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Summer Of 1980

Carmine Pelosi

In the summer of 1980, when I was only fourteen years old, a Corvette pulled up next to me while I was walking down the street I lived on. As the vehicle approached me from the opposite side of the road, I noticed that this Corvette was different than any other Corvette I had ever seen.

The car stopped next to me, as the driver’s window went down, I recognized the operator who had been my eighth grade science teacher. I remember talking to him briefly about my summer vacation while forcing myself to take my eyes off his Corvette.

When I finally asked him about the car he explained that it was a 1980 Corvette, which he had just purchased. Being that I knew every detail about the previous model year Corvettes, I commented on how I loved the body changes that year, especially the front and rear spoilers on the car.

In spite the fact that I only lived about a hundred yards from where we were, I ran to the passenger seat of the car when he asked me if I needed a ride home. I had never sat in a Corvette before, but after the unexplainable feeling I experienced during that short ride home, I knew that one day I would have my own Corvette.

Several years later my cousin purchased a 1980 four speed Corvette, which was red with oyster interior. He garaged the car and meticulously maintained it, keeping receipts and records of anything he did to the car including the days when he started it and the miles he drove it. Whenever I got together with my cousin I would always remind him of how much I loved his car, until one day he called me and said that he had to sell his Corvette.

It’s been about 10 years since I purchased my cousin’s red 1980 Corvette. It sits covered in my garage, which is located around the corner from where I fell in love with the same car more than thirty years ago. The most amazing thing is that on the special days when I do have the time to drive the car, I still experience that unexplainable feeling I felt on that summer day in 1980 when I was fourteen years old.         

I plan on getting a new Corvette Stingray next year for my 50th birthday. I would like to find or order one with the same color combination as my 1980 (red exterior with an oyster interior). I will be keeping both cars, and will look forward to going to events with my two boys together with both Corvettes. Who knows, maybe one summer day, while driving my new Corvette down the street, some child might observe, and dream of owning their own Corvette someday, and begin their own Corvette Story!

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