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The next morning I loaded the Corvette, got gas, checked the oil, tires, knock-offs, and set off for home. It wasn’t long before I crossed the Colorado/Kansas state line. You could do surgery in the back seat of a car on Kansas highways, as the roads are billiard table-smooth. Gas is around $1.50 cheaper than in California, Nevada, and Utah. I had new appreciation for my home state.

The rolling plains were sunny and colorful for the first half of the trip across Kansas on I-70. Then spring storm clouds began to creep in, blocking the sun. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life, and I knew well what was hiding in those clouds: Doom. I thought, “Please, please, please just let me make it home before it dumps on me.” I have no problem driving in rain, even frog-strangling downpours, but the short bit of rain in Utah told me this convertible top wasn’t as watertight as I would have liked.

About fifty miles from home, it began to rain. The soft top dripped at the windshield header of the Chevy Corvette. I had a roll of shop towels with me, and used it to soak up the drips at the top of the windshield. About ten miles from home, the sky opened up and let loose with a torrential downpour. I saw Noah gathering animals in pairs. I was forced to hide under a gas station awning, as the water coming in the car looked like a flooding gutter. Trying to catch it all with the shop towels was like trying to handle toxic waste with an oven mitt. After ten or fifteen minutes, the rain calmed, and I finished the trip home.

Three blocks from home, the brake pedal began feeling mushy. A block from home, at a stoplight, it went to the floor, but still managed to get the Corvette stopped. I tiptoed the final block and got into the garage. My lovely wife had the door open and was waiting with a cold drink. Bless her.

It turned out that the front passenger side wheel bearing had given up the ghost, and the wheel was now resting on the brake caliper. The Corvette got me all the way home before calling it quits. I think she may have a soul.

We unloaded the car, put the top down, and put a big fan in it to dry everything. It took two days.

I have since had the wheel bearing fixed, addressed a few other issues, and have begun detailing the Sting Ray to my standards. The car is still glorious, and I am every bit as smitten as I was before. The Nassau Blue Sting Ray is parked in my garage next to my Roman Red 1960 Corvette. Now I need to find a Classic White C3 for the patriotic Corvette trifecta.

A few lessons learned on my road trip:

  • Modern cars are needlessly oversized. This has been my thinking for a while but was emphasized even more whilst piloting a mid-1960s Corvette half way across the country. There is no good reason for SUVs and full-size trucks to be so big.
  • Living in Kansas is not so bad. We have wide-open spaces, smooth roads, friendly people, inexpensive real estate, cheap gas, the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs. I was surprised how happy I was to see the state line.
  • Taking a break from social media was a pleasant treat. I’m thinking I should spend less time there.
  • Though long and somewhat frustrating at times, I wouldn’t trade that road trip for anything. I know the car well now. Give me a few weeks, I might be ready for another (shorter) road trip in it.
  • Everyone should endeavor to own a convertible at least once in their lives, if at all possible.
  • I came to realize how much I miss listening to good music. I have a massive music collection I need to spend more time enjoying.
  • People say don’t meet your heroes. This Nassau Blue 1965 Chevy Corvette convertible is my hero car. It is much better than I had hoped. This Corvette has earned a place in my heart. It has a few needs, but almost every vintage car does. I have already fixed some stuff, and other flaws will be addressed soon. I am driving the car every chance I get, and it is sublime.
  • When everything is up to snuff, I want to take the Corvette on a vintage road rally. Any suggestions?

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