We’ve all heard the stories of veterans who purchased a brand-new Corvette and then went off to a foreign land, or other stories of those who made the purchase once they were safely back on American soil. This one is more like the latter, but with a bit of a twist.
When Chuck Cook walked into Cecil Clark Chevrolet, hardly anyone could have anticipated which checkboxes were already crossed off in Chuck’s mind. The Leesburg, Florida retiree is set to celebrate his 90th birthday in March of this year and decided to treat himself to a little more than an extra helping of cake and Mr. Cook knew what he wanted!
Cook spent four years in the Air Force, working on fighter jets in Korea. Once he returned, Chuck found employment working for Uniroyal in Michigan. He was first introduced to Corvettes in the early ‘80s by a neighbor, and soon filled out the paperwork for one of the last Shark Corvettes to roll off the assembly line in St. Louis, Missouri, before production was moved to the all-new assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Chuck held onto his C3 Corvette all through the C4 generation, but when the C5s came on the scene, Chuck knew it was time for a change. Since then, Chuck has had several Corvettes, starting with the 2001 Corvette that enticed him to jump from his trusty C3. After that, he found the C7 generation simply irresistible and purchased a 2014 model to drive around the Sunshine State.
As Chuck anticipated beginning his ninth decade around the sun, he wanted to do something special, and with Corvette introducing the all-new C8 Corvette recently, he knew just how to do it. He drove down to Cecil Clark Chevy with a full ink pen and a smile. “This is my birthday present to myself,” he said. Even though his birthday isn’t until March, no one had an issue celebrating a little early. In fact, the timing was perfect so that Chuck could get the first 2021 Corvette to come through the dealership according to Buzzy York of Cecil Clark Chevy.
The dealership had an early birthday party for Chuck, ripe with all the fixings for a great celebration. I mean, wouldn’t YOU love to have a birthday party with all the requisite friends and family, knowing that you’d be driving home in a brand-new Corvette? Chuck’s wife Barbara and fellow members of the local Touch of Glass Corvette Club of Lake County (of which Chuck is a founding member) were also on hand to celebrate with him and vie for a ride in the passenger’s seat for the ride home.
Chuck is looking forward to many miles of smiles in his new C8, and echoes many of our wishes for this new year. “I can’t wait until the pandemic is over so I can get this to all the car shows,” he says. “This is my fun car… I also have a 2018 Equinox as my grocery getter.” We’ll have to wait and see how this year unfolds, but I think that we can all agree that for Chuck Cook, the year is starting off just right! Congratulations and enjoy your new Corvette!