Back in the day, before the dawn of the internet, a mighty cartel of print publishers ruled the nation’s magazine racks with an iron fist. Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Road and Track and Hot Rod were towering automotive authorities and via their pages, one could view the vast, twinkling automotive landscape from a newsstand in Anywhere, USA.
At the end of every month, when the latest issues of the glossy car mags hit the racks, the aforementioned kid would be there on a Saturday morning reading about a “Secret Mid-Engined Corvette,” the latest “Pony Car Shoot-Out,” or a “So-Cal Kustom Kar Show” somewhere off in a sunny, mythical Los Angeles or dirty, gritty Detroit.
Fast forward to today, and that kid at the magazine rack, Dave Cruikshank, is the new editor of Corvette Online. If you would have told me back then that I would be running the coolest online Corvette magazine in the universe, I wouldn’t of believed it. It’s a dream come true.
They say luck is when opportunity meets preparedness and I didn’t get here overnight. I freelanced with our parent company, Power Automedia, since 2011 and have written hundreds of features and articles. When the editor position became available, I was ready to grab the reigns.
I have worn many “hats” in my professional life: recording engineer, computer telephony guy (think early version of “Cortana”), and more recently, a realtor in the Seattle area. All this experience compliments my new position nicely.
I have always been fascinated with cars, and I’ve owned over 30, with three plastic Chevy’s in the mix.
My introduction to a real, live Corvette was when my father brought home a used 1966 Stingray roadster. We now had a Corvette in the family, and the bug hit me hard. It was white with a black interior and had a 327 backed by a four-speed. I couldn’t keep away from it and got myself in a real pickle when I “snuck” it out for an unauthorized drive and blew out the rearend. I had a lot of explaining to do to my father when it came back home on the end of a tow truck.
A few years later, my brother-in-law was in the car business and came upon a gently used 1982 Coupe with Cease-Fire, er I mean, Cross-Fire Injection, and offered it to me. He acquired it from a fisherman in Alaska who evidently tired of the car after only 13,000 miles. It became my first ‘Vette.
It was gold with a tan leather interior and came loaded with most options. It was not unlike the two-seat “personal luxury” cars of the day, and I loved it. Nothing’s better than looking out over the fender peaks on Shark-model ‘Vettes, and I was thrilled every time I got in that car.
I also got to know my bodyman pretty well, as it was easy to bump the big, long shnoz. Several years later I traded it in for a new Firebird Formula. I know, boo. At least I stayed in the GM family. Hindsight is 20/20, and I wish I would have stashed that Corvette away in a garage for later enjoyment.
I love C3s, warts and all. Malaise era models (’73 to ’82) are plentiful and cheap compared to chrome-bumpered models, and make great drivers, so when I got the itch again for another Corvette, I scoured the area and bought a 1975 Roadster with 35,000 original miles.
It was originally purchased in Cleveland, Ohio by an Air Force Colonel who took it to Palm Springs when he retired. How it ended up in Seattle is unclear. With an L48 and automatic, it was certainly no barn burner, but with the top down in the springtime, I didn’t particularly care.
One day, when I took the car into the dealer to get some brake work done, the technician went out on a road test and the driver’s side front wheel fell off.
Yes, you read that correctly.
When I came to see the car, the fender was sitting on the front passenger seat and freon was dripping on the hood from an overhead air conditioner. Needless to say the manager got an earful. They never disclosed the name of who was driving the car and if there was a citation, etc. It ultimately was fixed via their insurance and that was that, but Ill never forget the day I picked up the phone from the service manager with the “news.”
The ‘75 gave me invaluable experience in fiberglass repair and the Corvette aftermarket as I replaced rotted urethane bumpers, maintained trailing arms, wheel bearings and old braking systems. I became very familiar with the huge Corvette reproduction industry as well. There’s nothing better than coming home and seeing a box full of parts on the doorstep. I eventually sold the ‘75 after eight years of ownership. Again, it became another one “that got away.”
As the editor of Corvette Online I’ll bring all my years of following the auto industry and the trials, tribulations and joy of being a Corvette owner, to the table. I’ll continue with our winning formula of offering top notch news, tech and feature articles, and add more coverage of the entire spectrum of the Corvette hobby and lifestyle.
From early models to state-of-the-art C7’s, the fun of the Corvette is it’s diversity (we invented that word in Seattle,) including all aspects of the ‘Vette and its fascinating backstory as a key part of the strategy to engage our readers and fans.
The current Corvette scene is always evolving. Beginning with the C4, but more significantly the C5, the Corvette scene morphed into two distinct spheres.
On one hand, C1’s thru C3’s are the epitome of old-school cool, but are essentially show and shine cars now, and the focus here should be preservation for future generations.
Commensurately, I’d like to incorporate content that educates young folks who have been recently bit by the Corvette bug. For veteran Corvette fans, the names Zora Arkus-Duntov, Bill Mitchell, Ed Cole, and Bunkie Knudsen are noted heroes but might not be as familiar to younger enthusiasts. I think it’s important to pass that torch to a new generation of people who will buy, maintain, and improve these old cars (and need tires, paint, parts, t-shirts, memorabilia, etc.).
On the other hand is modern Corvette performance embodied in the C4 and later Corvettes
We’ve always shined here, and will continue with how-to articles and tips and tricks in wringing out all aspects of late-model performance. We have a very cool C7 project car, aka C700, and it’s a great example of the technical talent we have in our in-house, state-of-the-art technical center. From our skilled master technicians, to seasoned editorial and technical writers, we have you covered on how to improve upon, and make modern Corvettes, go faster.
I’d also like to add more content to highlight car care so you’re up to date on detailing tips and tricks. Most ‘Vette owners I know are meticulous about keeping their car clean, and there’s nothing more therapeutic than washing your car and then taking it our for cruise. Adding tips and tricks, plus the latest detailing products and trends, would be a good fit with existing content.
Lastly, I am very keen on the restomod movement. To get an idea of this trend, see this article about a ‘57 resto-rod I wrote recently. This was a high-dollar build, but the recipe works with any C1 to C3 Corvette.
An idea for a great project car might be a resto rod with all the latest and greatest parts thrown in. We’re thinking a mid to late 70’s Coupe with LS3 power, Speed Shop/Paul Newman chassis, C4 suspension bits, modern tires and current sound system all wrapped up in mostly stock bodywork.
Finding a donor car would be easy because only the interior, body and trim would be retained and late model C3’s are plentiful and cheap. It would combine the looks of a classic Corvette with a serious performance injection without cutting up a rare model. An interesting exercise would be to see if it could be built under certain price point making it attainable for mere mortals.
I would appreciate any comments or suggestions on what would piques the interest of our Corvette Online fans. Leave a comment below, or send an email to [email protected]
In the meantime, keep your eye on Corvette Online for a fresh perspective on Chevrolet’s legendary, iconic sports car.