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 tough child who emerged from the hardscrabble streets of Everett, an enclave of north Boston. He pumped gasoline at that formative age when a lot of youthful People become transfixed by automobiles and the velocity and flexibility they embody. Mike turned transfixed by Corvettes back again then and his enthusiasm has only developed since. He has developed a whole existence all-around the brand name, starting to be an business trailblazer alongside the way as the operator of Corvette Mike, headquartered in Anaheim, California, prime car or truck region.

Now, Corvette Mike carries on to thrive as one of the best Corvette classics dealerships in the state, specializing in the income and service of America’s leading sports activities car. In 40-additionally years of procedure, Corvette Mike and his employees have acquired and offered extra than 12,000 automobiles, some 90% of them Corvettes. His shop also sells supports other GM vehicles from the 50s via the latest designs.

I experienced the chance to talk with Mike the other working day, and as I’m constantly interested in a very good Corvette tale, I questioned Mike about his incredibly initially Corvette. As you would picture, Mike Vietro did not disappoint.

Mike takes us again to the summertime of 1978. He was out of the Marine Corps by then, an ex-Sergeant advertising Toyotas to Southern Californians even though attending faculty on the GI Monthly bill. “Toyotas were the scorching spouse and children vehicle back again then, main the Japanese industry takeover. I’ve constantly been ambitious, so promptly, I was building so a great deal funds promoting cars and trucks I believed, ‘I’m going to invest in my initially Corvette.’” As he took the wheel driving his very first Corvette, Mike was on the job at the Toyota dealership for a mere three weeks in advance of he built the invest in. At $313 for every thirty day period, he wanted a second work just to make his car payments.

1978 Corvette

I asked Mike if that first Corvette was financed through GMAC. He said he was turned down by them as very well as by the Maritime Credit rating Union, which reminded him he wasn’t in the Marines anymore. So a great deal for after a Marine, normally a Maritime. Having said that, Mike provides, “I was in a position to get a bank loan by means of a referral from my sister at Chino Valley Bank in Chino, California. They have been owning what was acknowledged at the time as a financial loan sale, regardless of what that is.” Following filling out the bank loan software just before the 4th of July, he got a stunning telephone phone of loan acceptance on July 6th, 1978.

And that to start with Corvette? It was a 1978 design with the L48 motor and an automatic transmission ordered from Harry Mann Chevrolet. Mike judges the practical experience “life altering.” He adds “I realized I had to offer with a automobile like that and that I had to deal in the small business every day. I figured I could constantly go back to college and complete the diploma, but then the 10-12 months GI Invoice deadline passed so I knew I experienced to make the most of my obsession.”

These early many years weren’t quick for Mike as he experienced tiny capital, banking on drive, very long several hours and unalloyed passion. He acquired his dealer’s license in January 1982 and opened up a retail outlet in Anaheim, CA. Mike states he just cannot recall how he afforded the lease on that location as was handling so numerous variables at that time. But he saved driving himself and his 1978 Corvette, making all 48 month to month payments ($313 is equivalent to $1,380 nowadays).

1978 Corvette

Keen to burnish his individual brand and meet up with folks in the passion, Mike’s showroom at that time was filled with lots of trophies he’d won from auto exhibits all in excess of Southern California. He would park his 25th Anniversary 1978 Corvette on the showroom flooring, as a temptation to customers, very little additional. But one particular working day a male came in and stated he needed to purchase the ’78. Mike advised him it was not for sale, only to be satisfied with an offer you higher than MSRP. Mike relented and the person drove off with Mike’s initial enjoy. Mike took a 1979 Camaro in trade.

“I have never found that ’78 because,” Mike states regretfully, but he is still on the hunt for it. “I just seemed for it very last week by functioning the VIN by means of my methods. Practically nothing showed up nationwide. I just marvel in which this auto is!” Mike delivered us with the VIN to the 25th Anniversary 1978 Coupe, which is 1Z87L8S430776. If you know this car, I assume I have a buyer for it!

Conversing with Mike about the dissimilarities among shopping for Corvettes currently compared to back when he started out, he claims a game changer was when VIN quantities ended up standardized in 1981. Nowadays, services like CarFax can provide an instantaneous update on any accident or other title-similar info like odometer readings and alter of ownership. That’s crucial for his company as Mike and his team seem to supply primary owner autos or if possible reduce mileage Corvettes with a crystal clear proprietor heritage.

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

Today’s sector is quite strong so we requested Corvette Mike what were being the sizzling models currently. He notes that any C8 Corvette is going to sell for much more than MSRP, which is a specified these days. Z06s are very sought soon after also. The C7s are marketing briskly and in some conditions, they can deliver near to 90% of their primary MSRP. And in the classics phase, ’63 Corvette Split Window coupes are outselling the venerable marketplace chief ’67 427/435 L71 vehicles.

Many dealerships deploy hype and a difficult-market gab strategy to make their figures. Conversely, Corvette Mike and his workforce use deep know-how, patience and purchaser awareness to retain their edge in a specialty market that is savoring some of its most effective a long time. Corvette Mike has set by itself apart from the rest with its unmatched perseverance to previous-fashioned American company. Mike really thinks each individual client is a good friend by sharing in the interest of these cars. Everyone who has frequented Corvette Mike in Anaheim, California knows shoppers are the priority. Any concern they have or issue that wants to be solved will be dealt with with abilities and friendliness.

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

And last of all, in reaction to ever more strict governmental mandates to lessen harmful car or truck emissions, hybrid and then all electrical vehicles will before long sufficient dominate new automobiles revenue and at some point American roadways, California’s very first of all 50 states. How does Corvette Mike, aka EV Mike, experience about the inevitable changeover from inner combustion motor Corvettes to electrical variants of the foreseeable future? “I come to feel my philosophy with all things appropriate to Corvettes each earlier and potential have been cutting edge! I welcome to start with of all the Corvette hybrid which we know is swiftly approaching us all over the following bend and the total electric powered version is unavoidable and no a single can quit it. Possibly embrace it and stick to 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 the internet at or phone (714) 630-0700. If you have a lower-mileage or scarce Corvette that you are prepared to component with, reach out to Corvette Mike and permit them know what you received!

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

Images Courtesy Corvette Mike&#13



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