Hot wheels

New Corvette club to show off cars
at Regional Business Expo

By Levi King
Staff Writer

(November 2005) – When Steve Branche moved to Madison, Ind., with Lowe’s Home Improvement store two years ago, he noticed that the town had a lot of corvettes for its size. “I was really surprised to see so many,” he said.

Corvette Club Cars

Photo provided

Corvette Club members
show cars at a recent show.

Branche had been part of a corvette club in his former home, Charlotte, N.C., and thought such a group might work in Madison. “I tossed the idea around for a while, then decided to see if there was enough interest for a club,” Branche said.
Branche put up fliers around town and the calls and emails rolled in. The corvette owners held their first meeting in July at Cabana Joe’s restaurant. Since then, the group, which goes by Vettes of Madison, has held a car show at Jim Hadley Chevrolet, and several members took part in a cruise last month to the French Lick Springs Resort.
The club will hold a show in conjunction with this month’s Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Business Expo. From 11-3 p.m., Nov. 5, group members will display their cars in the parking lot of Madison Consolidated High School.
The group now has about 20 members, and meets once a month. “It’s more of a social group than anything else,” Branche said. Branche owns a white 1992 corvette convertible with a white top and white interior, which is a rare combination. Being around other owners, “you start to see that corvettes are a way of life rather than just a car you drive,” he noted.
Helen and Mike Cope of Copes’ Car Clinic entered the club with their 1967 corvette stingray, which they’ve named “Baby.” Mike has had the car since 1973. “He’d get rid of me before he’d get rid of Baby,” joked Helen.
Seymour, Evansville and other towns in Southern Indiana have corvette clubs, so Helen was glad to see the formation of a club in Madison. “We have a great time getting together and talking about cars,” she said.
Following one meeting, about 12 corvette owners drove through downtown Madison together. “I’ll tell you, when people see a line of corvettes, the heads do turn,” Helen said.
The club’s members range in age from 19 to 70 and up. The cars are just as varied, spanning the corvette’s entire history, from 1953 to 2005. “The first corvettes were made in 1953, and only 300 were produced,” Branche said. “We’re lucky to have a member that has one of those originals.”
Branche expects the club to continue to grow, and invites corvette owners and aficionados from the area to join. The club hopes to present more shows in the future and participate in parades and other community events.

• For more information, call (812) 265-6600 or email: vettesofmadison@yahoo.com.

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