BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CAPE COD CORVETTE CLUB
According to the Club’s Records, the Cape Cod Corvette Club was first founded in the early 1970's by a group of ‘Vett enthusiasts from the Upper Cape area. We know very little about that early Club, other than the president of the Club at the time was George Shoner. The Club did sponsor a Corvette Show at the old Granite Chevrolet in Hyannis a couple of times in the mid to late 70's. The group hosted several “Gimmick” rallies on the Cape, which were well attended by several off Cape clubs. For various reasons, interest in the Club faded, and it was forced to end its membership in 1982.
Then, in early 1998, Bruce Hart met a gentleman by the name of John Wherry while chairing the first Chamber of Commerce/ Orleans Car Show, and together they were two car enthusiasts stepping forward to restart the Cape Cod Corvette Club. They began by placing ads in the Cape Cod Standard Times “Classic Car Section.” “Please contact us if you.....” the ad began. The original founding members after that were: Bruce Hart, Jon Elmendorf, Mike Cifelli, Chris Zocca, and Stan Wrightsman. At the very first meeting of these five men, at the Wrightsman home, Bruce ended the meeting by saying: “Gentlemen, I think we have the beginnings of a new Corvette Club!” (The writer of this “Brief History” was working in my downstairs office, and heard this statement as the guys were breaking up the meeting). (On a more warm and fuzzy note, our cat, Ashley, jumped up on one of the chairs in the circle so she could be a part of the meeting, too. In fact, I watched as Stan brought over an extra chair so that he would have a place to sit in the circle around the coffee table).
One of the first respondents to the classified ad was Dan Keefe, manager of Clancy’s on Route 28 in West Yarmouth. He offered his restaurant as the site for the first formal meeting of the Cape Cod Corvette Club, and on May 14, 1998, that first CCCC meeting was held. By the June meeting, the minutes show that the Club had 12 members, and 11 more registered. The dues were set at $50.00 per year. By September 1998, the Club expanded to 25 members, including officers, and within the next 20 months, the membership grew to over 65 members. There is no count, however, of the number of Corvettes represented by this membership.
In March 1999 the newsletter, “Capevette News” was started by Bruce Hart as a monthly news letter keeping membership informed if they did not attend a meeting. It included everything from the minutes of the meeting, to articles written by various members, to local advertising. However, with the cost of mailings going over $1,000 a year, the December 2006 newsletter was the last issue. Current Club Secretary, Janet DePesa, has saved many of those “Capevette News” letters as part of the Club’s archives and memorabilia.
As of 2017, the Cape Cod Corvette Club is celebrating its 19th year, and is holding strong with over 100 members, and 64 Corvettes. Next year, the Club will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary! There is a Cape Cod Corvette Club website, which shows a calendar of events, as well as many photos of the membership and its cars. We still hold the monthly meetings, presently held at the Sea Dog Café in Yarmouth, on the third Thursday of every month during the fall and winter months. The Club has 8 longstanding members, Bruce and Jackie Hart, Jay Sweeney and Janet DePesa, Terry and Mark Chalker, Al and Midge Cristofori, along with Stan
and Jane Wrightsman, who have been with the Club since its inception in 1998. The Club is a great social group getting together for various activities throughout the year: some Four-Day Cruises, Poker Runs, Scavenger Hunts, and Mystery Cruise Nights, along with many other fun get togethers! Many times there are trips down memory lane by the longstanding members, so that the newer members can enjoy a bit of the history of Our Club. We are actively seeking Corvette Enthusiasts, no Corvette required, to join us. This is not just a club for guys either, we have 6 women who own their own ‘Vettes, including our current President, Mary Ann
Singersen. The focus of the Club is the promotion, enjoyment, and support of “America’s Sports Car,” meeting and enjoying friends, and cruising the beautiful byways of Cape Cod and New England. In the summer you may see us cruising; we are most likely going to a Cape Cod restaurant, or to one of our many social gatherings. May 7 will be our Kick Off Brunch and Cruise to the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth. On May 13, the “Blessing of the Corvettes” will take place at Corvette Mike’s in Carver. On the 28th of May, many of the Club’s members will be at the K-Mart parking lot to help support the wonderful Cape Cod Supports Our Troops event “Troops in the Spotlight” held over Memorial Day Weekend. (“Cape Cod Cares for the Troops was founded by then-12-year-old Dylan DeSilva, as a way to honor and help the country’s military troops. Since 2004, his non-profit organization has donated 25,000 care packages overseas to troops still deployed and annually honors “deployed troops, veterans, wounded warriors, fallen heroes, and Gold- and Blue-Star families.”) CCCC as stood beside Dylan since the beginning. Many members also help support Habitat for Humanity Programs, as well as an event held in late September, “Vettes to Vets.” (No doubt the Thank You letter from the Director of this event is still in the CCCC Archives. It’s a very moving, very special letter which should be shared again with the members.) In September, too, is the faithfully attended ALS Canal Walk annual fund raiser - a marvelous event. The Club is also very active in a ‘Toys for Kids’ program that helps our local Family Pantry, as well as the annual Veterans’ Day tradition of placing flags at the Veterans Cemetery in Bourne. We welcome anyone interested in joining the Cape Cod Corvette Club: www.capecodcorvetteclub.com. The dues are small, the returns are priceless!
Submitted by Jane A. Marshall-Wrightsman 2017