Wes Bird’s 2001 Z06: The Perfect Corvette to Chase Dreams
The Chevrolet Corvette seems to have almost magical properties when it comes to the fairer sex. While one can never for say for sure what American car has the most sex appeal, the Corvette is most certainly towards the top of the list. That is why we never get tired of seeing beautiful women posing next to this American icon.
Over on the Corvette Forums, we stumbled across this thread of fine photographs taken of one man’s Corvette, with his beautiful girlfriend posing next to it. Since there is so much good stuff to look at going on here, we decided we had to share it with you, our readers, who are sure to appreciate the awesomeness of the following pictures.
Born to Love Corvettes
Like a lot of Corvette owners, Wes Bird was bitten by the ‘Vette bug early on in life. “Growing up my dad had owned Corvettes, but being a married Aviation officer, he had bigger priorities and so could only afford the much older ones,” Wes tells us. “His first Corvette was a ’77 that I remember helping him restore at around age 8. He then owned two C4s after that. I suppose he is the reason the Corvette bug has infected me ever since.”
Right out of high school, Wes enlisted in the U.S. Army, eventually serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan. During his time in the service, Wes bought several Corvettes, his first one being a 2000 C5 convertible. After driving that for a while, Wes upgraded to his dream car, a 1968 Corvette Stingray that he found for sale on the Corvette Forums.
But as Wes, now 25, was about to learn, owning an old car comes with its ups and downs. “I enjoyed the shark for a while and then decided that I wanted a car that I could drive every day and that I could use at more than just car shows,” Wes says. “Thus, last Christmas I sold the ’68 to a guy on the forum who quickly became one of my friends. I then picked up the 2001 Corvette Z06 you see in the pictures for a screaming deal from a guy going through a divorce who wanted to liquidate it quickly. I obliged.”
“I could focus its purpose solely on one thing and make it much better for that venue, but I like to be able to do many things; not just one.”
Few people have worked their way through the chronology of Corvettes as quickly as Wes, and he dove in head-first. “I did all the modifications to it myself and got the car looking how I wanted quickly. This was, after all, to be a daily driver, race car, and casual show car,” Wes explains. “I could focus its purpose solely on one thing and make it much better for that venue, but I like to be able to do many things, not just one.”
The Z06’s Natural Habitat – The Race Track
Wes, who now attends the University of South Carolina, soon got bit by the racing bug as well. He began volunteering at NASA racing events in exchange for track time, and he is now a regular competitor in local autocross meets.
He competes in the Super Street Prepared class due to his engine modifications that include a cold air intake, Belanger Tri-Y headers, a catalytic converter delete, an SLP Powerflow Tune, and a B&M shifter among other equipment. All of this helps Wes’ Corvette put 375 horsepower and 371 pound feet of torque to the wheels.
As it turns out, autocrossing is also how Wes met Michael Hoatson, who also happens to be a professional photographer. The two were talking when Michael suggested an impromptu photoshoot. Wes’ girlfriend Danielle just happened to be there, and jumped at a chance to model for her man’s Corvette.
Can You Ever Have Too Many Pictures of Your Car, or Your Girlfriend?
So the three met up at an empty parking lot one night, and Michael proceeded to take over 600 pictures of Danielle and Wes’ Corvette. Danielle, as it turns out, isn’t just another pretty face either. See, Danielle may look the part of a model, and she has even been a trophy girl at a few competitions (getting a chance to award Wes first place for an exhaust sound contest). But beneath that beautiful exterior is the heart of a true gearhead.
Yup, Danielle knows her way around engines; very big engines in fact, as she is a diesel mechanic for the Army National Guard. Danielle also works at famed engine maker Cummins, and used to work for Boeing as well. That is a hell of a resume for a 23-year old, huh? It also explains why Danielle was ready and willing to pose with her man’s Corvette, though what girl wouldn’t want to take some sexy snapshots in front of an equally-sexy car?
It is no wonder Wes and Danielle get along so well; a mutual love of all things automotive, brought together by an American legend known as the Corvette. The proud tradition of man, woman, and machine creating art continues.