About 25 SABCC'ers, friends and guests descended on the Schillinger Road Panera Bread location for the first Mugs and Motors of 2010. As always, we enjoyed each others company while we moaned about yet another rainy start to a club event.
Never ones to stay down, the group poured more coffee and ordered another baked treat from the display case. Fully caffeinated and carb-loaded we set out on the next part of our activity - a visit to an incredible collection of Corvettes housed at Martin's Nursery in Semmes, Alabama.
Buddy Martin is one of the kindest, most generous people we've met to date. Buddy started the nursery as a hobby many years ago (along with a full time job at a manufacturing facility). Today, it ships a staggering quantity of ornamental plants all over the USA. Now that the nursery is a 'real' business, Buddy needed another hobby and he found one in collecting the most special of Corvettes. It was this collection that the club was invited to visit.
We arrived (without losing anyone along the way!) and were shown into a garage that could only be described as the stuff of dreams. There were three rows of beautifully restored cars - mostly corvettes- in a cavernous building. This climate controlled facility covers almost 12,000 square feet and boasts several collections of memorabilia, including NASCAR, Harley-Davidson and John Deere.
For me, the star of the collection was a 1953 Corvette - the inaugural year of the model. There were only 300 built and one of them resides in South Alabama. A close second was a C4 Corvette Grand Sport . Finally, a 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible fuel injection model with every available option was at the front of the non-Corvette line.
After the garage tour, we were shown around the 300+ acre nursery and the outbuildings where the collection is restored or serviced.
The group offered its thanks to our gracious hosts and went our separate ways around noon - and into a beautifully sunny day!