Corvette Summer

Few machines represent the American love affair with the automobile more ably than the Corvette. Sleek and sexy, this amazing creation has been the official automobile of adventurous youth, the midlife crisis, and everyone in between who appreciates its ability to satisfy the need for speed.

It takes a mighty car indeed to spawn legions of followers, and in the Valley, groups like the Desert Corvette Association provide a place for loyalists to meet once a month and indulge their Corvette passion. While taking nothing away from these monthly affairs, it's safe to say that none of them turns up the heat quite like the yearly D.C.A. extravaganza known as the Millard Fillmore Corvette Classic.

Given the fact that Millard Fillmore was not a car enthusiast, it is curious that a yearly celebration of one of the coolest cars around is named after one of our most nondescript presidents. Lindsey Kartchner of the Desert Corvette Association explains.

"The whole thing started as something of a joke," she says. "The organizers thought it would be funny to name it after Fillmore because he wasn't really known for accomplishing anything. It added a curiosity factor to the title of the event, and it's stuck for 27 years."

Judging by the schedule of events, it seems Mr. Fillmore has morphed quite nicely from a lackluster president into a supreme party guru. This year's attendees will indulge in a variety of activities, including a golf tournament, tubing down the Salt River, a car show and rally, autocross races at Firebird International Raceway, pool and costume parties, an awards banquet, and, perhaps most important, a little something known as the "bottomless keg of beer."

"We'll also have raffles and silent auctions, with much of the proceeds slated for charity," says Kartchner. "It's always a great event for those who like Corvettes and love to have fun."

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Craig Wallach