Gearhead of the Week is featuring local owners of the different generations of Chevrolet Corvettes leading up to the 2013 Bloomington Gold show June 28-30 at the grounds of the State Farm Center in Champaign.
Corvette history: The fifth generation was a complete redesign, beginning with the 1997 model year and ending in 2004. It had greater structural rigidity and a flowing design. The fifth generation was the last to keep the flip-up headlights and featured the new LS1 all-aluminum small-block V8 engine that offered 28 miles per gallon on the highway. The high-performance ZO6 model used an LS6 engine, which produced 405 brake horsepower in later models.
Names: Dave and Doris Rich
Ages: 71, 52
Occupation: Dave is retired from a trucking company and now drives a shuttle for Sullivan-Parkhill
How long I've been a gearhead: "Ever since I was a junior in high school and bought a 1955 Chevrolet Belair."
The vehicle I wish I never sold: Dave's is a '57 Chevrolet Belair; Doris, a '67 Chevelle SS, four-speed with headers.
Street cred: Through the years, the Riches have owned a '62 Pontiac Catalina with a 421-cubic-inch V8 and four-speed transmission, a '631/2 Ford Galaxy with a 427-cubic-inch V8 and four-speed transmission and an '85 Corvette C4 coupe
On the sticker
Make/model: 2004 Corvette black on black with targa top
Powertrain: 350-cubic-inch V8 with automatic transmission
Class: stock with documentation
Special features: extensive chromed parts including door sills, fuel injector covers, battery cover, wheel well covers, vent covers, taillight trim and license plate trim; also chrome ZR1 wheels and a Corsa exhaust
The story: When the Corvette Club of Illinois (the Riches' local club) planned a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and Yellowstone Park, the couple decided they wanted a C4 with a more comfortable ride. Purchased with only 8,000 miles on it, they took the C5 on the trip as well as others, reaching 34,000 miles. "On any nice weekend, we drive somewhere," Doris said. They've been to the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Ky., twice for factory and museum visits.
Watch the video
More sights and sounds of of the Riches' ride can be found online by clicking here.
Know any gearheads?
Do you know someone who has a passion about vehicles?
Nominate a friend, family member or even yourself for Gearhead of the Week by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have received a gratifying number of respondents, so please be patient. We're working our way through the nominees — and we're always glad to receive more.
If you know of any events within driving distance that would be of interest to gearheads in the area, email us. We'll run them occasionally in our gearhead calendar.
June 15: Pop the Top, Main Street, downtown Arcola. Registration 10 a.m. to noon (entry fee $10); awards at 3 p.m. Dash plaques for first 50 cards; door prizes; handcrafted trophies for top 25; unique, object d'art trophies for best of show, people's choice, most likely to attract unwanted police attention, unsafe at any speed, best pop top, closest to the spirit of the Hippie Memorial. Proceeds to Arcola Beautification Committee. Contact Drippy Smith at 268-4278 or email@example.com.
July 20: 22nd Car, Truck and Custom Semi-Truck Show during the Champaign County Fair. No classes; top 25 earn trophies. Registration 9 a.m. (entry fee $10); show runs from noon to 3:30 p.m.; prizes at 3:30. Dash plaques for first 75 entries; car, truck, semi-truck Best of Show trophies; plaques for best paint, interior, engine, chrome; special plaques for fair queen choice, WIXY choice and Tires Plus choice. Sponsored by Chambana Sales, Reynolds Towing, Tires Plus, Stone Cold M.C. and WIXY.
Aug. 3: Villa Grove Car Show 2013, Cars for the Cure in support of breast cancer awareness. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Harrison Park. Registration runs from 9 a.m. to noon ($10 entry fee); trophies will be awarded at 3 p.m. to top 20 cars, top 10 trucks, top 10 motorcycles, veterans' choice, chairman's choice (three), sponsors' choice (three), best paint (three), best interior (two) and farthest traveled. Other features: dash plaques, free goody bags, raffle drawings throughout the day, first 25 entrants receive free T-shirt, free barbecue lunch to all participants, 50/50 drawing to benefit the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. Register/information: Stephen Akers, 832-9778 or 621-3027.