Sunday, June 14, 2015

Capital Corvette Club 40th Anniversary Events: June 13/14, 2015

Prior to buying our Corvette, I thought it would be a good idea to join the local club and find out about what ownership of this somewhat-exotic car would entail and to get get advice about which options to look for and so forth.  Everyone was extremely helpful and my Corvette guru Bill, who had owned a number of Corvettes and had crazy mileage (well over 300,000 kms) his 2005 C6, provided some useful tips, as well as my first opportunity to sit in a modern Corvette for a drive.  But of course the big advantage to belonging to a marque club like the Capital Corvette Club is the range of social activities, including organized trips, open to like-minded car owners.  2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the club and having owned our car for just over a month we were happy to take part in events.

On June 13 we assembled at the Hilton Garden Inn near the Ottawa airport en masse and split into different groups for a selection of drives.  Some people went to the National Aviation Museum while others headed further west.  Our group went east into Glengarry County, an area that had once been settled by Gaelic-speaking Scottish Catholics starting in 1786; they joined up with the French Canadians already there.  In 1821 Scottish stone masons built a remarkable church which, unfortunately, burned out in 1970 but its ruins are today preserved.  Particularly impressive are the remains of the 1830 tower.  St. Raphael's was regarded as the founding church for Anglophone Roman Catholics in Upper Canada and for many years the parish was the largest one in the province.

Our drive continued further westwards close to the Quebec boundary where we stopped at Beau's Brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.  One of Canada's most successful craft breweries, it was launched in 2006 in an old factory building that was used for making leather products. Unable to compete with cheap Asian imports, the owners discussed what they could do instead and over a few beers came up with the idea of starting a brewery.  The beers are quite unusual and we enjoyed some of them with a light lunch on the patio in front of the brewery following a tour.

The final stop for the day was the Rideau-Carleton Raceway, a track for harness racing that also has a casino.  It was here that all the different groups from the driving tours reassembled and we had a group portrait taken with a cherry-picker to mark the 40th anniversary of the club.

Part 2 of the CCC weekend was an outing on June 14 to take part in an event for GM cars put on by one of the large local dealerships, Myers Chevrolet in Kanata.  There was an excellent turnout not only of our Corvettes but some we had not seen before, as well as a range of Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Buicks, Oldsmobiles and other GM brands.  There was live music and it was enjoyable to wander around and talk with the other car crazies on a beautiful sunny Sunday.

One of the most impressive cars there was a 1937 two-door Chevrolet hot rod--nothing beats purple flames!

Before we left for Myers with the group we had parked next to a beautifully restored C1 Corvette.  I was surprised that it actually was longer than our C6 but a very stylish car indeed.  Although ours is not the latest, it was nice to compare the old and the new(er).  One of the things I like about the club and Corvette people we have met elsewhere, is it does not matter which generation you drive but everyone is linked by their appreciation of this unique sports car.

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