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11th annual Corvette show rolls in to Jefferson

East Texas News at 6.
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 2:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2022 at 8:27 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - You can almost hear the rumble from here in Tyler - the motors of 100 Corvettes in Jefferson. East Texas News took a look at the eleventh annual Corvette Weekend.

Mike Barthel, Ben Pate, and Hollis Shadden have something in common with about a hundred other people in Jefferson through Saturday; they all own at least one Corvette.

“I wanted one forever. I bought my first one in about 2005,” Shadden said.

Yes, first one. Hollis is a four-Vette kind of guy. Ben is a two-Vetter, and Mike is a two-point-five.

“I had a Stingray, a ‘17, and I moved up to the Grand Sport. And when I bought the Grand Sport, three weeks old, the front end got taken off of it. So that’s why I joke two-and-a-half Corvettes,” Barthel said.

So, some are pretty much stock, while others have, well, modifications.

“This is classified as a first responder Corvette,” Pate said. “I went to all the agencies that are represented on the car, and asked for their personal permission to actually put the agencies on it as a tribute and honor to all first responders. It so happens I live in Lindale, so it was based around Lindale, Texas.”

Pate said it’s a tribute to all those who serve.

Hollis added they’ll have nearly every year of the Corvette represented, but, “We haven’t had a ‘53 yet, which the ‘53 was the first year of the Corvette.”

Shadden explained that only about 300 of them were made.

Hollis said, occasionally, there is a Vette for sale. However, for the most part, “They’ll come with what they got and leave with what they got,” Shadden explained.

Shadden also said the money generated from Vette registration goes to his nonprofit Big Cypress Corvettes.

“All the profits go to local charitable organizations,” Shadden said.

He said last year, about nine grand went to help a volunteer fire department and school backpack food programs. And why do these folks come back year after year?

“The love of Corvettes. The love of meeting people. And we make new families everywhere we go,” Barthel said.

Keep in mind they mean it in the nicest way when they say, “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

Shadden said he expects over 100 Corvettes will be lining West Austin Street in front of the Marion County Courthouse on Saturday. The event is free to attend.

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