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History of the ZR-1 Net

ZR-1 Net Members have a reason to be proud of its history, we are one of those quiet behind the scenes type of club that has done many good things over the years.

 

1994 The ZR-1 Net Started

In September of 1994 the ZR-1 Net was started by Dave “Mom” Bright. The ZR-1 Net is a free list service to connect ZR-1 owners and enthusiasts via email from all over the world to communicate with each other, to support one another, and to learn from one another.  Dave “Mom” has dedicated a big part of his life keeping this service going and in preserving the ZR-1 legend. The ZR-1 Net List service is a support mechanism to help ZR-1 owners should they encounter any problems with their ZR-1's or have any questions. Currently today we still have over 600 active members. Dave Bright's email policing policies have prompted the membership to refer to him affectionately as "Mom" since he keeps everyone "playing nicely". In 2014 the ZR-1 Net will be 20 years old.

1995 Doug Rippie Motorsports

 When Doug Rippie of DRM decided to build the ultimate Corvette and run it at LeMans in 1995 the ZR-1 Net members were there raising funds and donating that money to help pay some of the costs associated with racing at LeMans.

1995 NCM Brick

The ZR-1 Net members in 1995 got together and purchased a ZR-1 Net club brick at the NCM. The members also donated all excess brick money to the Corvette Museum. The ZR-1 Net is one of the most active support groups of the National Corvette Museum. Our members donate time to work the NCM booths at all functions and activities, offer help and ideas, and generally promote increased membership in all activities of work and play.

1997 Pony Express 100

The Pony Express 100 is an open Road Race held in NV each year. In June 1997 the ZR-1 Net members donated enough money for the ZR-1 Net to become a sponsor for the June 1997 Pony Express 100 Race. As sponsors of that race each car that enters into the race had a ZR-1 Net decal on the side of their car. Dave “Mom” was also a participant  in the race that year.

The Larry Shinoda Fund

The ZR-1 Net found out that Larry Shinoda was ill and had no medical insurance at the time. Once again the ZR-1 Net members got together and started a fund to send to Larry to help pay for some of the cost of his medical bills.

1997 NCM Support

The ZR-1 Net learned that the NCM was in some financial trouble. Working together with the VetteNet, we contacted the museum to set up a meeting in order to discuss ways the Corvette community could help. At the same time we worked with the museum to organize the first C5 unveiling. Even though it was on very short notice over 500 ZR-1 Net and Corvette enthusiasts showed up for the event and raised over $70,000 for the museum in one weekend.

1997 Pirate Racing

In the Fall of '97 Jim VanDorn and many members of the ZR-1 Net started brain storming about sponsoring a ZR-1 in SCCA SPORTS CAR CLUB OF AMERICA PROFESSIONAL RACING CIRCUIT in '98. To get this off the ground we needed supporters, meaning funds to start this new adventure. Since we were looking at racing a C4 ZR-1 it was obvious the first supporters would be ZR-1 owners and enthusiasts and who better to turn to than the “ZR-1 Net” members to start looking for those ZR-1 owners and enthusiasts. The ZR-1 Net members helped in both funding and support initially in getting Pirate Racing of the ground and continue that support throughout the ZR-1 Pirate Racing career.

1998 First ZR-1 Net NCM Gathering

In April of '98 the ZR-1 Net along with the ZR-1 Registry held its first ZR-1 Gathering at the National Corvette Museum. Over 300 ZR-1 owners and ZR-1 Net members were there for a fun filled weekend of seminars, cookouts and tours and helped raised over $67,000 for the Museum.  Since then the ZR-1 Net has held a gathering at the NCM every year until 2004 when the ZR-1 Net Registry was started and continued the tradition.  Also over the years other clubs have joined our gathering, the Callaway Club, the Grand Sport Club and the C4 Club.

Some photos of past ZR-1 Gatherings:

2000   |  2001  |  2002  |  2004  |  2005  |  2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009

1999 Dave McLellan ZR-1

In 1999 at the May ZR-1 Gathering at the NCM Dave McLellan took ownership of his first ZR-1. Dave “Mom” Bright and the ZR-1 Net were sent a letter from Dave thanking us for our support in helping find and own his first ZR-1.

1999 Aid to Fellow ZR-1 Net Member

The ZR-1 Net learned of a tragic accident late in 1999 of a fellow ZR-1 Net member. He was involved in a very bad accident in his ZR-1 costing him both legs below the knees. What made matters worse he had no medical insurance. He spent several months in the hospital and when he returned home he was faced with huge medical bills and had a family to feed. The ZR-1 Net took up a collection and held an auction in May of 2000 at the ZR-1 Net Gathering at the NCM and raised over $20,000 to help this member and his family. It was a long road to recovery but with the help of the members of the ZR-1 Net that road had a few less bumps.

 

In Dec of 2006 it was learned the above individual had a setback when 3 years later he had to have a quadruple bypass. Once again the members of the ZR-1 community got together and raise over $12,000 to help the member and his family out.

 

2000 COMMEMORATING THE 10th Anniversary World Record Run

In May of 2000 at the "ZR-1 Net Gathering" the National Corvette Museum along with the ZR-1 Net commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the World Record Run. All the drivers and staff involved with breaking the world endurance run were recognized at the event for their contribution.

2000 Dave McLellan Cup

At the ZR-1 Gathering in May of 2000 Dave “Mom” Bright was presented with the “Dave McLellan Cup”.  The cup read “For Sincere Devotion and Unselfish Support of the Corvette Lifestyle”. It was the first time the cup was presented to an individual.

2000 Corvettes at Carlisle Celebrity Judge

Starting in 2000 Dave “Mom” Bright was invited by Chip Miller to participate as a Celebrity Judge at Corvettes of Carlisle and for every year after that.

2001 Kentucky Colonel

In 2001 at the May ZR-1 Gathering at the NCM Dave “Mom” Bright was given the distinguish award by the Governor of Kentucky of becoming an Honorary Kentucky Colonel with all rights and privileges.

2001 The Passing of Susie Vencill

In August of 2001 a long time ZR-1 Net member Susie Vencill passed away. In her honor the ZR-1 Net members donated to buy a brick in her name at the NCM and placed in the walkway to remember her.

 

2002 Monterey del Oro 50th Anniversary Celebration

In August 9-14th 2002 a 50th Anniversary Celebration took place at Monterey, CA. Dave “Mom” Bright was invited as a special guest to speak at the event at a VIP seminar with other well-known corvette experts. The other folks who join the panel included Dave McLellan, John Lingenfelter, Doug Rippie, Graham Behan, and John Cafaro.

2002 The Passing of John Stewart

 In March of 2002 a long time ZR-1 Net member John Stewart sadly passed away. In his honor the ZR-1 Net members donated to buy a brick in his name at the NCM and placed in the walkway to remember him.

 

2002 The Passing of Doug Johnson

In May of 2002 a long time ZR-1 Net member Doug Johnson passed away. In his honor the ZR-1 Net members donated to buy a brick in his name at the NCM and placed in the walkway to remember him.

2002 Glenn Darwin House Fire

Fellow ZR-1 Net member Glenn Darwin who also happens to be the IT manager at the NCM lost his house to a fire in Dec of 2002. Glenn and his family lost everything. The ZR-1 Net members step up and raised money for Glenn and his family to help get them over the first few weeks after the fire.

2003 the Passing of John Lingenfelter

December 25th 2003 John Lingenfelter passed away. John was a legend and known for building fast cars and trucks but in particular fast ZR-1’s.  John was a close friend of the ZR-1 community and the ZR-1 Net. The ZR-1 Net and Team ZR-1 members got together and raised funds to purchase two bricks at the NCM in John's memory.

Ben Labaree Corvettes Conquer Cancer Fund

Ben Labaree has been touring the country for the last 8 years in his 1997 C5. Ben, and his wife, Sandy, started the Corvettes Conquer Cancer Tour http://www.corvettesconquercancer.com after she went through a devastating round of treatment for breast cancer. Ben has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the benefit of the American Cancer Society. However his '97 C5 was getting old and a campaign was started to raise funds to replace his aging C5 with a new C6. The ZR-1 Net was happy to donate $500 to the cause.

2004 The ZR-1 Net Registry Started

In 2004 after the shutting down of the first ZR-1 Registry and the failure of a second ZR-1 Club the ZR-1 Net decided to expand from being just a member email list server to a full fledge ZR-1 Club. The ZR-1 Net already had a web site and 700+ members. So in 2003 Dave “Mom” Bright and a few of the ZR-1 Net members  started and built what is called today the ZR-1 Net Registry. Unlike most clubs it was decided that it would be a non-profit club run by the members with a set of by-laws. The ZR-1 Net Registry produced 4 newsletters a year called HOTB or the “Heart of the Beast” and started the ZR-1 Net Registry Forum.  The ZR-1 Net Registry is a worldwide organization with currently over 500+ members. The ZR-1 Net Registry is a support mechanism to help ZR-1 owners should they encounter any problems with their ZR-1's or have any questions as well as hold several events each year. The original ZR-1 Net still exists today with over 600 members.

2005 ALMS New England Grand Prix

In 2005 the ZR-1 Net Registry supported the 2005 ALMS New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock and given a thank you plaque for its “Dedication and Support”.

2009 NCM 1/4 Acre Club Motorsports Park

The NCM decided to build a Motorsport Park where corvette people can either race their cars or enjoy watching racing at a site near the NCM. The NCM in order to raise funds to purchase the land and build the park started a campaign called the “One Acre Club” where corporations, corvette clubs or individuals can purchase  from 1/4 acre to 1 acre of land in their name. Dave “Mom” Bright President of the ZR-1 Net Registry at the time decided that this was such a worthy cause ask the board to vote on donating $5,000 to the NCM in which $3,750 was used to purchase 1/4 acre of land and the rest towards the Building Campaign.

 

2011 NCM 1 Acre Club Motorsports Park

Dave "Mom" Bright  decided that the ZR-1 folks can do better than only purchase 1/4 acre of the Motorsport Park.  So Mom decided to up the ante and start a fund raiser to raise  enough funds to join the  “One Acre Club” . Mom started the fund raiser in 2010 to raise the needed $15,000 to purchase 1 acre  of the Park. Members from both the ZR-1 Net and the ZR-1 Net Registry contributed to the fund and we were able purchase the 1 acre and give the check to the NCM at the ZR-1 Gathering in May of 2011. Click HERE for more info.

2014 Close ZR-1 Net  Member passes away

A long time ZR-1 Net Member Phil DeJohn passed away. The members got together to raise $1,225.00 of which $600 went to purchasing a NCM brick in honor of Phil and the rest was donated to Phil's favorite charity STAR, Street Tail Animal Rescue.

2015 Long Time ZR-1 Net Member passes away

Long time ZR-1 Net member Jim VanDorn also known as "JVD" passed away unexpectedly. JVD was always a big supporter of the ZR-1 Net, ZR-1 Net Registry and ZR-1's.

2015 Dave "Mom" Bright Guest Speaker

The 2015 ZR-1 Gathering at the NCM Dave "Mom" Bright was invited to be the guest speaker. The ZR-1 Net Registry was celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the ZR-1. Mom spoke about the history and how the ZR-1 Net Registry got started.