May 21, 2022


The Automotive Fanatics

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The One that Got Away: Corvette Mike Remembers ‘Life Altering’ First Corvette

The One that Got Away: Corvette Mike Remembers 'Life Altering' First Corvette

Mike Vietro was a tricky kid who emerged from the hardscrabble streets of Everett, an enclave of north Boston. He pumped gas at that formative age when a lot of younger Us citizens turn out to be transfixed by autos and the pace and freedom they embody. Mike grew to become transfixed by Corvettes back then and his passion has only developed due to the fact. He has constructed a full lifestyle about the brand, turning out to be an business trailblazer along the way as the proprietor of Corvette Mike, headquartered in Anaheim, California, primary automobile region.

Right now, Corvette Mike continues to thrive as just one of the best Corvette classics dealerships in the state, specializing in the profits and services of America’s leading sporting activities auto. In 40-as well as decades of procedure, Corvette Mike and his staff have purchased and offered extra than 12,000 automobiles, some 90% of them Corvettes. His shop also sells supports other GM cars from the 50s as a result of new versions.

I had the option to converse with Mike the other day, and as I’m always intrigued in a superior Corvette story, I asked Mike about his pretty very first Corvette. As you would picture, Mike Vietro did not disappoint.

Mike can take us back again to the summertime of 1978. He was out of the Maritime Corps by then, an ex-Sergeant providing Toyotas to Southern Californians although attending school on the GI Monthly bill. “Toyotas were the warm family members car back again then, main the Japanese sector takeover. I’ve often been bold, so swiftly, I was making so substantially funds marketing vehicles I thought, ‘I’m likely to buy my initially Corvette.’” As he took the wheel at the rear of his initially Corvette, Mike was on the task at the Toyota dealership for a mere a few weeks in advance of he made the acquire. At $313 for every thirty day period, he required a second task just to make his automobile payments.

1978 Corvette

I requested Mike if that first Corvette was financed by means of GMAC. He stated he was turned down by them as perfectly as by the Marine Credit score Union, which reminded him he wasn’t in the Marines any longer. So a lot for as soon as a Maritime, constantly a Marine. However, Mike provides, “I was ready to get a mortgage through a referral from my sister at Chino Valley Bank in Chino, California. They were being acquiring what was acknowledged at the time as a mortgage sale, what ever that is.” Soon after filling out the financial loan software just ahead of the 4th of July, he received a astonishing phone phone of financial loan approval on July 6th, 1978.

And that very first Corvette? It was a 1978 design with the L48 motor and an automatic transmission procured from Harry Mann Chevrolet. Mike judges the working experience “life altering.” He adds “I realized I experienced to offer with a car or truck like that and that I had to deal in the enterprise daily. I figured I could often go again to college or university and finish the diploma, but then the 10-year GI Invoice deadline passed so I understood I had to make the most of my obsession.”

All those early years weren’t quick for Mike as he had tiny funds, banking on drive, extended several hours and unalloyed passion. He gained his dealer’s license in January 1982 and opened up a retail store in Anaheim, CA. Mike says he can’t try to remember how he afforded the lease on that place as was managing so quite a few variables at that time. But he stored driving himself and his 1978 Corvette, generating all 48 monthly payments ($313 is equivalent to $1,380 today).

1978 Corvette

Eager to burnish his personal brand name and meet men and women in the interest, Mike’s showroom at that time was stuffed with a lot of trophies he’d gained from car or truck demonstrates all more than Southern California. He would park his 25th Anniversary 1978 Corvette on the showroom floor, as a temptation to clients, absolutely nothing more. But a single day a male came in and explained he wished to acquire the ’78. Mike informed him it was not for sale, only to be met with an give over MSRP. Mike relented and the person drove off with Mike’s initially appreciate. Mike took a 1979 Camaro in trade.

“I have hardly ever noticed that ’78 given that,” Mike claims regretfully, but he is even now on the hunt for it. “I just seemed for it past 7 days by functioning the VIN by my sources. Nothing at all confirmed up nationwide. I just ponder exactly where this automobile is!” Mike provided us with the VIN to the 25th Anniversary 1978 Coupe, which is 1Z87L8S430776. If you know this automobile, I consider I have a purchaser for it!

Chatting with Mike about the variances among acquiring Corvettes right now as opposed to again when he started off, he statements a recreation changer was when VIN figures have been standardized in 1981. These days, providers like CarFax can supply an instant update on any accident or other title-linked details like odometer readings and modify of possession. That’s essential for his business as Mike and his staff glimpse to source first operator autos or ideally lessen mileage Corvettes with a crystal clear operator background.

The One that Got Away: Corvette Mike Remembers 'Life Altering' First Corvette

Today’s marketplace is quite robust so we requested Corvette Mike what were the incredibly hot styles now. He notes that any C8 Corvette is likely to provide for a lot more than MSRP, which is a specified these days. Z06s are really sought just after also. The C7s are selling briskly and in some cases, they can bring close to 90% of their authentic MSRP. And in the classics section, ’63 Corvette Break up Window coupes are outselling the venerable current market leader ’67 427/435 L71 automobiles.

Many dealerships deploy hoopla and a really hard-promote gab technique to make their quantities. Conversely, Corvette Mike and his workforce use deep know-how, patience and shopper recognition to sustain their edge in a specialty industry that is making the most of some of its most effective many years. Corvette Mike has set itself apart from the relaxation with its unmatched commitment to previous-fashioned American assistance. Mike truly believes each individual consumer is a mate by sharing in the hobby of these cars and trucks. Anyone who has frequented Corvette Mike in Anaheim, California understands shoppers are the precedence. Any query they have or problem that desires to be solved will be taken care of with expertise and friendliness.

The One that Got Away: Corvette Mike Remembers 'Life Altering' First Corvette

And and finally, in reaction to progressively rigid governmental mandates to reduced poisonous automobile emissions, hybrid and then all electric powered vehicles will soon enough dominate new cars and trucks gross sales and ultimately American streets, California’s first of all 50 states. How does Corvette Mike, aka EV Mike, feel about the unavoidable changeover from internal combustion engine Corvettes to electrical variants of the future? “I feel my philosophy with all points appropriate to Corvettes both equally previous and future have been chopping edge! I welcome first of all the Corvette hybrid which we know is quickly approaching us all around the next bend and the entire electric model is unavoidable and no 1 can quit it. Possibly embrace it and follow the Chief (of the Pack), or get the bejeesus out of the way!”

To see all the Corvettes available for sale by Corvette Mike, stop by them on-line at or simply call (714) 630-0700. If you have a minimal-mileage or exceptional Corvette that you are completely ready to component with, attain out to Corvette Mike and allow them know what you got!

The One that Got Away: Corvette Mike Remembers 'Life Altering' First Corvette

Photos Courtesy Corvette Mike&#13


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