We are fortunate enough to have brought you a number of great Corvettes from last year’s Corvette Funfest 2014, in Effingham, Illinois. The event is put on each year in September thanks to Mid America Motorworks.
Many of our features display a car that has been modified, used in competition, or even fully restored as an original restoration or rest-mod. This car, however, was fully stock in nature, yet it made no less of an impression on us.
An Army Touch
Considering the time, while the C7 Stingrays had been selling for a number of months, they were still not exactly plentiful. This example was built with the beautiful dark metallic grey paint and light grey interior which made for quite a spectacle during those beautiful sunny days in Effingham. Aside from that, we just cannot express how clean the car was; it simply just had that “never-been-driven look” to it that we found very impressive.
Additionally, you may notice some army memorabilia within this C7. The car is owned by Raymundo Gonzalez, Jr., who retired from the United States Army, and the items in the car are a great way to be thankful for our armed forces and to remember those who gave their lives. Gonzalez is also an active member of the Corvette Club of Illinois, based in Champaign, IL.
We were also fortunate enough to see Gonzalez receive a Celebrity Choice Award at the 2014 Corvette Funfest, which was appropriately honoring the organization Vets with Vettes.
As we do with each car and owner we decide to feature, we asked Gonzalez if he remembers the exact moment that he fell in love with Corvettes and any other details from the past. He happily replied, “I have been into Corvettes since my first ride in a 1964 Corvette, at the age of 14. From that day forward, my dream has always been to get a Corvette some day.”
Gonzalez purchased the car new, on the 12th day of June, 2014. The window sticker was around $64,000, and after the six months of build time, we are sure it was worth every penny upon that first drive. Gonzalez is also a member of the National Corvette Museum and proudly lets their sticker adorn his new C7 Stingray.
One Clean Stingray
One thing that really stood out to us, was hearing about the tradition Gonzalez has with his beloved Corvettes. He explained to us, “This is my third Corvette [having owned a 1980, a 2007, and now this 2014]. I have driven each of the Corvettes to California to have them pinstriped by my high school friend ‘Ruben’ whose work has been featured in Low Rider, Street Rod Magazine, and many more. The 2014 will be making the trip to California in April or May of 2015 to be striped by him.”
This really goes to show that when somebody is exposed to top-notch work, they will travel great lengths to have the job be nothing short of perfect. We hope Gonzalez has a wonderful trip, and hopefully we will find both him and the C7 at this year’s Corvette FunFest to check out the pin striping job!
As we mentioned earlier, one of the things that initially stood out to us was that the car looked as though it had rolled out of the showroom and onto the grounds at Mid America Motorworks. Gonzalez said, “I drive as much as I can until winter sets in, and then it’s parked [inside]. The car is made to drive. I got the 2014 in June and have put almost 5,000 miles on it.” Mind you the FunFest was held in September, so the C7 was seeing over 1,000 miles per month since the date of delivery, very nice!
We realize that having nearly 5,000 miles on the odometer still makes this Vette very new, but there was just something about the car that’s hard to put into words. As some of us here at Corvette Online are admittedly compulsive detailers, we know that “this look” is just one of the signs of excellent car care. Of course we had to ask, and can happily report that this C7 hasn’t received any repairs or been involved in any incidents, and naturally we hope this pattern continues.
Again, we wish Gonzalez the best of luck on his trip out to California in the spring of 2015, and hope that the striping goes well. We are hopeful that we’ll return to the home of Mid America Motorworks this year and Corvette Online cannot wait to catch up with Gonzalez and all the other friends we have made around the country, all brought together by America’s sports car.