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Founded in 1958 the Chicago Corvette Club is one of the oldest Corvette clubs in the country and a founding member of the National Council of Corvette Clubs. Primarily based in the western suburbs of Chicago we offer a variety of great events for the Corvette enthusiast. Join us for an upcoming event and see what we're all about!

Elected Officers for 2017

Position
Picture
Name
Contact Information
President Janet Granzin
630-355-2534
Vice President Ed Wilhusen
630-253-5972
Governor Jon Kurtz
630-322-9384
Treasurer Bill Sullivan
630-892-0469
Secretary Annette Wilhusen
630-253-5972
Sergeant-At-Arms Frank Kennedy
630-750-7399
 

Appointed Directors for 2017

Position
Picture
Name
Contact Information
Vice President
of Communications
Dolores Schaper
630-355-0844
Events
630-721-5152
630-932-9664
630-800-8705
Historian
630-319-2256
Membership
630-682-1145
New Membership Annette Gage
630-508-6336
Comments/Suggestions
And Complaints
847-741-6342
Racing Rich Anderson
847-426-7270
Welcome Directors Bob Gage
847-429-2916
Welcome Directors
630-508-6336
NCM Ambassador John Pedersen
630-963-5473
Cruise-Chair Jerry Schaus
630-469-9578

Club History

 

Over the years the Chicago Corvette Club has provided service to Corvette enthusiasts, National Corvette Clubs and the Chicagoland community. The club has provided an organization for Corvette enthusiasts to display, drive and race their Corvettes.

The club was founded with 22 members on March 21, 1958 has grown to over 140 members today.

 
Club Formation

The club was founded by Keith Lais, Corvette owner and salesman at Ferrell Hicks Chevrolet. Through newspaper advertisements and his network of friends, acquaintances and customers Keith was able to determine that there were enough people interested in forming a club. 

On March 21st, twenty-two Corvette enthusiasts met in the salesmen's room at Ferrell Hicks Chevrolet and agreed to form a Corvette Club. The new club organized quickly, electing temporary officers, with Keith Lais as President, and unanimously adopting the name "Chicago Corvette Club". The dealership became the clubs first home and meeting place. Over the years meetings were held at local restaurants and even at the GM training center in Hinsdale, Illinois.  

Committees were formed at subsequent meetings which established a club constitution, logo, jacket patches, stationery, membership cards and the club newspaper called the "Grand Prix". On June 28, 1958, the club held its first social banquet and elected its first permanent officers. At that time membership had already grown to an active group of 35-40 members.



**Click Images to Enlarge**
 

Club Events

The Chicago Corvette Club members' showed great enthusiasm and moved quickly to initiate a variety of activities for the enthusiast including competitions, races, local car shows, road trips, tours and social events. Over its rich 50-year history, the CCC has sponsored several unique events, many of them "firsts".

 




Competitions & Races

Competitive events were some of the fist the Chicago Corvette Club initiated. In May of 1958, CCC held its first gymkhana open to all sports cars in the Chicago area. Eventually the CCC would hold driver training schools for gymkhanas. Rallies and economy runs quickly followed. CCC also sponsored the first car club speed events in several Illinois parking lots including Chicago Soldiers Field South Lot, Gurnee's Great America and Oak Brook Center. Speed events were also held at Illinois tracks including O'Hare Stadium's ¼ mile track in Schiller Park, Meadowdale Raceway in Carpentersville, and Utica Go-Kart Track. In Wisconsin speed events were held at Wilmot Hills Road Course, which is now a ski hill, and Lynndale Farms in Pewaukee.

 

In the late 60's and early 70's the CCC didn't store our "Vettes" during winter, we had fun and challenging events on ice!! Lake Geneva, Wisconsin had a Winter Festival that included ice-skating and motorcycle racing on the lake. The CCC held ice races on the lake during this festival. Corvettes would race around pylons, one car at a time, to beat the clock! This event proved very interesting as the ice melted from the heat of the cars. The CCC also ice raced on Wisconsin's Pell Lake and Twin Lakes.

 

On June 7th, 1970, CCC sponsored the first Allan Clarke Memorial Time Trails in honor of Allan Clarke, one of our members who past away after a motorcycle accident. The first event was held on the ½ mile oval of Illiana Speedway. Over the years this annual event was held at a variety of tracks including Blackhawk Farms in Rockton, Illinois, Grundy County Speedway's ½ mile track, Rockford Speedway's ¼ mile NASCAR sanctioned track, Love's Park Go-Cart Track in Rockford, IL and Lake Geneva, WI Raceway.

 
Car Shows

Of course Chicago Corvette Club members also wanted ways to display their cars. Car shows and concourse events were held at various Chevrolet dealerships, Gurnee's Great America amusement park and even in conjunction with a promotion at the Lake Geneva's Playboy Club. Also, the CCC was the originator of the popular "Corvette Corral" at the Road America Race track in Elkhart Lake, WI.

 
Road Trips and Tours

Naturally, Corvette enthusiasts wanted to see where these cars came to life. The CCC was one of the first clubs to tour the original Chevrolet Corvette assembly plant in St. Louis, MO. This annual tradition continues as members make the pilgrimage to Bowling Green, KY to the current assembly plant and the National Corvette Museum. A variety of road trips and tours, both social and automobile related, occur each year including trips down historic Route 66, to local racing events, to local tourist hot spots like Wisconsin's House on the Rock and on tours of local Corvette businesses like Streator's Vette-2-Vette.



 

Social Events

Not to be out done by its automotive events the Chicago Corvette Club holds many social events each year. Early on two annual banquets were established, one to honor past and new club officers and a second to present the "Competitor of the Year" and "Member of the Year" awards. Annually, holiday gatherings, picnics, and bowling events are held.

 

Club Expansion to National and Local

At the begining the Chicago Corvette Club wanted to hold its membership to under 100 members in order to maintain close working and social relationships. As a result the CCC helped spawn the formation of two new clubs, the original Windy City Corvette Club and the Northern Rays Corvette Club. 

As other clubs devoted to the Corvette emerged nationwide the idea arose of having a national organization of Corvette clubs. The Chicago Corvette Club played an instrumental roll in the forming the National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) in January 1961. CCC is one of a very few charter members of NCCC and indeed much of NCCC's present structure, even the design of the steering wheel logo, was borrowed from that of the CCC. CCC member William Burda, was the NCCC's first treasurer and established NCCC's relationship with the Bank of Elmhurst, which served formally as NCCC's bank into the 1980's. Eighteen CCC members attended the first NCCC convention in Lansing, MI in July of 1962.

 

Support for Local Charities and Events

The Chicago Corvette Club has supported and continues to support a variety of Chicagoland charities, and participates in civic activities and community sponsored parades. These activities allow others to experience not only our passion for Corvettes, but also our desire to meet the needs of the community in which we live. The CCC has been or is involved with the following charitable organizations: the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, West Chicago Police Children's Fund and the Westwood Resource Center, Shriners Hospital in Chicago to benefit disabled children and the Marklund Children's Home.

 

Current Status

Chicago Corvette Clubs' emphasis has changed throughout the years in accordance with the desires of its membership. Over time the clubs membership has ebbed and flowed. In 1996, with membership at an all time low, a few members, Michael Manderino, Bob Schwarz, and Don Schmitt, came together to lead a resurgence in membership in the CCC. At present, the CCC has over 140 members of incredibly diverse backgrounds and interests, all unified by their enjoyment of Corvettes.

Certainly, the next 50 years will bring about change in the Chicago Corvette Club. However, it is clear that the last 50 have impacted not only the lives of each of its members, but Corvette history as well.

       
       



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