It all began with a newspaper ad in March of 1974 – “if anyone was interested in a new Corvette club that offered
mutual aid, encouragement, consolation and companionship, then an organizational meeting was being held in south Kansas City, please attend”. Even though other clubs existed at the time, it was decided by the meeting participants that there was enough interest to form another club with a casual structure, centered around having fun with the cars and including the whole family.
When Corvette Corps was formed all of the members drove their Corvettes as their everyday cars. There were no “original” owners, everyone had a used Corvette and no one cared about originality or restoration. All of that was about to change as Corvette enthusiasts led the way, including Corvette Corps. We witnessed the explosion of the resto-parts business and restoration hobby. The club motto of Corvette Corps “a nonprofit organization which is made up of men and women who are dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of America’s only true sports car – the Corvette” was adopted. The club is founded on an automobile but it is people bringing it alive.
A couple of years later we became affiliated with the National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) which acted as a sanctioning body for driving events, such as autocross, funkanas and shows. Annual conventions became major destinations for many club members. As members of NCCC, we supported the Spina Bifida Foundation, which aids children who suffer from this birth defect with many fundraisers and picnics. Events were scheduled every month and included sports activities, parties, road trips, car shows, tours and many others that cannot easily be categorized.
KCCA Car shows:
Ward Parkway – 5 years
Blue Ridge Mall/Metcalf South Mall – 2 years
Country Club Plaza – 5 years
Prairie Village – 2 years
Independence Square – 11 years
Mall of the Great Plains – 2 years
Bass Pro Shop, Olathe – present
World of Wheels – since 1976
Sugar Creek 4th of July Parade – 20 years
- 1974 – Ed and Ramona Miller, Ken and Trish Lee and Verl Becker meet and form Corvette Corps.
- 1975 – Kahan Chevrolet becomes club sponsor (9 years).
- 1976 – Up to 37 members. First World of Wheels show with 6 Corvettes at Municipal Auditorium in KC with the theme “Star Spangled Sports Car”.
- 1977 – There are ten 1967s and nine multi-Corvette owners in the club now. World of Wheels display used 12’ tall “magazine covers” in which a Corvette was featured.
- 1981 – Club dues are now $12.
- 1982 – Another First Place Award in World of Wheels for “Corvette Fever”.
- 1984 – Participated in introduction of 1984 Corvette. A member’s 1964 Coupe on display in showroom with the 1984 model at Kahan Chevrolet.
KANSAS CITY CORVETTE ASSOCIATION
- 1984 - Changed name to Kansas City Corvette Association (KCCA) to more closely identify with our members who lived in the whole metro area. We began an association with Superior Chevrolet in Merriam, Kansas that later became Hendrick. We held a spring show in May at the dealership for many years.
- 1990s – Began attending the Eureka Springs, Arkansas Corvette Weekend and would later have responsibility for the Car Show for that event.
- 2001 – Began a new show displayed around the Independence, Missouri Courthouse called Vettes on the Square. That continued thru 2011 and twice featured a genealogy developed by member Wayne Carlile that displayed one of each year Corvette.
As we outgrew the Square location we moved the show to the Mall of the Great Plains and then on to the Bass Pro Shop in Olathe, Kansas, changing the show name to Vettes on the Plains. Our members also actively support the Lake Garnet Race Track every each year providing rides for kids, thanks to members Dean and Kay Owens.
The club primarily supports Camp Quality, a summer camp for kids with cancer, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
- Ed and Ramona Miller – Ed was an artist working for AT&T. He designed our club logo, newsletter covers and many award-winning World of Wheels displays.When the club started they owned a 1966 white convertible they had purchased for $600.
- Verl Becker – He had a great sense of automotive enthusiasm, he loved all kinds of cars. He suggested the formula for the club that of a non-competitive social club that was family oriented. His first Corvette was a blue 1961. He lost his business in the 1977 Plaza Flood. Shortly after that he was reading about the 1978 Pace Car that was available in a very limited edition. He thought that a new Corvette would cheer him up so he went to our sponsor and placed an order before they even had any official word from Chevrolet. Many members turned out the day that Verl took delivery of his new black and silver Pace Car.
- Ken and Trish Lee – Both in their early 20’s when they attended the first meeting. They already had experience with Chevy and Corvette. They had a red 1967 at the time and had previously owned a 1966 Nova. Ken, known as our resident Corvette expert, provided mechanical and technical expertise for many members. Both have held many offices within the club and believe that the success of the club is due to the enthusiasm, sense of fun, creativity and sociability of our members.
- Terry and Marilyn Lee – Related to Ken and Trish only by friendship and Corvette, they joined the club a couple of months after it was founded. They were driving a fairly modified 1965 coupe at the time. This car stayed with them for many years and went through several transformations as the club itself transformed and grew. They also held many offices throughout the years, but probably most enjoyed being Rally Masters.