Regardless of where you live in the continental United States, it's likely your cruising Corvette enjoys more months of the year in active duty than it does in winter hibernation. But in Norway, which shares the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia, car-show season revs up in late May and winds down in early August, leaving Corvette owners in this Scandinavian unitary with a window of barely 10 weeks out of every 52 to get together and determine who has the finest examples of America's Favorite Sports Car.
Corvette camaraderie, however, is a yearlong affair in Norway, thanks to the gargantuan efforts of Corvette Club Norway (CCN), the nation's largest car club dedicated to an American car.
Tom Gullachsen's '78 is typical of what's popular to Corvette fans in Norway, as C3s circu
This mild custom has only seen 100 miles of service in the last 23 years, thanks to a long
The light-custom theme continues in the cabin, which has been treated to color-matched uph
"Corvette Club Norway is a nonprofit enthusiast car club, with a mission to invite Corvette owners across the country to meet for social gatherings, and to have as much fun as possible with our Corvettes during the short summer season," Tom Gullachsen, the president of the CCN's divisional chapter in Bergen, says. "The club was established as a local club in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in 1992. A total of 15 enthusiasts were the founders, and, during the first year, 134 Norwegian Corvette owners joined the club."
Two-tone paint was applied back in the '80s, and still looks show quality today. Wire whee
Since its humble beginnings, CCN has grown into a formidable national organization with eight branches (Midt-Norge, Bergen, Stavanger, Haugaland, Østlandet, Rogaland, Vestfold-Telemark-Buskerud, and Sørlandet). Only the far north of the country—that is, the 37,000 square miles of Norway north of the Arctic Circle—does not have a regional chapter. Presently there are more than 1,000 club members, and they live in nearly every corner of the kingdom.
According to the club, Norwegians gravitate to C3s more than any other Corvette generation, with C5s close in popularity. The reason, however, may be more pragmatic than the visceral lure of the curvaceous lines of the classic shark.
Gullachsen explains: "Norway is known for its hefty taxes on automobiles. The country bases these taxes on horsepower, cubic inches, weight, and CO2 emissions. Any vehicle over 100 hp can be subject to them. That means a new ZR1 costs $450,000 in Norway, and as most VETTE readers know, that's over four times what one costs in the United States. Fortunately, vehicles 30 years from date of manufacture or older are tax-exempt. Perhaps that's why the C3 Corvette, which was last manufactured over 30 years ago, has such great popularity in our country."
L82 stocker is rated by the factory at 220 hp. A total of 12,739 Corvette owners shelled o
Gullachsen is father to his second C3, a '78 coupe, which is optioned with the L82 350ci/220hp engine, a Turbo-350 automatic transmission, A/C, and power brakes, steering, door locks, and windows. It spent most of its life—23 years to be exact—as a showpiece at Brown Brothers Cadillac Classic Car Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and was sold at an RM Auction event in Novi, Michigan, in 2010.
"The purchase was coincidence at work," Gullachsen admits. "I was on vacation in Orlando, Florida, later that year, and the day before leaving, I visited Orlando Classic Cars. As it tends to go, I fell in love with the C3 and bought it then and there. If you had asked me the day before, I would have told you I had absolutely no plans to buy a car that summer!"
Now, Gallachsen's mild-custom Stingray is an inspiration for his fellow Norwegians to join in on all the fun of owning Corvettes, even if most of the year they each star in one-car car shows in their owners' heated and insulated garages.
Corvette Club Norway members receive a quarterly club magazine titled Corvette Journal. It
Corvette Club Norway invites new members from all over the world to join. Visit them at www.corvetteclub.no.
More than 110 Corvettes from all across Norway converged upon Festplassen in downtown Berg
This Black '07 Z06 cost a wallet-whopping $350,000 after taxes. It was sure worth it to it
That's a bargain compared with this $450,000 ZR1 brawler, shown here at the CCN nationals