When you’re at this Saturday’s Smoke and Steel car show, stop by and say hello to Lana and Dan Rodlie before they set off on their trip of a lifetime in August.
The Rodlies are joining a North American caravan to Bowling Green, Kentucky, the birth place of their beloved car, a black-on-black 2007 C6 Corvette. The once-every-five-years trip is something the Rodlies can’t wait to embark on since purchasing their Corvette a few years back.
The trip, starting at the end of August, will see nearly 10,000 Corvettes, with the Rodlies being behind the wheel of one of them, converging on Bowling Green and Lana says one of the main attractions is going to be the infamous 40-foot sinkhole in the Corvette Museum.
“I know we are touring the museum and we are going to see the big sinkhole,” she said. “They have left it there, and all the Corvettes that fell into it for us to see. They were going to clean it all up, but it became such a tourist attraction they had to leave it open. It will be one of the highlights.”
Rodlie says the Corvette museum, also where all Corvettes are made and shipped from, is a gathering point for owners and admirers.
“It is where they build them so it’s sort of like the Mecca for Corvettes,” she said.
“Every Corvette is its own. They are individual. We have the actual documents from when our car was made and who made it and everything. Every Corvette is like that, so they are all kind of unique. You can trace them back right to the date it came off the assembly line.”
It isn’t just the destination that is at the top of Rodlies to-do list for the trip. The journey to Kentucky is also something her and Dan are looking forward to.
“We get to drive on this road called the Dragon Road, and I believe it is through the Blue Mountains,” she said. “We will be going through Mount Rushmore, through Deadwood, and we’ll be going on a paddle wheeler on the Mississippi River.”
Rodlie says the companionship is something that really drew her and Dan to the world of Corvettes.
“By the time we get to Bowling Green, there will be between 8,000 and 10,000 Corvettes coming from Chicago, New York, up from Texas and from a bunch of other states and we will all be converging at the same time,” she said. “As we go, there will be barbecues and hosted dinners by Corvette clubs and car dealerships, all along the way.”
The Rodlies came by their Corvette, named Black Rose, in a roundabout way – they weren’t even looking to buy a new car at first.
“We happen to be over in Kelowna and we were driving around looking at sports cars,” she said. “We got in a couple, and it thought we were just window shopping like people do, because he had never said anything to me about buying one.”
The Rodlies ended up agreeing that the right time to buy a sports car was then and when a friend found them a Corvette at an auction in Vancouver, they were hooked. The twosome has put a lot of work into the car, updating the stereo system, adding black rims to the tires and a black-out kit to the lights.
Owning the Corvette has opened up a whole new world to the Rodlie’s and they are going to keep going with it.
“It became a whole new life for us,” said Lana. “We don’t camp, we don’t golf, we don’t gamble – we don’t do what most people our age do. We go to Corvette shows. Our only regret is that we can only do it for six months of the year. We are just loving it and it has been great for us and for our relationship. We love having something to do. I’ve downloaded a bunch of music onto my iPod and we load it up into the corvette and we go.”