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Save The Wave

This is a reprint of an article titled “SAVE THE WAVE” that appeared in the August/September 1969 issue of the Corvette News. 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.

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 they meet one of their ilks on the road. The first time it happens, they will be taken by surprise. They immediately think: 1. They have been mistaken for Sterling Moss, 2. Their lights are on, or 3. They have just been given the bird.

Soon, however, the new Corvette owner anticipates, indeed even relishes, encountering other Corvettes as they drive. During this period, they experiment with their waves, running the gamut from the gaping “yoo hoo” to the ultra cool “two finger flip.” They perfect their timing, making sure they affect neither a too-early wave, nor the jaded “oh brother” too-late variety. Determined not to be one upped, they even develop 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 Corvette, but you forget, and like a dummy, you wave anyway).

Indeed, one of the most perplexing problems facing a would-be waver is what to do when driving next to a fellow Corvette owner. Passing them going in opposite directions is one thing. Greetings are exchanged, and that’s that. But what happens when you pull up next someone at a light; wave, nod, smile, and then pull up to them at the next light, a block later? Wave again? Nod bashfully? Grin self-consciously? Ignore them? 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.

Girl-type Corvette drivers also have a unique problem: to wave or not to wave. This Ms. or Mrs. who borrows her man’s 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 ladies who drive their own Corvette prefer to suffer the latter rather than take a chance of being misread. For this reason, all girls 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 an owner 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 (remember this article was written in 1969) refuse to recognize anything older than theirs, while some others simply won’t wave, period. Boo on them. These ding-a-lings 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 tootsie toys.

So now you know the meaning of “SAVE THE WAVE”

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