Dayton Auto Show focuses on Corvette

The Dayton Auto Show will rev up Feb. 21-24 at the Dayton Convention Center.

As always, no one can buy a vehicle at the show. But visitors can scout out 2013 and even some 2014 models and educate themselves about possible next purchases.

Dealers and manufacturers hope shows like this one will whet appetites for upcoming models.

“It’s a great one-stop shop for people who are looking for a car because everything is under one roof,” said Marie Gilman, auto show manager for the Ohio Auto Dealers Association.

All the big manufacturers will be represented and a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is expected to be on hand, Gilman said. Showgoers should also look for increasingly sophisticated examples of digital dashboards and hybrid and electric vehicles, organizers said.

But a big part of this year’s show is the 60th anniversary of the mighty Chevrolet Corvette.

You don’t need to explain to Thom Murph why the Corvette has such staying power. The 72-year-old Harrison Twp. resident says he has owned 12 of them and took delivery of No. 13 — a 60th anniversary edition of the much-loved muscle car — last week from Buds Chevrolet in St. Mary’s.

“The romance of the Corvette is, it’s the thing that the average teenager or young man relates to when it comes to cars,” Murph said.

Murph bought his first ‘Vette in 1961, and he hasn’t fallen out of love. A former semiconductor industry salesman, he even bought his wife a Corvette as a wedding present.

His favorite iteration of the model was the C2-series from 1963 to 1967. Murph calls those versions “probably the best classic Corvette that had the best mechanics and body design.”

Although he quickly added: “For their time. They (the mid-60s models) can’t hold a candle to the new ones when it comes to handling and everything else.”

An executive vice president in the Corvette Troy Club, Murph sees the Corvette as something essential to the American spirit, fighting off what he called “an inferiority complex” that he believes at one time haunted the domestic auto industry.

After all, this was a car that could (and did) beat Japanese and European models at the 24-hour LeMans race, he noted.

“The love of the Corvette was in large part brought about by the fact that that’s the best we have,” Murph said.

He acknowledges that ‘Vettes aren’t cheap. Motor Trend magazine puts the base price for a 2013 Corvette 427 at $76,900, although other models are much less. The 2013 Coupe starts at $49,600, according to Chevrolet.

They aren’t roomy vehicles, and they don’t offer a “million-dollar glove-leather interior,” Murph said.

But he added, “It’s a vehicle that gives you a lot for your money.”

Tom Hendricks, a Corvette specialist at Buds Chevrolet, delivered three Corvettes last Wednesday. He owns four Corvettes himself — his first one being a 1976 model — so he gets the allure.

“We had a huge January and February for Corvettes (sales) so far, which is a little unusual for this time of year,” Hendricks said.

A big reason for the Corvette’s popularity is its staying power, he believes. So many people have had fathers or grandfathers who owned a Corvette, or they knew someone who owned one. That helps carry the romance forward to new generations, he believes.

“The main thing is, it’s been around for 60 years,” Hendricks said.

And while he agrees the Corvette is not a cheap proposition, they can be relatively accessible. Just last week, Hendricks said he sold a pickup truck for $58,000. “It’s just about in that same class,” he said.

The convention center is at Main and Fifth streets in downtown Dayton.

Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Stabbing victim flown to hospital; Springfield crews search for suspect
Stabbing victim flown to hospital; Springfield crews search for suspect

Springfield police are searching for a suspect after a man was stabbed in the chest, according to Springfield Sgt. Michael Curtis. Crews were dispatched to the 1100 block of Water Street around 11:40 p.m. Friday on a report of a stabbing.  Officers arrived to find the victim coherent and unable to recall the events leading up to the stabbing,...
Pennsylvania man accused of urinating on toys on store shelf
Pennsylvania man accused of urinating on toys on store shelf

A Pennsylvania man is accused of urinating on toys and other items in a store.  Police said David Pacoe, 74, was captured on surveillance video urinating on a shelf inside Playthings, Etc. in Butler on Nov. 2.  “It's not very nice at all and it's a toy store. You shouldn't have to worry about having security and guards or...
Ohio woman burned by coffee in break room spat
Ohio woman burned by coffee in break room spat

An Ohio woman suffered “significant burns” when another woman threw a cup of hot coffee on her in a break room at the YWCA, according to a Dayton Police report.  Officers and a medic were dispatched to the YWCA in Dayton at 5:25 p.m. Thursday on a report of an aggravated assault.  The two women involved in the altercation...
Louisiana veteran entertains motorists with saxophone
Louisiana veteran entertains motorists with saxophone

A Vietnam War veteran has become a fixture for music lovers in his Louisiana town. Donald Givens plays saxophone for several hours daily in his gazebo at his Monroe residence. His yard is located near the corner of two overpasses and commuters can listen to his daily jam sessions, the News-Star reported. Strangers pull up to his home and ask Givens...
Stolen Van Halen guitar returned to Hard Rock Cafe in Texas
Stolen Van Halen guitar returned to Hard Rock Cafe in Texas

A guitar owned by rock ’n’ roll legend Eddie Van Halen worth more than $100,000 was recovered Friday, hours after it was stolen from a Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio, Texas, KSAT reported. The guitar, nicknamed “Frankenstrat,” had been reported stolen around 1 a.m. Friday. It was returned later in the day, but it is unclear how...
More Stories