2024 Members in the Spotlight


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1st Quarter

Alex & Sumiya Nelson

Each quarter the North Central Chapter likes to shine the spotlight on one of the chapter members to give you all a chance to learn more about them and their passion for cars. This is an interview with Sumiya, the new owner of a beautiful 1965, Stingray Corvette. Sumiya’s dad, chapter member Alex Nelson, conducted this interview.

Dad: Hey Sumiya! Would you mind telling people a little bit about your family background and their relationship to the car?

Sue: My mom is an immigrant from Somalia and you are my Minnesota born-and-raised dad who bought me the Stingray for doing good in school. My grandma and uncle have also been Corvette owners. I have a younger brother and sisters who are into the car too.

Dad: What do you enjoy doing?

Sue: I like hanging out with friends and family, cooking, watching TV, reading Popular Mechanics, and going to car shows.

Dad: Since this is your first Corvette, do you plan to own any others?

Sue: I’d like to. A dream of mine is to get a well-kept version of every generation model. I especially like the C-1.

Dad: So tell everyone about your model now?

Sue: It’s a C-2 ragtop. It’s an elegant car with lots of vintage character. I don’t think anyone knew how original the car actually was until it was judged recently at an NCRS event and won a second-flight ribbon. For still having factory paint, it is very clean though and only has thirty thousand miles. It’s been treated very well over the years. Some people think of the Corvette as a muscle car or hot rod and I can see where they’re coming from, especially with the aggression built into the models starting in the 70s; however for me, the C-2’s soft curves and manageable power, at least with my 300-horse-power version, give it a more versatile aesthetic and appeal.

Dad: Any projects planned for your car in the future?

Sue: The car has been in storage for the last few months. It’s cold and snowing in Minnesota, with lots of salt on the roads until June sometimes. A wonderful mechanic and NCRS master judge, Bob Lund, has managed to put a new, original-style teak steering wheel on order from a guy in Tennessee who is carving it himself. It’s hard to find a used wheel like that. That’s kind of been the winter project while the car is in storage. It will be a big upgrade from the leather- covered 1970s steering wheel someone put on it years back and interrupted the virtually all- stock features with. The car has been really babied by its previous owners so it’s in great shape and there’s just not much work that will improve it at this time.

It’s a true classic and how can you improve on that?

I’d also like to give a quick shout-out to all the NCRS members who’ve been really supportive and instructive for my dad and I while trying to navigate the Corvette world. We’ve become very enlightened over the last few years by being a part of the community. Big thanks to everyone!

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2nd Quarter

Dan Simpson

PASSION FOR CORVETTES

Included with my passion for Corvettes is the support my family has given me throughout the past 45 years. My wife, Jayne, and I have been married for 51 years. She is retired now after over 45 years in administrative assistant positions. I am retired from various customer service positions at a car dealership. I now work part-time at a convenience store close to home where I can walk to – getting my daily steps in! I continue to enjoy my car and aircraft hobbies.

We have three children (Greta, Gavin, Garett) and six grandchildren (Evelyn, Quinn, Kai, Dylan, Eliana, Arielle). With our children located in three different states, this gives us many opportunities for road trips!

During the 1950’s I lived on a farm in Richland County, WI during which time I dreamed of having my own car. We had some old Model A Fords on our farm which I enjoyed tinkering with, even at a very young age. Once we moved off the farm, my dad started a repair shop in a very small town, Rockbridge, WI. We started out doing mechanical work but changed to a body shop business. By the time I was 15, I was fixing and painting cars. My first cars I worked on included a 1951 Ford custom 2-door hard top and a 1963 Ford Galaxy 500 convertible. The 1963 needed more work and I enjoyed the challenges. By 1970 I bought a 1969 Dodge Super Bee. As I look back now, I think I made a mistake selling it – after seeing what this type of car goes for at this time!

The early 1970’s was a changing time for me. I joined the Navy and then got married upon completion of my service years. It took until 1978 before I started looking for another car project. In the winter of 1979 I found my first Corvette, a 1965 convertible. The car was equipped with 327/350 HP, 4 speed, and 2 tops. I loved the Milano Maroon exterior color with Maroon interior. When I purchased this car, it was torn apart and some restoration had begun. It took me over 4 years to get it restored – raising our family and work were first priorities. After completing the restoration, we took the car to the Bloomington Gold show in Bloomington, IL. It took 2 trips to get Gold Certified. We were very thankful to receive this prestigious award!

During the 1980’s I bought and sold two 1972 Corvette coupes. In 1988 I decided to sell our 1965 Corvette convertible. In late 1989 I purchased a big block Corvette – a 1969 427/400 HP coupe, side exhaust (factory), P/S, P/B, P/W, with automatic transmission. It was in bad shape and I did a full restoration. This was a great driving car. I learned a lot about the tri-power carburetor system. I sold the car in 1992 and bought my first C4 – a 1988 convertible. This C4 was the most high-tech Corvette I had owned.

In 1999 I decided to leave my Corvette hobby to pursue aviation. Upon selling the 1988, I purchased a 1955 Piper Tripacer which required restoration. With help from a certified inspector, I got the plane flying in 2004 at which time
I also earned my private pilot license. I still own the plane today after 23 years.

By 2020 I started looking for another Corvette. As I liked the 1988 I previously had, the C4 was my next choice. The comfort and styling impressed me.

In February 2022 I purchased a 1993 40th Anniversary convertible. This car sat in a dealership inventory for over 15 years. At the time of my purchase, this car had just under 20,000 miles on the odometer. Having sat for so many years, I had a list of maintenance items to do. Most challenging was installing a new heater core. This followed with replacing the water pump and intake manifold gaskets. I also changed the rear brakes, fluids, filters, tires and did other miscellaneous maintenance work. I plan on keeping the 1993 Corvette for a long time while enjoying driving it on the many back roads I will be scouting out.

I just rejoined NCRS after being away from it for over 30 years and look forward to the many activities offered by this organization.

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