Jan and I jetted out of Maroochydore airport on the Friday. Our flight was delayed and that was not totally unexpected, as twenty minutes before our announcement to say the Virgin flight was unfortunately delayed, Jan had advised me of Maroochydore’s shocking on time departure record.
We eventually arrived at Melbourne airport, took the long walk and jumped a taxi to Corvette Clinic. After all the necessary transactions were complete, Kane walked me through some of the cars many operating functions. I had come down to Melbourne earlier in the year with Gary Rutch to see the car once it had arrived from the wharf. It was then that Kane and I had discussed the changes that I wanted made to the car during the conversion from left hand drive to right hand drive. Kane had been very receptive to my ideas, and due to the sheer numbers of C7 Corvettes he has converted, he was able to offer some invaluable insight as well.
Jan had not seen the car in person, before Kane had the upholstery tricked up with Spice Red Accents and she was delighted to see the result. Kane also de badged all the chrome badging and replaced it with carbon flash. The chrome mags were painted black, and a front splitter, side skirts and full rear spoiler were added to the Arctic white convertible Stingray. Many many thanks Kane, the changes look stunning.
One of the pre-emptive jobs Jan had completed before we left for Melbourne, was to go to the Dept of Vic Roads website to request and pay for a 4-day registration exemption, so that we could drive the Stingray back to the Sunshine Coast.
So, we loaded up the car and set our compass north for Qld. Driving a strange car in afternoon traffic can be tricky enough, but add to that the fact that you are in a strange town, and you can imagine how neurotic you can be when cars follow too close or are taking pictures of you as they pass.
We drove till dark, and until the traffic on both side of the Hume highway had thinned out. Just out of Gundagai Jan suggested we should see how the car goes, so I did, and we both smiled and laughed out loud. It goes well………real well….
Next morning, we woke to fog and frost. A real damn good reason to not live this far south. Stopped in at Goulburn for some fuel for the Vette as well as us. We got served the largest big breakfast ever, and was happy to thank the cook for preparing more than I could finish.
Jan drove from Goulburn to Sydney and as we passed the highway patrols hiding in the bushes along the Hume highway with their radar guns, I commented to Jan she could expect to be pulled over any minute for not displaying any number plates.
However, we got all the way to Newcastle and had no problems. We had planned to catch up with my brother, as well as some club members. We met up with Kevin and Denise down at Nobbys Beach, and in the afternoon sun, we took some pictures of Kevin’s multi award winning black C5 and my C7. Then it was out for dinner, drinks, stories and laughter before heading back to Trevor and Kerein’s for some nightcaps.
We got back on the road late morning and had no issues heading north. There were still plenty of road works to be completed. We stopped at Port Macquarie for fuel. As I tried to pump the gas, over the PA came the announcement for pump seven to come in and pay up front as I wasn’t running any number plates. Too many drive offs I guess. At last someone had noticed the lack of plates!!
Jan and I made it to Ballina where we checked into a very nice Ramada Hotel on the river. With room service ordered, the red wine going down very easily it was time to wash off the road grime in the Jacuzzi bath, and get comfortable for the final state of origin game. GO QUEENSLAND.
Monday morning was a little cloudy and cool, but we had decided to take the coast road up to Coffs Harbour. We stopped along the way, and snapped pictures of the Stingray with whales breaching in the background, and dolphins surfing the waves with the surfers. After breakfast in Coffs Harbour, we cruised back to the highway and set course for the Sunshine Coast. The Stingray cruised effortlessly in Eco mode. We were getting almost 30 miles per gallon and still had all the horsepower on call when we needed it. How cool is that.
Once home, we reflected on 2300kms travelled in 4 days, with no number plates. The Vette looks a million dollars, and had been in no small way responsible for one of the BEST road trips Jan and I have ever done. Miles of smiles for sure.
Happy Stingray owners
Garth and Jan.