My Museum Delivery - by Vince Capka
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It took our Corvette two years to go from rumor to reality. In the summer of 1998 I had heard of an upcoming performance Corvette. I made known my desires for such a car to my salesman, Mike Kuebler of Tom Jumper Chevrolet in Atlanta. We used the 1999 options guide and spec’d out a car. Summer of 1999, I wrote a letter to David Hill, asking for some more concrete information. His reply: wait, you won’t be disappointed. Mike Kuebler suggested getting a 2000 Coupe during the wait. Again we spec’d out a car based on 2000 options. I declined the purchase. I wanted to wait. Then in November 1999, things changed dramatically. It was reported that top brass at Chevrolet had approved the performance Corvette, rumored to be called Z06. I rushed over to see Mike Kuebler. Once again we spec’d out a car based on 2000 options, and my name was put on the ‘list’. However, there was something a bit different about the options I selected this time. I had requested R8C, Corvette Museum Delivery.

In my efforts in trying to find out more about this rumored performance Corvette on the internet, I saw many testimonials from Corvette owners who had a great time taking delivery at the Museum. It sounded fascinating. After months reading bulletin boards from the C5 Registry and The Corvette Forum, and constantly checking out the museum’s webcams, I was getting excited about the upcoming car and the delivery. Many posts had suggested asking that Adam Boca perform the delivery process, since he is an avid Corvette enthusiast.

Tuesday, May 9, 2000, is a day I will never forget. The bulletin boards were abuzz that GM’s Vehicle Ordering Management System had started to accept Z06 orders. I knew Tuesday was Mike’s day off at the dealership. Worse still, for me anyway, Mike was on a Florida fishing trip! Wednesday morning I was at the front doors of Tom Jumper’s modern new facility. They were locked. I waited. Finally I was in the offices of Bill Scott and Todd Raines going through the ordering system. I found out they had located Mike in Florida, and had placed my order Tuesday morning. We went over the options, everything I had wanted was there, including R8C. Now, THE WAIT.

I began emailing Judy Yanko at the museum with many questions about the delivery process. I emailed Adam Boca . Both of them were very responsive to my inquiries. The month of June arrived with the news that the Z06 would be tentatively built the week of July 17th. This date was confirmed by three friends – salesman Mike Kuebler, C5Registry ambassador Harvey Gluck, and CovetteForum moderator Tony ‘RAT’ Barker. Now it’s getting closer. More emails to Judy and Adam. More quick replies. Were my emails of earth shattering importance ? No, but Judy and Adam understood my excitement and helped me survive the waiting game.

Wanting to do something special for my wife, Mary, a registered nurse and educator who has had to put up with my Z06itis for close to two years, I contacted Judy again. I had decided to surprise Mary with a stuffed bear and a pendant that she would not see until the delivery.

I planned a trip to the factory in an effort to see my car on the line. With the help of Mike Kuebler, Harvey Gluck, Adam Boca, factory tour guide Jeffrey Schnell and especially Sonny Kilgo, I saw the Z06 on the line. Four magical days. Nothing short of spectacular. I don’t know how it could have been any better.

During this trip to Bowling Green, I met Adam Boca and Judy Yanko for the first time. It seemed as if I had known them for years. We went over my requests for the delivery. Notice I said ‘my requests’. They gave me the feeling the delivery process was based on my desires, not theirs. Judy and Adam said many times, ’we can do that’, or ‘no problem’ to my requests. A toy bear and the piece of small jewelry was left with them to be placed in the car to surprise my wife at delivery time.

Back to Atlanta to wait some more. Did the emails to Judy and Adam stop ? No – now I was anxious to find out from Judy when the delivery would actually take place. Judy found out the vehicles were on hold. About a week later, she called me with great news. The Z06 had been released and our delivery date would be Friday August 4th at 10:30 am. It looked like it was going to be the museums first Z06 delivery! I was immediately on the phone to my wife, and then to Mike to tell them the news.

Mike graciously offered to drive Mary and myself up to Bowling Green to pick up the Vette. The three of us toured the factory in the morning and then drove over to the museum. Walking through the front doors, we saw a sign welcoming us to take delivery of our new Vette. Adam greeted us, and asked if we’d like to take the museum tour or go straight to the car. A minute later I’m gawking at the Torch Red Z06. WOW !

Adam and Chad from the museum were showing me the features of the car. They were very patient. They let me interrupt with a few more ‘WOW’s’. I was excited. They shared in my excitement. My wife Mary got in the passenger side and immediately noticed the surprise that Adam had placed there. The bear and pendant were a big hit! She gave me a kiss and a ‘thank you’. Great. Many museum visitors stopped and offered their congratulations, took pictures, talked about the Z06, and asked about the museum delivery. Quite a few said they were going to do the museum delivery with their next purchase. Adam let me chat with my new found friends. People were snapping pictures. I found out later that friends on the Corvette Forum, and my brother David, were downloading delivery pictures from the museum webcams! More than 400 images were captured. A lot was going happening. Most importantly, Adam let me have ‘my day’ with the car. It was fantastic.

Now, the paperwork. Paperwork. How many times had I verified back home that I was bringing all the appropriate documentation. All of us went into a glass walled room to do the paperwork. Glass walls. Did they really expect me to go through paperwork when I can still SEE the car? What pain in my neck I endured as I kept stretching for more looks. Even more visitors stopped to chat. With all the paperwork and formalities completed, it was time for Adam to drive the car, with me riding shotgun, out to the front of the building for some pictures. Adam took several pictures and asked which I preferred. With that done, I hopped in the driver’s seat, Adam in the passenger side, and off for a test drive. Phenomenal. I can’t imagine the size of the smile that must have been on my face.

Back inside the museum, it was time for the museum tour. Ryan Alexander and Chad were very cordial as they escorted us around the museum explaining all the exhibits. We heard the story behind the crossed-flag emblem. We reminisced about a chance meeting Zora Arkus-Duntov and his wife Elfie at Road Atlanta. We talked about our favorite classic Vettes. The experimental test mules. The race cars. The depth of history and nostalgia on display knew no bounds. No offence, Ryan, but my mind kept drifting back to one specific car. The one outside. The tour concluded, Ryan asked if there was anything else they could do for us. Again, the emphasis was on what the museum could do for us.

We bid farewell, and Mike, Mary and myself headed south towards home in Atlanta. Along with our bags, we carried with us the memories of a fantastic event that we will never forget. The friendship and the desire for us to have ‘our day’ remained evident during the entire time. Thanks to everyone who made this event very special to us.

How can it be better ? I don’t know, but we’ll give them a chance with a future museum delivery!

Vince and Mary Capka
National Corvette Museum Life Members #637
C5Registry X2419