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CORVETTE TODAY #154 - Meet Betty Skelton, First Woman Of Firsts

We honor the first woman inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame, Betty Skelton. Cindy Sisson, CEO of GSEvents and Pam Miller, Co-Producers of the documentary Betty Skelton, to highlight Betty's illustrious career.; The list of Betty's accomplishments are too many to list here. She broke barriers that no woman had crossed prior to her. After watching and/or listening to this episode of CORVETTE TODAY, you'll understand why Betty is the first woman to be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame. Enjoy this insightful episode about Betty Skelton on CORVETTE TODAY! Listen to the podcast, watch the YouTube video, join the Facebook group, sign up for email notifications and shop in the Merchandise Store at:
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2023 Corvette Info Including E-Ray, SR & Z06 Pricing, SR & Z06 Visualizers, 70th Anniversary Info, Press Releases for SR & Z06 & Their Build & Price, Order Guides & Visualizers

2023 Corvette Brochure:
E-Ray Visualizer:
Official E-Ray Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
Official GM E-Ray Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...and-visualizer
+ 25 KEY E-Ray Components/Factors:
E-Ray Leaked Info/Visualizer: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...tte-e-ray-leak
Z51 & Z06 GM Track Specs: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ecommendations
Z06 Order Guide:
Z06 MSRP and Options Pricing: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...freight-charge
2023 SR Build & Price: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...up-and-running
*2023 SR & Z06 Official Owners Manual:; and,
* 2023 GM Bash Major Seminar with HQ video: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...ore-bash-video
*2023 Stingray Visualizer:
*2023 Stingray (ONLY Order Guide:
*70th Anniversary Combined Press Release For SR & Z06: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...iversary-model
*Z06 Press Release: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-press-release
*Z06 Reveal Pictures: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...eveal-pictures
*Z06 Visualizer:
Order Guide (unofficial): https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-action-center
*Z06 vs Z07 Aero Components: https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...s-similarities
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Coping with the loss of my grandfather

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  • Coping with the loss of my grandfather

    Hey folks, nice forum you and community you have. I feel like I've watched a ton of videos on youtube about the c8 and order process; after finding this forum I'm still learning new things and staying up late reading posts.

    I've got an order in at MacMulkin; I learned very quickly the local dealerships without allocations wanted $20k-$30k markup. No thanks!

    My grandfather had a '57 vette in Venetian Red. I loved going for rides in it. No seatbelts; can't believe my parents let their kid ride in it; dangerous!

    My grandfather worked in an autobody shop his whole life and could fix anything; he taught me to change my own oil (which I still do) and how to weld (under my car outside in the rain!) He claimed his father opened one of the first garages ever in Canada (we're American), and he had tools "for parts they don't make on cars anymore" from his dad. When I was maybe 3 I remember he gave me an odometer pulled from a wreck for me to play with; I dismantled it, but couldn't get it back together. I think a lot of the reasons I'm an engineer today is that my grandfather taught me the patience required to diagnose what went wrong with a complex system, and the importance of fixing things the right way without letting problems languish. I remember my first ever pinewood derby race as a cub scout (now an Eagle); my grandfather made me sand the **** out of that car. I remember melting sinkers to add weight to the car and he painted it for me at the autobody shop. I won that competition with my first car ever! Pepere (as I called him) was always hanging out at my Uncle's barn which was an auto shop with lifts, jigs, and tools inside working on late model cars my Uncle would race. He was very much a GM guy; anything else "was ****" and to him cars painted green were "unlucky." I chipped the paint on his Corvette when I was very little (by accident, let the door to my grandmother's car swing open and it hit the vette); I can't believe my grandfather didn't beat me! That was not in his nature. He was a member of his local Thunderbird club though he would always show up with his vette. I remember leaving a club show with him in the vette once. A small electrical fire breaking out under the hood. My grandfather pulled over and Macgyvered it up enough to get us home.

    Pepere was diagnosed with Dementia (with Lewy bodies) 5 years ago. It was a long slow decline to someone I barely recognized in the end and incredibly difficult for my grandmother (she drops hints; I can infer there was a lot of heartbreak). He passed away last year.

    I'm not sure I ever processed my grief from that loss. I lost 3 grandparents that year; COVID, pancreatic cancer, then dementia. At some point, you don't even cry anymore.

    Not having a car for the past 10 years has allowed me to save aggressively (been commuting by bus). We're financially stable. When I saw the mid engine placement I was in love. When I saw the performance per cost, I was sold. I talked it over with my wife, and much to my surprise she was very much in favor of getting a Corvette; my father in law has two (c3 and c5, not sure of the years)! So to her, we're a Corvette family. I thought what better way to keep the memory of my grandfather alive than to drive the car he loved so much every day, albeit "not your grandfather's version." (He left his '57 in good hands with my Uncle; he has the skills, tools, and garage to maintain it, I would not).

    So I've got an order in, and expect allocation from MM soonish. I'm tempted to carry some of my grandfather's ashes in the car somewhere. I think he would appreciate his final resting place being in a corvette. Is that dumb or weird?

    I really wish I had the means to buy the car when he was around so he could have seen it and so that I could have seen it make him proud. I do worry if this is a reflexive purchase done in a moment of unsound mind dealing with grief, but I've run the numbers (they don't worry us in the slightest) and have had quite some time now to think more about it. So I don't regret it; more so acknowledge that spending money is a way that people process grief. If that's what this is, I accept it. Carthartic.

    Probably not the happiest introduction, but it's the first time I've taken the time to think about what my grandfather meant to me, and cry about it. Having my own Corvette will be another way I can be like my Pepere.

  • #2
    Hello and welcome to MECF, dementia is one of the saddest diagnosis to get it slowly affects the patient and slowly devastates the family. I feel that your pepere will be with you in your car whether you put some ashes in there or not…. But i think the ashes would be a nice and comforting act.

    too bad you did bot get to share your ride with him… he wont be physically with you on your first ride… but his spirit will.


    • #3
      Nice post. Welcome to the forum. Many happy miles ahead for you in your new Corvette soon.

      C8 2023 Z06 3LZ Coupe Red Mist
      Options: J6N EDGE RED CALIBERS; S0C Graphite Wheel then purchase MRR FO23 (Z07) WHEELS, NGA Black Exhaust, SNE Jake Hood Graphic, ERI Battery Protection, SPY Black Lugs, E60 Front Lift, J57 CCB's, CFV Ground Effects, Interior Jet Black with 38S Red Stitch, R8C Museum Delivery, BAZ Stealth Interior Trim, FA5 Carbon Fiber Int Trim, ZYC Carbon Flash Mirrors and Rear Spoiler.


      • #4
        So sorry for the loss of your grand parents. Hope getting the car eases your pain a bit.Losing a love one no matter what age hurts very much.Welcome to the forum


        • #5
          Your introduction evokes emotion and really helps us get to know you on a different level. Thank you for sharing your personal story with a group of individuals that share a similar enthusiasm for what is so much more than just a vehicle or brand. Welcome to the group, cannot wait to see your first at-home pic, and Pepere will 100% enjoy the ride in spirit when you bring his ashes along for a trip and for subsequent trips when he visits along side you.

          your message is inspiring, so again thank you!

          May you share the spec you went with and anything that may have influenced that?


          • #6
            Thank you so much Peperes57Vette. Thank you very much for sharing all you did. What a great family you come from. Absolutely understand you’re wanting to carry your grandpa’s ashes in yoru C8. Let’s hope it get’s here soon so you canstart your miles of C8 driving (together).

            Welcome to our community!
            2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, CCB’s, 3LZ, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option order-able including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 25 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


            • #7
              Welcome to a great forum. Sorry for your loss. And a great story. One of my grandfathers drove a 54 chevy and a 66 Impala and died at 65. The other had a 60 something ford fairlane that got to drive my grandmother around in since she never had a drivers license, he passed at 59.


              • #8
                Hang in there - They would not wish for you to be depressed over them. Unfortunately most of us will deal with heartache.

                Now for the look ahead into the bright future. May everything work out well and provide fantastic experiences.
                Rocket City Florida - 2013 427 Vert - 2015 ZO6 - 2020 Stingray


                • #9
                  Your grandfather sounds like my father. He was a master tool and die maker, hand building prototypes for microwave tubes used in the Apollo program. He could fix anything, and all my friends came to him with their otherwise unfixable problems.

                  He always wanted to go to Egypt because he was fascinated with how they were able to build precision things with the allegedly primitive tools they supposedly used. I brought him there for a 3 week visit.

                  When I got my first Corvette at age 19, I was $200 short, and he paid it instantly. Whenever I get a new car, I bring it to the cemetery so he can see it.

                  And my mother went at age 96 from dementia. When she was cremated, I buried her with my father. She rode the 100 miles to the cemetery in the passenger seat of my C7.

                  Due to my father's influence, I became an electrical engineer, and later a lawyer specializing in utility regulation. My grandfather, who was still living in the 18th century all his life, was always stubborn and ornery. He decided to die on the first day of my two day bar exam.
                  2022 HTC 2LT Z51
                  Front lift, mag ride
                  black exterior, adrenaline red interior, bright red calipers


                  • #10
                    Cheer up as you have so many great memories of your family members.

                    I’ve lost quite a few special people over the years myself and I’ve found that our loved ones truly live on in us.

                    Keep the good memories of your grandparents and over time the actions of what your grandparents or parents would have done in similar situations pop up and put a smile on your face in the most surprising moments. That’s the tribute that I believe honors them the most. Usually it’s a private recognition because it’s such a personal and unique experience.

                    thank you for sharing as it reminds so many of us of such experiences.

                    enjoy that new corvette as I am sure your grandfather would have as well. Just as your uncle is as he keeps that 57 in top condition.

                    my suggestion is enjoy driving that new c8 you have on order as much as you can. That was something my dad always instilled in me. Use the tools we have in life to put a nice smile on your face as often as possible. String them all together as often as you can to see not only a great past but a positive future.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for kind words; I'm glad I posted. Commiserating with strangers on the Internet is a hell of a lot cheaper than paying a therapist!

                      Originally posted by MotorMouth View Post
                      May you share the spec you went with and anything that may have influenced that?
                      Oh, right! The whole reason I mentioned the Venetian Red color was that I ordered mine in Torch Red! I remember the color "Venetian Red" because I personally thought it looked more orange in person and was surprised it was called a shade of red; perhaps my perception of color is slightly off...but I did not go with Sebring Orange (as nice as it is). Red is very much so my favorite color.

                      Red Mist was a close second for me. Elkhart Blue and Black also caught my eye. To be honest, I think the car looks good in all available colors and would be lucky to have one regardless of color. If there was a shade of yellow closer to their race team's shade, that would have made the choice more difficult for me. I've heard that All Corvettes Are Red though?

                      My build is mostly red and black themed.

                      1YC67 - HTC
                      GKZ - Torch Red
                      HUR - Adrenaline Red interior
                      3F9 - Torch Red Seatbelts
                      Q9A - Midnight Gray Forged 20 spoke with Red stripe
                      D84 - HTC and Nacelles in Carbon Flash
                      E60 - Front lift
                      J6F - Bright Red calipers

                      Then some silly small things like:
                      SPY - Black Lug Nuts
                      SPZ - Black Wheel Locks​
                      VWE - Radiator grill screens
                      YF5 - CA emissions
                      Click image for larger version

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                      Skipped the black exhaust tips since it seemed that required the performance exhaust. No Z51 (I live so close to Laguna Seca! Taking the car there is a dream, but tracking the car frequently is not something I have the resources for), no magride, etc.. Also didn't paint the mirrors black! I like the contrast! No spoilers, no aero. No upgraded seats.

                      I'll miss not being able to see the engine as in the coupe; I have seen folks replace the heat shield in HTCs with a clear panel and add OEM engine covers under. Tempting, though I think I want to keep the car as much stock as possible, and question whether these clear panel manufacturers have tested their products' ability to shield heat to the rigor GM has.

                      Perhaps most controversially is the D84 black top. Has the forum had threads discussing this option? Any consensus? It definitely gives the car a two tone look. I'm not sure if that will age well, but I do think it looks great today. I feel like I've seen a few cars lately doing something similar, so to me it seemed pretty modern (though, I'm sure "history repeats itself.") These two videos show off a existing vettes with that Torch Red convertible with black top:
                      And I think they look sick. I do find myself watching videos of corvette shows though, I can appreciate the variety. I suspect my combination is one of the more common builds. I hope I can find a cars & coffee in my area to attend.

                      So a bit different than my grandfathers; his was mostly orange and white (even white wall tires), mine is much more red and black.

                      Thoughts and feedback appreciated! My order hasn't gone 2000 yet; still have some time to change it.


                      • #12
                        I think the black roof as you displayed visually lowers the vehicle and is quite attractive. I’m not sure I’ll do my next vette htc with a black roof but is quite attractive.

                        Looks great!


                        • #13
                          A Very hearty felt story. I can certainly relate. In many ways. I personally had a 57 C1 that was white with red interior with silver alcoves. Had dual carbs, sold it last year. My Grandfather who was my male influential figure that I looked up to bought a 55 Chevy Belair Brand new The year after I was born and had that car till I was a Freshman in High school. Many fond memories of driving in Grandpas 55 Belair, usually on Sundays to church or country rides. My C8 HTC was built yesterday Vin ending in 7931. I also ordered a Torch Red with the painted Nacelles and roof. R package Z51 Grey Spectra wheels Natural dipped interior , High wing etc. Nice story. Thank You for sharing.


                          • #14

                            Welcome to the forum. I know exactly how you feel having lost my father to Alzheimer's Disease. It was a 10-year slide into darkness, starting with a little trouble coming up with words, and at the end in a complete vegetative state. It is in many ways the most horrible way to go.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for sharing your memories of your Grandfather...I'm sure he would be pleased with your decision to acquire a new Corvette. Welcome to the forum.
                              USAF Veteran ('67-'72)....previous Corvettes include new C4, C5 and C7 coupes. Currently enjoying my 2023 C8. Member of NCM. Graduate of Bondurant High Performance Driving and Bondurant Grand Prix Racing Schools. As a youth, was a factory racer for Simplex Go Carts (that should date me!).