Corvettes of Bakersfield was
established in November by a group of Corvette enthusiasts. The first ATM,
Strikes by US teaching staff throughout country for pay increases, The first
Super Bowl played between Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, Six Day
War Arab Forces attack Israel beginning the Yom Kippur War,
the first Boeing 737 takes its maiden flight, the Concorde is seen for the first time in public, Apollo
1 destroyed in a fire on the launch pad, Pulsars are discovered, Texas
Instruments releases the first pocket calculator.
Cost of Living
Year end Close Dow Jones Industrial
Average cost of new house $14,250.00
Average income per year $7,300.00
Average monthly rent $125.00
Gallon of Gas 33¢
Average cost of a new car $2,750.00
Cost of a base model Corvette
Movie ticket $1.25
The Federal Minimum Wage is increased to $1.40
The continued presence
of American troops increased further and a total of 475,000 were serving in
Vietnam and the peace rallies were multiplying as the number of protesters
against the war increased. The Boxer Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing
world championship for refusing to be inducted into the US Army. In the Middle
East Israel also went to war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan in the six day war
and when it was over Israel controlled and occupied a lot more territory than
before the war. Once again in the summer cities throughout America exploded in
rioting and looting the worst being in where 7000 national Guard were bought in
to restore law and order on the streets. In England a new type of model became
a fashion sensation by the name of Twiggy and mini skirts continued to get
shorter and even more popular with a short lived fashion being paper clothing.
Also during this year new Discotheques and singles bars appeared across cities
around the world and the Beatles continued to reign supreme with the release of
“Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band” album, and this year was also
coined the summer of love when young teenagers got friendly and smoked pot and
grooved to the music of “The Grateful Dead. Jefferson Airplane and The
Byrds”. The movie industry moved with the times and produced movies that
would appeal to this younger audience including “The Graduate” Bonnie
and Clyde” and “Cool Hand Luke” . TV shows included “The
Fugitive” and “The Monkees” and color television sets become
popular as the price comes down and more programs are made in color.
The 1967 Corvette
The 1967 Corvette Sting
Ray was the last Corvette of the second generation, and five years of
refinements made it the best of the line. Although it was meant to be a
redesign year, its intended successor the C3 was
found to have some undesirable aerodynamic traits. Duntov demanded more time in
the wind tunnel to devise fixes before it went into production.
Changes were again
modest: Five smaller front fender vents replaced the three larger ones, and
flat-finish rockers sans ribbing conferred a lower, less chunky appearance. New
was a single backup light, mounted above the license plate. The previous
models’ wheel covers gave way to slotted six-inch Rally wheels with chrome
beauty rings and lug nuts concealed behind chrome caps. Interior alterations
were modest and included revised upholstery, and the handbrake moved from
beneath the dash to between the seats. The convertible’s optional hardtop was
offered with a black vinyl top, which was a fad among all cars at the time. The 427
was available with a 1282 ft³/min (605 L/s) Holley triple two-barrel
carburetor arrangement, which the factory called Tri-Power. The ultimate Corvette engine for 1967 was
coded L88, even wilder than the L89, and was as close to a pure racing engine
as Chevy had ever offered in regular production. Besides the lightweight heads
and bigger ports, it came with an even hotter camshaft, stratospheric 12.5:1
compression, an aluminum radiator, small-diameter flywheel, and a single huge
Holley four-barrel carburetor. Although the factory advertised L88 rating was
430 BHP at 4600 rpm, the true rating was said to be about 560 BHP at
6400 rpm. The very high compression ratio required 103-octane racing fuel,
which was available only at select service stations. Clearly this was not an
engine for the casual motorist. When the L88 was ordered, Chevy made several
individual options mandatory, including Positraction, transistorized ignition, heavy-duty
suspension, and power brakes, as well as RPO C48, which deleted the normal
radio and heater to cut down on weight and discourage the car’s use on the
street. As costly as it was powerful – at an additional $1,500 over the base
$4,240.75 price – the L88 engine and required options were sold to a mere 20
buyers that year. With potential buyers anticipating the car’s overdue
redesign, sales for the Sting Ray’s final year totaled 22,940, down over 5,000
units from 1966 results. Meanwhile, Chevrolet readied its third-generation
Corvette for the 1968 model year.
A Chat With One of Corvettes of Bakersfield’s Charter Members
By: Gregory Brott
As my wife Carol and I sat down in Marilyn’s beautiful West Bakersfield home we were about to find out the wonderful and rich tapestry of what is now Corvettes of Bakersfield.
A most gracious Marilyn explained Corvettes of Bakersfield was established in November 1967 as Associated Corvettes, a Bakersfield Corvette club and at the time a voting member of The Western States Corvette Council and Marilyn along with her husband, Fredie were one of the ten original Charter Members. Fredie was also the very first President of Associated Corvettes and held the position for three years while Marilyn was busy as Secretary and publishing the newsletter.
The original Sponsors of our fledgling club was Richland Chevrolet and Barnett’s Goodyear with Three-Way Chevrolet replacing Richard in the 1980’s and is still Corvettes of Bakersfield’s premier sponsor.
During these early years the Club met at Pizzaville on Oak Street for their monthly Corvette Camaraderie fix and were very involved with autocross and racing.
Fredie and Marilyn’s first Corvette was a beautiful 1965 Milano Maroon coupe, which Marilyn still has and has plans for new paint sometime in the future
The C2 was followed with the purchase of a 1956 Artic Blue C1 with white coves which was sold to make way for a 1965 Marina Blue Coupe which they only kept for a few months while their original 1965 was being restored. They also purchased a 1989 Arctic White Coupe, which they ultimately traded in on their last new Corvette, a 2004 Machine Silver Coupe.
In 1969 Associated Corvettes brought to Bakersfield and hosted one of the largest Corvette Conventions in the Western States. The Corvette Council’s Pre-convention, with Corvettes coming from as far away as Mississippi, put Bakersfield on the Corvette map.
With a name change in the early 1970’s the club became known as Corvettes of Bakersfield, a better fitting name to promote and enhance the image of Kern County and the City of Bakersfield to the rest of the Corvette Clubs, their families and our Kern County Sponsors and Charities. This was also the time when the paper newsletter was produced in magazine format and the name changed to Corvette Cross-Roads.
During the 80’s and 90’s both Fredie and Marilyn were involved with all things Corvette with Marilyn being the Event Director for quite some time. This was also the time in which Corvettes of Bakersfield was thinking BIG….that is with our First Corvettes of Bakersfield Gambler’s Classic in 1992.
In the early 2000’s both Fredie and Marilyn continued to enjoy time with the Club and purchased a beautiful 2004 Artic White C4 Corvette.
Marilyn retired in 2006 as the office manager for Renfro Cunningham Architects and Fredie retired in 1996 after 36 years as a Sub Station Electrician for PG&E. They both enjoyed their retirement and time spent with Corvettes of Bakersfield on events, runs and gets togethers until Fredie’s untimely passing in 2008.
Upon their retirement they traded in the C4 and bought a stunning new 2004 Machine Silver C5 which Marilyn still has today and drives often and to Corvettes of Bakersfield events.
The past ten years for Marilyn involved family and Corvettes. She would always bring her grandkids along on club events at Kern County Raceway, the Glenville Run just to name a few. Her grandkids also helped stuff goodie bags for Laughlin and Streets of Bakersfield, Kern County Gun Club Shoot and many more. On the personal side, Marilyn continued, that she traveled to London twice, Scotland, Wales, Hawaii and China with family. Marilyn and her daughter also researched family history where they discovered a distant Grandfather of hers fought in the Revolutionary War against England and they are now registered and officially Daughters of the American Revolution, descended from the More family in England.
Because of Marilyn and the original Charter Members today Corvettes of Bakersfield, Inc. has a membership of over 75 member households, over 140 individual members and has contributed to local non-profit charities within the Bakersfield and Kern County, over $250.000.00!
When Carol and I left that Sunday afternoon we had a deep admiration for her 50 years of dedication and service to Corvettes of Bakersfield. We all owe Marilyn and the other Charter Members a sincere and heartfelt thank you for their dedication and foresight to make what we know today as the finest Corvette Club in existence a reality!