Ever since Corvette No. 00001 first met Corvette No. 00002 on the road, their drivers saluted each other with waves. Today, unfortunately, this grand and glorious tradition is wavering. WAVE WHEN YOU PASS ANOTHER CORVETTE!
There's one item of standard equipment that comes as a pleasant surprise to every new Corvette owner. It's an instant wave of recognition he or she receives when he meets one of their ilks on the road. The first time it happens, they will be taken by surprise. He immediately thinks:
1. He has been mistaken for Sterling Moss.
2. His lights are on.
3. He has just been given the bird.
Soon, however, the new Vette owner anticipates, indeed even relishes, encountering other Vettes. During this period, he experiments with his waves, running the gamut from the grand "yoo hoo" to the ultra cool "two finger flip." He perfects his timing, making sure he affects neither a too-early wave, nor the jaded "oh brother" too-late variety. Determined not to be one upped, he even develops a defense mechanism for non wavers, usually settling on the "Wave? My hand was just on the way to scratch my head" approach. (This is especially useful when you're not driving your Vette, but you forget, and like a dummy, you wave anyway.)
One of the most perplexing problems facing a would-be waver is what to do when driving next to a fellow Vette owner. Passing him going in opposite directions is one thing. Greetings are exchanged, and that's that. But what happens when you pull up next to a guy at a light, wave, nod, smile and then pull up to him at the next light, a block later? Wave again? Nod bashfully? Grin self-consciously? Ignore him? Or take the chicken's way out and turn down the next side street? If you're expecting an answer, you won't find it here. Sad to say, some questions don't have any. SAVE THE WAVE!
Female Corvette drivers also have a unique problem: to wave or not to wave. The woman who drives her Corvette for the first time is immediately faced with this quandary. Should she wave first and look overly friendly, or ignore the wave and look like a snob? Most women who drive their own Vettes seem to prefer the latter rather than take a chance of being misread. For this reason, all women are excused for occasionally
failing to return a well-meaning wave. So are new owners who are still learning the ropes.
There is no excuse, however, for a guy who refuses to return the wave, not out of ignorance, but of arrogance or apathy. While this type of behavior is the exception to the rule, it seems a few owners of newer models refuse to recognize anything older than theirs, while some others simply won't wave, period. Boo on them. These unfriendly sorts don't seem to realize that they are helping to squash a tradition that had its beginnings back when most of us were still driving "Little Tikes Cozy Coupes."
The Corvette Wave is an integral part of the mystique and culture of the Corvette owner experience. Corvette owners who wave at fellow Corvette owners when they pass on the road show a mark of recognition that you are among the elite group of intelligent people who are driving "America's Sports Car." As a member of this elite group, you should be recognized for your poise and intelligence. So for those who don't know the five simple Corvette Wave rules, here they are:
1. There is no excuse for not waving at your fellow Corvette owner.
Although most Corvette owners have the class and understanding to accept when their wave is not returned, not waving is a serious breach of proper Corvette etiquette.
2. There isn't any rule about who waves first.
This is simple; if you see another Corvette, wave!
3. Rules 1 and 2 apply to both sexes.
As far as who starts the wave, it doesn't make a difference if you are a man or women. Rules 1 and 2 apply.
4. Any type of wave is okay.
Whether you shoot a big wave up through your open Vette top, out the window, or a quick salute with your hand on the steering wheel, any wave that can be seen by the other Corvette driver is okay. However, this does not include any style of gesture that can be interpreted as obscene or insulting. Remember, Corvette owners are a class act; while someone might have been rude or stupid to you, try not to return the favor. (This is a tough rule not to break with all the stupid drivers who manage to get a driver's license.)
5. A late wave is better than no wave.
If you suddenly realize that a Corvette driver is passing and waving at you, get a wave off as soon as possible. The other Corvette driver may see your wave in their rear view mirror and realize that you where just a little late in getting your wave going. Although missing the timing of your wave is a "goof," getting off a wave that the other Corvette driver has a chance to see can acceptably cover this slip-up.
So you can see the underlying concept here is simple: Wave at your fellow Corvette owners, whoever they are, whenever you see them. This will show you are a person who understands the full measure of etiquette that comes with your proud ownership of a Corvette.
With thanks to Corvette News, Dan Woomer of the Lost Caravan Corvette Club, and the Westchester Corvette Club.