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Go Speed Racer Go!

Richard Rodriguez

When I was very young, around 4 or 5, there was a cartoon on one of the local UHF channels. It was a Japanese import about a young race car driver and his many adventures with his incredible car. The show was Speed Racer. The star was the car: the powerful Mach 5. Like many kids, I fell in love with the show. Its mix of action and slap-stick comedy was just the ticket for prepubescent males in the early 1970s.

The car though, was lust worthy. No car before it, with the exception of Adam West's Batmobile, elicited such an emotional response. If they only made one in real life. I remember going shopping one day with my parents on a local military base, Army/Air Force exchange. I nearly had a heart attack. It was going the opposite direction from us and I couldn't process what I was seeing. I asked my father a little too excitedly what that car was. He just casually replied that it was a Corvette. I thought to myself, "They did it, they built the Mach 5!" It was so different from everything else on the road. The muscular curves, the stance, it just commanded attention. I knew I had to have one.

Of course what I saw was a C3. Probably driven by one of our servicemen. That made it cool and attainable. One day.....

Over the years, I followed Corvette development. I read the magazines and dreamed of ownership. I admired the engineering, styling, and the car's ability to compete against cars way beyond it's price point. (Kinda like the Mach 5!) It wasn't always the best, but it was ours. Astronauts drove Corvettes. That is just cool. They always got better with each generation. Soon, with some luck, I'd have one.

About 42 years after I saw that C3, the day came. The time had finally come to fulfill a long held dream and purchase my own Corvette. It would be the Arctic White with Adrenalin Red interior car that has inhabited my dreams for so many years. And it would be a stick, a 2014 Stingray. Welcome home!

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