Corvette show brings out enthusiasts

by Ray Scherer
Monday, October 20, 2008
St. Joseph News-Press - St. Joseph,MO,USA

Dr. Solon Haynes is so proud of his 1958 Corvett convertible that he took it out for a spin Sunday in honor of its 50th birthday.

The St. Joseph man obviously had one of the older cars among 30 other Corvette enthusiasts who cruised their machines around The Shoppes at North Village. The occasion was the Glass Express Corvette Club’s 35th Anniversary Celebration.

Dr. Haynes — who is a retired Missouri Western professor — has owned his ‘Vette for three years.

“They’re really great people, dedicated to having quality automobiles,” he said of the local club.

Participants had the opportunity to compete in a rally and poker run, or simply to talk about their favorite car model. Event Chairman Jack Bidding said the club’s members used to have their fun in speed contests run over the East Hills Shopping Center parking lot.

“It really generates a lot of interest,” he said of the club’s activities. “We get to do seven events a year.”

The Glass Express club is sanctioned by the National Council of Corvette Clubs. Several regional Corvette officials attended the celebration, Mr. Bidding said.

One of the club’s five founding members, Bill Gilchrist, was also able to attend, he added.

Some participants drove their pride and joy from as far as 150 miles.

“The issue of gasoline is just not a factor,” Mr. Bidding said, referring to this year’s high fuel prices.

Awards and plaques were distributed for several classes in the poker run and rally. Tim Bailey, a member of the Mid-America Corvette Club in Kansas City, won best of show. He and car co-owner Pat Harrison, both of Leavenworth, Kan., brought their 2006 Corvette to the St. Joseph club’s anniversary.

Mr. Bailey makes the rounds of virtually every weekend Corvette event held throughout the Midwest.

“It’s really more like a way of life,” he said about owning one of the renowned sports cars.

“I was surprised,” he said of the award. “I’m more of a racer than a car show waxer. I got my first Corvette in 1973. I still have it.”

Mr. Bidding called the celebration a success and promised more events in the future for Corvette fans to enjoy.

“We’ll make it bigger and better the next time,” he said.

Ray Scherer can be reached at rscherer@npgco.com.