling along at sixty-two

A guy on the radio is crooning the blues

 

When suddenly in the lane on the right

My eyes behold a beautiful sight

There is a Stingray of shinning glass

Thundering engine slipping past

 

I get excited filled with glee

And the Stingray guy waves back at me

I am a Corvette fan as my friends all know

I take my Corvette to all the shows

 

I tuck in behind him and try to settle down

We take the exit ramp to some little town

A big discount store I won’t mention

A parking lot of ludicrous dimension

 

“Wholly Mackerel!” I shout out loud

I am stunned by the size of the crowd

C5’s, late models, Rays and Sharks,

Straight axles, modifieds and GS’s with red hash marks

 

This lot is filled with Corvettes all sparkling bright

Never before have I seen such a magnificent sight

Like fish shimmering in a trawler’s net

It’s a sparkling mass of Corvettes

 

It is still early, just past dark

I ease up slowly and shift my Corvette into park

I get out of my Corvette, looking pretty stupid

Like I am struck by an arrow from Cupid

 

I holler, “What’s going on?” to one young man,

He yells back, “We’re all part of The Caravan”

“The Nashville stop is our next to last,

“The final stop is The NCM’s 5th Birthday Bash”

 

I tell my wife, “This looks like fun”,

“I think I am going to join this run”

I sign some papers and some folks I greet

And quickly, this parade takes to the street

 

We arrive in Nashville around a quarter past eleven

“Look! Everywhere Corvettes, This must be heaven”

Hundreds, No, thousands are circling Opryland

Then, I am told of everything that’s been planned


                               
As night shadows slowly begin to fall

We amble to the Corvette Lover’s Ball

This is a happening. We just had to attend

Corvette pilgrims, fill the Delta Ballroom, end to end

 

There is food and drinks, and a cute little girl

She is belting out country songs, to the Corvette world

I eat, I dance, I mix and mingle

The excitement and enthusiasm makes me tingle

 

I meet and greet and shake so many hands

And talk and talk about the greatest car in the land

In the morning there is a call to reassemble

At, Oh too early, we have to scramble

 

Disciples of fiberglass from across the planet

To this point, are drawn, as if to a magnet

I slurp hot coffee and a bagel, that is provided

The cars line up in rows, very evenly divided

 

A flash of blue light and a siren wails

Corvettes are in motion, nose to tail

We pull onto the highway called I-65

To Bowling Green Kentucky, it’s just a short drive

 

As far as I can see with my naked eye

A line of Corvettes under the bright morning sky

Corvettes in front and Corvettes behind

This moment forever imprinted upon my mind

 

On the way, slowly winding north

Great throngs of people have come forth

They wave and cheer, and many take photos

Their homage and respect paid our unique autos

 

But just as that thought rattled across my mind

We encounter more Corvettes from the North in a line

Now like two sea serpents off the interstate we wind

And onto Corvette Drive two long Caravans are combined

 

This experience assures all, it’s great to be alive

An unprecedented salute to the Corvettes we drive

We are lucky the National Corvette Museum has survived

To grow from an idea, through infancy, to celebrate “Birthday Number Five”


Beyond Time

                By George J. Kimble

I was the essence of a nation emerging from a war

I was the heartbeat pounding from shore to shore

I met every challenge as I went about my chores

I still survive

I’m still alive

 

I was determination, purpose and solution

I was there in ‘53 summoned from a notion

I condensed within a form providing it with motion

I’m still alive

I still survive

 

I humiliated exotic invaders from every distant shore

I silenced the domestic forces who would steal my royal court

I laid waste to many foes confronted in my sport

I still survive

I’m still alive

 

I rode to heraldic glory with many men so proud

I prevailed in spectacles viewed by massive crowds

My name was often cursed in foreign voices loud

I’m still alive

I still survive

 

Through the decades I never really changed

I once grew very muscular and nearly lost my name

There was a time I lost my breath and suffered growing pains

I still survive

I’m still alive

 

Through all my regenerations I’ve heard them rant and rave

Many times esteemed pundits anointed me a grave

Too often now, from my chest, I’ve pulled their pointed stave

I’m still alive

I still survive

 

In my present form I appear very sleek

Though my body is growing old, don’t assume I’m weak

Yet another transformation soon I’ll surely seek

I still survive

I’m still alive

 

My future holds fulfillment of vast expectations

I will impress my will upon another generation

I shall be even bolder in my next incarnation

I will be alive

I will survive

I will be the motive force of the new Corvette “C-5”


Who Was That Dreamer?

                By George J. Kimble

 

Automotive engineering was his dream

He wanted to be on a car design team

Facts , figures, inches and degrees

To him were not a mortal disease

He wanted to build the best racing machine

 

All his friends said ,“You’ll never succeed”

“You think too much of engines and speed”

In a shed near a tall lone pine

He worked up a performance design

His heads made engines more powerful in deed !

 

Then with his heads and some good hearty mates

He campaigned his design throughout the States

In many races he did compete

His design was hard to beat

Here was a man that was destined to be great

 

His skills as an engineer became well known

At competitive racing he stood out alone

G M invited him in one day

They offered him a little pay

They turned over a project , that he took as his own

 

They wanted to inspire America’s young men

To really get their hearts beating again

They wanted a super sports car

To hold up like a bright shinning star

That could compete against the Europeans and win

 

From a shop with only some cryptic initials

He teamed up with a guy named Bill Mitchell

Though he had some factory help

The over all effort would be by himself

Then into speed contest and races he whistled

 

His cars often became tattered and torn

But for his efforts there never was scorn

One design then another

Labors of love like a brother

Out of his work the Sting Ray was born

 

Then one night right out of the dark

He dreamed up the famous Mako Shark

What a man  ,what a story

Lot of work , led to glory

And on our Corvettes he left his mark ! 

 

SALUTE: MR. DUNTOV  1910-1996