Honestly, I really couldn't care less about sports cars, or any cars. I've never noticed or been able to recognize brands and models, and for many many years I was a proud non-car owning New Yorker. I didn't even bother getting a US driver's license (although I had my UK one) until after I met Keith. Yes, I was the 30 year old taking my road test - thank goodness I passed!
I hate how heavily dependent a car culture we have here in the US and one of the things I love about New York is that you don't have to have a car. I've never bought or owned a car by myself - Keith brought our current car into our relationship and sadly (for him, as he would really like a new car) this thing (a Toyota Matrix) doesn't show any signs of needing to be replaced yet. With his family in Queens and Long Island, we do use the car a lot on weekends, and I will admit it's handy for shopping trips, going out for dinner and photo sessions in locations not easily accessible by public transport. Still, I avoid driving wherever possible and will happily walk 45 minutes with the stroller instead. It's good exercise! (Also, I hate parking.)
So why oh why is there a Corvette on my things I love list?!
Well, it's a funny story, but one year we were stuck at Heathrow airport and there was a sports car up for raffle. Keith didn't succumb right away but after several hours of boredom, he caved and bought some tickets. He didn't win... but it planted a seed, and kind of but not really beknownst to me, Keith started entering other sports car raffles - apparently there are quite a few and it's not cheap!
Fast forward almost two years and...well, you can imagine where this is going, right? I'm six months pregnant and sitting at my desk at work when Keith calls me up. "Guess what?" he whispers. "We won a Corvette!"
I know. Unbelievable, right?
Now here's the thing when you win something though - you have to pay income taxes on your winning, and this was no exception. And... that's a lot of money to spend at short notice. It's the same as buying a "normal" car only we didn't actually need or had been planning on buying a car, let alone a two seater sports car just when we were about to become a family of three, and that we didn't even have anywhere safe to keep in Brooklyn!
On the other hand, we could take the car and sell it and enjoy a nice little boost to our savings just before having a baby.
We "discussed" it... meaning I cried for three weeks about it (remember - pregnancy hormones!) but I knew I couldn't ask Keith to sell it. This was Keith's dream - his chance to own a sports car. We would never be able to justify what would be a much greater expense in the future, I just couldn't see it happening.
Besides, everyone was telling us what a good omen it was for the baby - how could we possibly sell it?!
We were going to become Corvette owners.
And before we knew it, we were booking one way plane tickets to Bowling Green, Kentucky (well actually, we flew into Nashville) so we could pick the car up ourselves from the factory and be treated to a VIP tour of both the factory and museum. The plan, of course, was to drive back but my OB quickly nixed the idea of me taking a 14 hour trip in a sports car, so I ended up planning on flying back by myself while Keith drove back. If we were going to do this, I didn't want to miss out on the trip altogether!
The trip was amazing - probably the best customer service experience I have ever had. They weren't kidding when they said we would get VIP treatment - we were treated like royalty, and every new owner who chooses factory pick-up gets the same experience. We got a personal guide for the day, a retired military guy and life long Corvette owner and enthusiast himself and the welcome we got was amazing - our names were literally up in lights everywhere we went, and everyone was so genuinely excited to bring us into the Corvette family. People kept asking us if this was our first, and they weren't talking about the baby!!! Of course, they also thought it was great that I was so pregnant.
Our car was on display IN THE MUSEUM so we got to ooh and aaahhh over it (and take photos of course, although this was pre-DSLR for me) and then we did paperwork, toured the factory and museum, had lunch... and then finally, Keith got to turn the car on and they drove the car out of the museum and handed us the keys!
Needless to say, during this trip, I fell in love with the car. Seeing behind the scenes - the factory, actual Corvettes in the process of being made - and, through the museum, learning about the history and seeing all the vintage Corvettes, combined with the obvious passion and enthusiasm of everyone we met - it was contagious.
Sadly, we've barely driven the car. We keep it at Keith's parents' in Queens and, with a young kid, it's hard to find the opportunity to drive a two-seater. Keith talks of selling it and buying a car that could actually hold all of us... but I don't want him to.
Irrationally, illogically, I love this car. I love that it was this crazy thing that happened to us when I was pregnant with Liam. I love the whole experience it gave us - our "babymoon" of sorts. I love the passion we saw behind it. I love that Liam knows what a Corvette is.
Plus it makes for a great story!
I love you Corvette!
nyc baby, child and family photographer & architect alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn. she specializes in baby photography as interior design & interior design for babies. view her portfolio of babies, children or families or send her an e-mail here!