It’s hard to believe that twenty years ago today, I rolled out the Corvette Action Center web site to the world.
History of the Corvette Action Center
The original Corvette Action Center (CAC) was a small office at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant in the early 1990s, and voluntarily staffed by various Corvette Engineers after their regular work shift ended for the day. GM set up a CAC specific 1-800 number for Corvette owners to use if they needed technical help with their Corvette. The CAC became an incredibly helpful resource to Corvette owners and enthusiasts, but unfortunately, GM shuttered the doors due to economic changes in the industry and the lack of funds to keep it going.
In late 1999, I decided a career change was in order, and as a result, I started to take a Webmaster’s Certificate Program at a local college in order to transition from Biotechnology to Web Development.
The final for one of the classes was the construction of a 5-page web site related to anything that I was interested in. Given my love for Corvettes, a Corvette related web site was a no-brainer! I landed an A+ on the final and the instructor encouraged me to take the web site live. That class final became CorvetteNH.com; a small New Hampshire based web site which covered New England Corvette events, clubs, and tech info.
It wasn’t long after that I landed my first Web Development job in Washington, DC and moved to Northern Virginia. That’s where the Corvette Action Center started.
I converted the small New Hampshire based web site into a global Corvette web site covering anything and everything having to do with Corvettes.
My ultimate goal was to continue the intent of the original CAC by helping Corvette owners and enthusiasts learn everything they could about the marque through, solid, reputable tech info, member forums, and historical production information.
For the last twenty years, I’ve worked diligently to grow and refine the CAC into what you see today.
Highlights Over the Last Twenty Years
Where do I even begin? There’s so many, but I listed a few below that really stand out:
- Our very first Corvette Action Center CruiseFest in 2004 in Auburn, Indiana where GM brought a 2005 Captured Test Fleet Corvette for a viewing by our members. It was one of the first public debuts of the all new C6 Corvette
- I built a 1953 Corvette Registry here at the CAC and I worked with Chip Miller from Carlisle Productions and well known Corvette author and historian, Noland Adams to document some of the history of the very first Corvettes ever built
- In late 2012, General Motors invited me out to Detroit to attend the North American International Auto Show as part of the automotive media group and view the official unveiling of the C7 Corvette to the world. I was incredibly honored and it was the highlight of my time with the Corvette Action Center. You can read about the experience here: Something Wicked This Way Comes
- At the Corvette Action Center‘s 2010 CruiseFest in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a few of the members felt inspired to kick up their heels to the music of The Supremes. I never laughed so hard in my life!
In Tom Falkoner’s book: Collector’s Originality Guide Corvette C4 1984-1996, Tom used some of the production data that we have here on the CAC. In the credits section of the book, he states:
“I never thought I would acknowledge a website in a book, but the Corvette Action Center site is exceptional and is clearly run by enthusiasts with a real and deep interest in the Corvette. In a virtual world dominated by the C5, the CAC is very strong on the C4. I am deeply indebted to them for permission to use their tables of C4 statistics, the important RPO numbers, and in particular their research on the no-cost option codes that appear on the Service Parts Identification Label, and I recommend their fascinating website.”
Twenty Years Later
While the CAC has definitely been a a lot of work at times, it has remained a labor of love for me.
From learning how to operate the server and new programming languages the CAC relies on, to adding new Corvette related content important to enthusiasts, I will continue to push the CAC forward into the future.
Over the years, I’ve met some of the most incredible people from all over the world. Some have become incredibly close friends and in some instances, like family. Some of those friends have sadly, passed away over the years, but I will forever cherish the memories I have of them.
As the saying goes, “it’s not about the car, but about the people”, and that is so very true!
I would like to close by saying “THANK YOU” to all of the Corvette Action Center’s members and followers! The Corvette Action Center has far exceeded my wildest dreams from twenty years ago, and I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of all of you.
Here’s to another twenty years of Corvettes and camaraderie!
In memory of Bud Dougherty: “I miss you and your wisdom more than words can say. You believed in me and my vision for the Corvette Action Center during the times I struggled to believe in myself….”