There is no doubt in my mind that I’m a lucky guy. I have struggles like everyone else, but when your “job” is to connect people to Corvettes it makes life pretty awesome. My name is Nate Chandler, I’m the Corvette Department Manager for Van Bortel Chevrolet in Macedon, NY. Our concentration in Corvettes has allowed us to become New York’s largest Corvette dealer in only the 3 years of our existence! We’re rapidly growing because we do things a little different than most dealers, especially when it comes to taking care of people. Just a few weeks ago I met a customer at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY, for his museum delivery. This turned into one of the greatest experiences of my life.
I’m a Corvette “nut” just like a lot of you reading this article. I obsess about Corvettes like it’s my job… oh wait, it is my job! I’m on the forums, Facebook groups, blog sites, etc… I love Corvettes and I love to talk about them. There’s nothing more exciting than picking up a new Corvette. I absolutely love helping people experience this! One evening I was browsing a Corvette Facebook group, where a gentleman named Doug MacDonald posted that he was interested in purchasing a new Grand Sport. Naturally, I sent him a quick – friendly message, offering my assistance. Doug replied back, he was looking for the best deal and sent me a list of options that he wanted. I promptly responded with the order specifications and pricing. Our deal was better than any other dealer’s, so he gladly picked us to fulfill his custom Corvette order. A good choice in my opinion! Upon finalizing Doug’s order, he explained that his new Grand Sport would pay tribute to his brother, Dave MacDonald, the famous racer who was handpicked by Zora Arkus-Duntov to drive the very first 1963 Corvette Z06! At this point, I knew this was not going to be an ordinary deal!
Doug referred me to Dave’s tribute website, www.davemacdonald.net, where I learned a ton about Dave and the tremendous impact he made in professional racing. At the young age of 27, Dave MacDonald tragically lost his life in the 1964 Indy 500 race. Even though Dave’s racing career was cut short, Dave is remembered as one of the all-time greats. There is a reason why both Zora Arkus-Duntov and Carol Shelby chose him to drive for them. Between 1960 and 1964, Dave competed in 118 professional races and won 52! 75 were top 3 finishes. In 2014 Dave was inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame. You can see Dave’s HOF banner in the Skydome of the National Corvette Museum. When Zora called upon Dave to pick up his new 1963 Z06, GM flew Dave to St. Louis and brought him to the plant where his car was waiting for him. Dave then drove the car all the way back home and had the car prepped for race. In tribute to his brother’s Z06, Doug chose a 2017 Corvette Grand Sport in Arctic White with a blue stripe and the factory museum delivery option. This was not an opportunity that I was going to miss, so I asked Doug if it would be OK to join him for his delivery experience, thankfully he was thrilled that I asked.
Just 6 weeks later (Sept. 2016) my wife, Nicole, and I flew out to Bowling Green, KY to meet Doug and his companion Sherry for his Museum Delivery. Doug and Sherry are 2 amazing individuals. They were great company and a joy to spend the day with. I could have talked Corvettes with Doug for days. I learned some great stories about his older brother, I wish I could have met him. Could you imagine growing up having an older brother as famous race car driver?! The 4 of us got a VIP tour of the Museum and Assembly Plant. For those who have not been, it is a must for any Corvette enthusiast. I’ve been professionally involved in Corvettes for over a decade and still learned a ton! Shortly after lunch, Doug took delivery on his new 2017 Corvette Grand Sport. Doug’s 2017 Corvette Grand Sport looked amazing. 3LT, Arctic White with Adrenaline Red interior, blue stripe, heritage package with red fender stripes, competition seats, black wheels, and red calipers, to name a few of the options. One of my favorite parts of the car is the custom dash plaque which displays “Memory of – Dave MacDonald”.
Throughout this process called “work”, I made new friends, learned remarkable stories, and had an amazing experience. I’m grateful to be able to share it with others. Doug, thank you for allowing me to help you with your new 2017 Corvette Grand Sport order and for allowing Nicole and I to be your guest during your museum delivery. Thank you (Kitty) Van Bortel Chevrolet for paying me to do what I love. Dave MacDonald would have loved the new 2017 Corvette Grand Sport and the remarkable performance the car has. I am sure that he is thrilled and maybe a little envious that his younger brother got one!
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