Like most young boys, James Kingston of Temecula, California, was obsessed with cars as a child. And like most children who grow up to be Corvette fanatics, James was thoroughly impressed by the first 'glass sports car he ever saw-a late-model C3 Shark. From that time in the late '70s, he knew he must own a Corvette some day. In fact, his Hot Wheels(tm) collection include six C3 Vettes! He also recalls how in 1983-at the ripe ol' age of 13-he used to always eye his neighbors' pair of early-'80s Sharks. One was black and the other white, and they were both beautiful to James.
During the rest of the '80s, while the C4 Corvettes ruled the American roads, James was hitting the books in high school and then at college. As the early '90s rolled through, James was just graduating from Cal State University Northridge with a degree in Mechanical Engineering along with a wife and a daughter. The need then arose to step up his mode of transportation from a four-banger econobox. This might seem like the perfect time to say that James went out and bought his first Corvette, but this story is a little more complicated than that.
Because of the economics of starting a new career and a young family, "my first instinct was to buy a Mustang," James admits. "It was a handsome car, and the wife liked it as well," he tells us. However, on a trip to the local Ford dealership to scope out the pony car offerings, "with the wife in tow," she spotted an Explorer that she just had to have. Thus, she became a pioneer of the SUV craze, and James saw his "exciting sports car ownership delayed indefinitely."
A few years later, James tried again to get a performance car-this time a new Camaro-since "the Corvettes still were beyond my meager salary and seemed unobtainable," James recalls. But James never got his Camaro, either. "By the time 1999 came around (and nearing the big three-oh), I found myself in the middle of a divorce and a mid-life crisis." In many ways, this was a new beginning for James. With starting a new, higher-paying job in 2000 and still searching for "a way to console my mid-life crisis," James rediscovered his lust for a Corvette-now that he could actually afford one!
James took his first steps towards joining the ranks of Corvette ownership in the spring of 2000 when he began shopping the dealership lots to get acquainted with the C5s. "Being used to an underpowered, weight-penalized SUV," he was utterly shocked on his first test drive by the "awesome" power that a stock '99 coupe had. By the time James had decided that a Sebring Silver coupe was the perfect car for him, the '01 Corvettes were introduced-and so was the Z06. When he heard about the extra power that the new Z06 had to offer, James quickly changed his mind-opting for the 385hp fixed roof '01 Z06. Since Sebring Silver was discontinued after 2000 and the other colors offered on the Z06 all seemed too "ordinary" to James, he was adamant that his dream car would be Millennium Yellow. But due to the high demand for Millennium Yellow cars and the limited runs Bowling Green was making in that color, James ended up waiting 10 agonizing months for his new toy to finally be delivered. He brought his new baby home on August 27, 2001.