For Mark Reuss, the Chevrolet Corvette is personal.
Reuss, who is president of General Motors North America, said that on his first date with the woman who became his wife, he drove a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette that he "was redoing at the time."
As he told the story, Reuss remembered the sports car's specifications: It had a 427-cubic-inch, 400-horsepower, tri-power engine with 700-automatic transmission.
"It was pretty awesome," he said.
That Corvette, one of many Reuss personally restored, paved the way for his career as an automotive executive.
The 'Vette means so much to him that he took the time to write his own speech for Sunday night's highly anticipated reveal of the 2014 Corvette Stingray, which revives the moniker first associated with Corvette in 1963. Most auto executives delegate speechwriting to their public relations staff.
"I joined the company because of this car," said Reuss, whose father was a GM president who drove him around in the iconic sports car when he was young enough to scrunch down in what passed for a backseat.
Now Reuss' passion is rubbing off on his family. His son, Grant, a highly touted left-handed high school pitcher, wants the new Corvette.
"We will sell a Corvette to anybody who has money and wants a Corvette. I don't want to get too hung up on who we're selling it to. I'll sell it to my son if he has money for it," Reuss said.
For a moment, he reconsidered what he had just said.
"If he gets a ticket, it's gone," Reuss said with a laugh.
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