Vero Beach, FL - In response to a passer-by's "Hey, nice Vette. Looks clean." comment, area retiree and Corvette owner Ralph Garrison was overcome with a completely internalized, smug sense of self-satisfaction for the next 20 minutes.
Since first purchasing the 2005 base model Corvette in mid-2005 at a model year closeout deal, Garrison has meticulously paid to have every element of the vehicle maintained, including all optional services recommended by dealers, independent shops, car washes, and random strangers. Although he has spent nearly half of the car's original $72,900 sticker price on maintenance and detailing alone, he nonetheless claims a sense of personal pride and hard work that belies how little work was actually involved in driving the automatic-transmission-equipped vehicle a mere 2,000 miles per year on mainly straight, flat roads.
"She's still purring like a kitten after all this time" Garrison added, tacitly claiming responsibility for the car's condition while refusing to acknowledge the car's 60-year pedigree and tens of millions of dollars of engineering, design, racing, and testing that led to the car's current status. "I guess there's something to be said for the quality of Detroit steel after all," he continued while lovingly patting the car's roof panel which, unbeknownst to him, had already begun detaching at its low-quality welds and would soon remove itself while driving on A1A with the cruise control set to 45mph, leading him to question the sanity of 500-mile oil Amsoil synthetic oil change intervals, 1,000-mile Michelin tire replacements, and, in turn, his entire car ownership habits.
"It just goes to show," Mr. Garrison says, "that a little hard work with your maintenance and care can go a long way. This toy is my own little gift to myself for years of hard work and sacrifice."
Garrison's fortune comes from using his family trust fund to make random investments in the dot-com boom which, completely coincidentally, were still booming at the time of his stock liquidation and 1999 retirement to Florida.
In related news, retired GM CEO Rick Wagoner has been working on his memoirs, entitled "The Best We Could Do: GM's Failure in the Hands of the Ignorant Consumer."