Bremer also removed the stock '81 exhaust system and installed a high-output one that includes an X-crossover pipe and 40 Series Flowmaster mufflers. "Those give a really nice tone while uncorking some power," he adds.

When we spoke with Bremer, he was all set to make another upgrade. "I'm going to put some 23-degree Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads on it," he says. "They'll probably add another 40-45 hp to it and take some more weight off the front end."

Lest you think all of these changes were of the cut-and-hack, impossible-to-return-to-stock variety, Bremer says they aren't. "Everything I do is bolt-on, bolt-off. I keep everything that's been taken off stored properly."

There's one more change that Bremer made to his '81-one done about six years ago that you've likely noticed by now. To hear Mark say it, it wasn't that easy a choice. "The hardest decision I made was to change it from Charcoal to Torch Red, but I'm glad that I did it," he says.

Now that he has his C3 the way he wants it, how's this car to drive? Let Bremer explain. "It's awesome! I love it." He adds, "It's not a high-horsepower car, but what's neat about it is that it's an older car that has a lot of modern conveniences, like cruise control, electric windows, and all that kind of stuff."

And it's a car that, not surprisingly, attracts plenty of attention. "Everywhere I stop, people come up to me and say, 'That's a Corvette! That's what I think about when I think of Corvettes,'" he says.

Bremer says the "VETJET" name on his license plate also gets plenty of attention. "I picked it because I wanted the Vette and because I'm in aviation-the company I'm with manufactures business jets. I've had people say, 'You're a veterinarian!' and I say, 'No, I'm not a veterinarian-it's a Corvette!'"

Should you want to make a late-third-generation Corvette your first (or next) Vette, Bremer has this advice: "Find a good car to start with. Don't go out and buy the cheapest car that you find, because it's going to cost you a lot more in the long run." Bremer says that thanks to this approach, he was able to put money into things like a re-leathered steering wheel, new seat covers, and the engine upgrades, because he started with a car that didn't need major crash or rust repairs.

Bremer's shark is a St. Louis-built car, which brings up another "first and last" fact about the '81 Corvette. On June 1, 1981, Corvette production began at the all-new Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky, with both it and the existing St. Louis Assembly Plant producing Corvettes until August 1. That's when St. Louis Assembly built its last Corvette, and shifted to all-C/K truck production until its closing in 1987.