Corvette show at Blackhawk sure to turn heads
By Lou Fancher
Although Stephen Logan has retired from his job as a police officer, he hasn’t stopped chasing fast cars.
Ever since 1953, when the San Leandro resident and an aunt who shared his love for speedy transportation saw a sleek, first-generation Corvette make its “dream car” debut at a General Motors event in New York City, Logan has been hooked.
“I saw it and it just hit me: That was the car I wanted, forever,” he says.
Which makes Logan the perfect person to be the Northern California Corvette Association’s VP of Events — and the car lover in charge of bringing corvettes and their owners to Danville for the 37th annual Legends on Display car show.
Held April 23 at Blackhawk Plaza, rain or shine, the NCCA celebrates being America’s oldest Corvette club with up to 100 Corvettes, raffles, prizes, judging, awards, and proceeds donated to East Bay charities selected at year end by the foundation.
Oh, and there’ll be plenty of car talk too.
Logan’s first corvette was a maroon 1962 model with a saddle-tone interior. He paid $3,000 and sold it after one year because the insurance was unaffordable. “I traded it for a ’63 Chevrolet Bel Air,” he says.
Over the course of his 73 years, he guesses he’s owned more than 50 cars, including the 2008 Corvette he bought that prompted him to join the NCCA.
“I saw the things the club does and decided I wanted to do them, too. I produce car shows and do autocrossing. It takes me places I’d never have gone,” he said. “A club is a family.”
Jump to 2017, Logan owns a 2013 427 convertible valued at over $50,000. The collector’s edition has just 12,000 miles on it and is loaded with special features.
“It’s America’s sports car. It’s a Ferrari for one-third the cost. In fact, it’s better than a Ferrari: The performance, the looks. If you go out any day of the week, you’re lucky to see even one or two Corvettes.” he sdaid. “When I see another Corvette on the street, I wave at the driver and they wave back.”
Logan might very well find himself waving at Doug Knudson. The 54-year-old San Ramon resident’s first Corvette was a 1987 model: blue and white, steel bumper. Bought in 1999 for $10,000, he still owns the car.
“The new Corvette bumpers are molded plastic,” he says, “but I always wanted a steel bumper car.”
Knudson’s 1969 fire engine red convertible Corvette turns heads. He says, “That’s my wife’s baby. I can’t do anything like sell it. Ever.”
And of course, there is Knudson’s 2013 deluxe anniversary Corvette; snowy white, liberally decorated with NCCA 60th Anniversary logos (the club was founded May 9, 1957).
“The logos are on the wheels and other places. It has the grand sport stuff like 6-speed transmission, larger V8 motor, removable top,” says Knudson.
Luncheons, weekend racing, family events and “a bunch of Corvette enthusiast,” he says, are what draw him to the club. “Between me and my wife — she and my older daughters do drag racing on a quarter mile track — we always have something going on.”
Knudson favors open track days when he can max out at top speeds in a safe environment.
“I’ve gone up to 130 mph: legally with no cross traffic or pedestrians,” he says, with obvious joy in his voice. “If you lose control, you spin out into a nice field where it doesn’t damage the car.”
If a car is damaged and has to go into the shop, Knudson is never without wheels. “I have lots of cars, actually,” he confesses. Also into hot rods, he owns a 1937 Ford sedan Delivery, hand-built with custom orange, black and silver paint.
“It’s a sight to see,” he says. “Air ride suspension lowers and raises it on demand. I’m a Harley Davidson fan and did the color as a tribute. There are Harley emblems and logos in the car and in the paint.”
And then there’s his daily ride, a Ford pickup truck, and his wife’s Chrysler 300 SRT 8. There might be other cars too, but Knudson’s out of time. He has to buff that red Corvette and prepare to turn heads.