By Dave Dunn
Back in 1997 I bought my first Vette. By 1999 I had a car I barely used and was on the verge of selling because my wife and I were talking about having kids. In January of 2000 I thought I would reach out to a local Corvette Club and try to find out what I could get for the car. I found NGCA online and sent an e-mail. Much to my surprise, I received an invitation to attend the next meeting from both the Secretary and the President. At first I was a little worried about what the meeting would be like. Here I was, a guy that knew nothing about the mechanical workings of Vettes going to a meeting in the service bay of a Chevy dealer and run by a guy named Roc. I thought that these people would hand me my head when I showed up in an F-150. Instead of walking into a room full of snobby gear heads, I was greeted by people that had a wide array of interests. One of them even came up to me and asked how I liked my F-150 because he wanted to buy the same one. When the meeting was over, I was invited to go to a diner with the group to get to know everyone. When I got to the diner, the club secretary gave me a seat in the middle of the group. I was asked questions on where I got my Vette, how I liked it, and if I needed any help with it. The members treated me like I was a long lost friend that came back for a visit. I joined the club right after.
Over the next several years I found that I was using my Vette much more often. We took our 30+ year old Vette to a Rally in Cape Cod, local runs to West Point, and tons of other Vette related events. We even took a trip to the NCM for Corvette’s 50th Anniversary. Corvettes at Carlisle has always been one of my favorite events to attend with NGCA. On my first trip out there I needed to find a replacement steering wheel for my car. As my wife and I were walking the field, NGCA members we did not even know were calling out to us on the walkie-talkies letting us know where they found steering wheels and at what price. Later that night, we all hung around the pool at the hotel talking to other Vette owners from across the country about engines, Vette history, and the Vettes we wished we had. Each year at Carlisle has been a similar experience.
I have been an officer of NGCA almost as long as I have been a member. I have developed numerous close friendships with club members. These people have been there for me whenever I needed help. When I had to refinance my mortgage it was an NGCA member that helped me. When I lost my job and had to start a new business it was NGCA members that gave me my first jobs and supplied me with connections to keep my business running. For quite some time I have considered NGCA to be the premiere club in NJ, but it is not because of the events and activities. What makes NGCA so great is its’ people. This is why even when people move out of state they still keep their membership in this club. There is no better Corvette Club in NJ, and its 37 year history proves it.
NGCA President 2002 - 2009