How much would you pay for a dream?
That's what this Inferno Orange Chevy Corvette Convertible is, by the way: it's not a car at all. It was someone's dream, and could still be so for dozens of sick children.
It belonged to Dave Lentz of Norfolk county for just a few months. A former long-time Hydro employee, he started a small farm with his wife Jean after retiring. They grew Saskatoon berries, and planted oak and pine. Dave built a wandering path through his land. Kids came to play there.
Corvettes were always a part of Dave's life. He was a founding member of the Hamilton Corvette association, and owned several 'Vettes including the 1969 Stingray that was his first. He even partnered with broadcaster Bill Adams in Canadian Trans Am; Adams did the driving while Lentz was crew chief.
Dave bought this 2012 Convertible, his last Corvette, just before his birthday in April of this year. It's a drop-top, a cruiser, with luxury upgrades. But it's also got the six-speed manual gearbox you'd expect in something that belonged to a through-and-through car guy.
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Imported out of the US into Ontario, Lentz was the 'Vette's first retail owner. It's been registered properly, and still retains some GM factory warranty. It has fewer than 4,500 km on the odometer – Dave only had six months with the car.
He died in October of last year, felled by cancer. “It really sucks to be 67 and know this is your final chapter,” he told his wife of 44 years, “But when I think of those kids at Camp Trillium at 7, 12 or 17 years and somebody saying it’s game over – now that really sucks.”
That's why his Corvette is being sold off now: all proceeds from the sale will go directly to fund the Camp Trillium just a few kilometres down the road from the Lentz farm. Camp Trillium offering much needed recreation opportunities for children with cancer and their families on a 143-acre facility that's open year-round.
It's a noble cause, one that the dealership helping Jean handle the sale obviously recognizes. They're offering all the usual financing and customer protection you get from an accredited dealership, but won't be taking any commission. Every dollar from the sale goes to the camp and its dream of providing opportunities for kids and their families to have great experiences in the most challenging of circumstances.
This was a car Dave dreamed about owning, but even though he didn't get a chance to drive it as much as he should have, at least he went to rest knowing some good would come from letting it go. It is a six-speed Corvette after all – whoever buys it next is going to have a big grin on their face any time they fire up that all-aluminium V8. But better yet will be the smiles and laughter that the sale of this orange machine will make possible.