The History of Corvettes International

If you build it, they will come. Not exactly the words Corvettes International’s founding members Lee Kramer and Bill Rathbone used back in 1968, but nevertheless true as the first meeting assembled on October 1, 1968. One short week later the newly organized club met formally at Raleigh’s own Continental Lounge, the election of club officers was well underway. The following month was well anticipated as Bylaws were created and approved by the original 15 members.

The year 1969 was set into motion with the addition of two Chapters of Corvettes International in North Carolina. One was established in Greenville and the other in Fayetteville. All three clubs got together to share stories at Carolina Beach for the Azalea Festival on April 18, 1969. Corvettes International became Corvettes International Inc. four days later. Club patches were designed and approved as the club gained strength and popularity.

Autumn in the Carolinas brings images of the changing seasons; both the sights and sounds of nature mixed with the speed and enthusiasm of numerous clubs and car events. The Splendor of Speed was demonstrated on September 14, 1969 as Corvettes International, in cooperation with the Sports Car Club of America, sponsored the inaugural Hot Time on the Midway at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, just one of many events bringing man and machine closer together. Rejoicing over 12 months of activities, Corvettes International celebrated their first year as a club in 1969 with a Christmas party and meeting.

Corvettes International celebrates its 50th anniversary

The preceding years brought forth outstanding fellowship as the club flourished with its monthly meetings, socials, rallies and car shows. In 1981, Corvettes International joined the National Council of Corvette Clubs, Inc. (NCCC), thus bringing the Nationwide Corvette community to Raleigh. As meeting places became awkward to support large gatherings of people, Corvettes International, in 1982, decided to hold their club meetings at Sir Walter Chevrolet in downtown Raleigh. Dealerships proved to be a popular choice amongst club members throughout the following years as Corvettes International moved its meeting place to Bobby Murray  Chevrolet in 1986, Hendrick Chevrolet in 1993, Performance Chevrolet of Chapel Hill just to name a few. For our current location, please see the Monthly Meetings page.

ROAD TRIP!!!   What’s a club without road trips? In 1993 Corvettes International made its first annual pilgrimage to the Corvette Expo in Knoxville, Tennessee. The trip included a car show, swap meet and cars for sale. In August, Carlisle, Pennsylvania holds claim to the world’s largest Corvette show and flea market, exclusively for Corvettes. In 1989, Corvettes International departed Raleigh towards Pennsylvania for the first time; our club now has four spaces and over twenty members making this road trip an annual event.

Corvettes International Brick at the Corvette Museum

CAR SHOWS!!!  Corvettes International began an annual car show open to all makes and models, first being held in Raleigh in 1988. This show event lasted a few years and was picked up again in 1997 still with the same theme. We are now in our 23rd year of hosting this show as a charity event.

We are an enthusiast’s club celebrating an American lifestyle, a lifestyle perhaps only understood by those within the inner circle of Corvette enthusiasts and car lovers; an authentic slice of America that will never die or fade away. It’s true that we idolize a car through monthly meetings, club socials, shows and racing events, but it’s not just any car. We are, after all, helping ignite dreams for many future Corvette owners, a source of inspiration that has made this icon flourish unlike any other car namesake currently in existence. Corvettes International is still keeping this dream alive; a true testament of our love of America’s Sports car…


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