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 many youthful Us residents become transfixed by automobiles and the speed and freedom they embody. Mike turned transfixed by Corvettes back again then and his passion has only developed due to the fact. He has created a total lifestyle close to the brand, getting an business trailblazer alongside the way as the owner of Corvette Mike, headquartered in Anaheim, California, primary motor vehicle state.

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Today, Corvette Mike continues to prosper as 1 of the top rated Corvette classics dealerships in the region, specializing in the sales and assistance of America’s leading sports car. In 40-plus many years of operation, Corvette Mike and his workers have acquired and marketed far more than 12,000 cars, some 90% of them Corvettes. His shop also sells supports other GM cars from the 50s through recent designs.

I experienced the option to speak with Mike the other day, and as I’m constantly fascinated in a good Corvette story, I requested Mike about his extremely initial Corvette. As you would envision, Mike Vietro did not disappoint.

Mike can take us again to the summer of 1978. He was out of the Maritime Corps by then, an ex-Sergeant advertising Toyotas to Southern Californians when attending college or university on the GI Bill. “Toyotas have been the very hot household automobile back again then, leading the Japanese business takeover. I’ve often been formidable, so quickly, I was generating so substantially income offering autos I believed, ‘I’m heading to buy my first Corvette.’” As he took the wheel powering his initial Corvette, Mike was on the task at the Toyota dealership for a mere 3 months right before he created the acquire. At $313 per thirty day period, he necessary a 2nd job just to make his motor vehicle payments.

1978 Corvette

I asked Mike if that to start with Corvette was financed by means of GMAC. He said he was turned down by them as perfectly as by the Marine Credit score Union, which reminded him he was not in the Marines anymore. So considerably for when a Maritime, often a Maritime. On the other hand, Mike provides, “I was ready to get a bank loan by way of a referral from my sister at Chino Valley Lender in Chino, California. They were getting what was acknowledged at the time as a personal loan sale, whatever that is.” After filling out the financial loan application just right before the 4th of July, he obtained a stunning telephone call of mortgage acceptance on July 6th, 1978.

And that initial Corvette? It was a 1978 product with the L48 motor and an automatic transmission procured from Harry Mann Chevrolet. Mike judges the knowledge “life altering.” He provides “I realized I experienced to deal with a vehicle like that and that I had to offer in the organization everyday. I figured I could generally go again to school and finish the degree, but then the 10-12 months GI Invoice deadline handed so I realized I experienced to make the most of my obsession.”

Those early decades weren’t straightforward for Mike as he experienced minor money, banking on enthusiasm, extended several hours and unalloyed enthusiasm. He acquired his dealer’s license in January 1982 and opened up a retail store in Anaheim, CA. Mike says he just cannot try to remember how he afforded the lease on that area as was taking care of so many variables at that time. But he kept driving himself and his 1978 Corvette, earning all 48 every month payments ($313 is equivalent to $1,380 now).

1978 Corvette

Keen to burnish his have model and meet up with individuals in the hobby, Mike’s showroom at that time was stuffed with lots of trophies he’d gained from automobile shows all more than Southern California. He would park his 25th Anniversary 1978 Corvette on the showroom ground, as a temptation to clients, almost nothing more. But just one day a guy came in and said he wished to buy the ’78. Mike told him it was not for sale, only to be achieved with an supply higher than MSRP. Mike relented and the guy drove off with Mike’s to start with like. Mike took a 1979 Camaro in trade.

“I have by no means viewed that ’78 because,” Mike suggests regretfully, but he is still on the hunt for it. “I just appeared for it previous 7 days by working the VIN by way of my resources. Absolutely nothing showed up nationwide. I just speculate the place this vehicle is!” Mike furnished us with the VIN to the 25th Anniversary 1978 Coupe, which is 1Z87L8S430776. If you know this car or truck, I assume I have a customer for it!

Conversing with Mike about the distinctions in between acquiring Corvettes now compared to again when he started out, he promises a video game changer was when VIN quantities have been standardized in 1981. Nowadays, providers like CarFax can give an instantaneous update on any incident or other title-similar facts like odometer readings and improve of possession. That’s essential for his enterprise as Mike and his staff seem to source primary operator automobiles or if possible decrease mileage Corvettes with a clear proprietor record.

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

Today’s industry is very powerful so we questioned Corvette Mike what have been the very hot types at this time. He notes that any C8 Corvette is heading to offer for far more than MSRP, which is a offered these times. Z06s are really sought after also. The C7s are offering briskly and in some conditions, they can convey near to 90% of their unique MSRP. And in the classics segment, ’63 Corvette Split Window coupes are outselling the venerable sector leader ’67 427/435 L71 autos.

A lot of dealerships deploy hoopla and a tricky-market gab tactic to make their figures. Conversely, Corvette Mike and his team use deep knowledge, persistence and customer recognition to keep their edge in a specialty current market that is making the most of some of its greatest yrs. Corvette Mike has set by itself apart from the relaxation with its unmatched determination to aged-fashioned American assistance. Mike actually believes each and every customer is a friend by sharing in the pastime of these cars. Any one who has frequented Corvette Mike in Anaheim, California appreciates buyers are the precedence. Any dilemma they have or problem that requirements 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 lastly, in reaction to increasingly demanding governmental mandates to reduced harmful auto emissions, hybrid and then all electrical autos will quickly more than enough dominate new vehicles gross sales and inevitably American roadways, California’s initial of all 50 states. How does Corvette Mike, aka EV Mike, experience about the inevitable transition from inside combustion engine Corvettes to electric variants of the potential? “I truly feel my philosophy with all items pertinent to Corvettes both equally earlier and long run have been cutting edge! I welcome initially of all the Corvette hybrid which we know is swiftly approaching us about the next bend and the comprehensive electric version is unavoidable and no a person can cease it. Both embrace it and stick to the Leader (of the Pack), or get the bejeesus out of the way!”

To see all the Corvettes provided for sale by Corvette Mike, take a look at them on the web at CorvetteMike.com or call (714) 630-0700. If you have a lower-mileage or exceptional Corvette that you are ready to portion with, achieve out to Corvette Mike and permit them know what you obtained!

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

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