The 1998 Fairway Green Corvette owned by Shawn McCabe from Lowell, Mass sits on the deep green grass of the field right outside the Budweiser plant in Merrimack, NH, refracting and reflecting the sunlight into a million directions.
Behind it, sit dozens and dozens of other Corvettes, most of which are equally as radiant as McCabe’s. Split window Stingrays, several brand new Corvette ZR-1s, supercharged C5’s, and mint examples from every era of the Corvette legend. This is the Gate City Corvette Club’s Spring Fling Corvette show, and it was a Corvette enthusiast’s paradise.
Born and raised in Lowell, McCabe joined the US Army Reserves in 2001 as a Military Policeman, and served out his contract of more than eight years in both Afghanistan and the United States. Now a dedicated family man, McCabe has owned this ‘Vette since 2005. “It’s what I call my post-deployment gift to myself. One of the best decisions I ever made. I love this car.” McCabe was chosen to be featured in The Torque Tube because of his dedication to his car. Stored lovingly in the garage as soon as the New England sky hints at snow or rain, washed and waxed on a regular basis, and cosseted with the finest chamois and cleaned with a fine toothed comb. It boasts a number of different modifications including an upgraded intake, wheels and tires, brakes, and a raft of custom painted parts that match Chevrolet’s stunning and super rare Fairway Green paint (only 220 cars were painted in that color).
How did you end up buying this car?
“I was looking for something summer-ey, strictly a pleasure car. I was originally looking at a Jaguar XK8.” While on trip to check out the Jaguar, McCabe passed by his future Corvette at Clay Chevrolet in Norwood, Mass. “It was almost a love at first sight kind of thing.” McCabe purchased the car six years ago and has continued to improve it, modify it, drive it whenever possible, and clean and wax it until it hurts your eyes it’s so bright. “I guess it was an unrealized dream. I never really considered a car like this an option, it was always too far out there for me to own.”
What is one of the most memorable events you’ve had with your Corvette?
“One of the most memorable times would have to be my first trip a national Corvette show in Carlisle, Penn. It was my first time going to a national event and was well worth the drive. There were hundreds of Corvettes of every possible year and configuration you can think of. All the major vendors were there including the company who did custom work on my interior components. When I went to their tent to tell them what a great a great job they had done and how much I enjoyed their work, they actually remembered the order because it was not a normal color they were used to. They asked if I had brought my car to the show and when I told them I did, they asked if I wanted to display it in their tent. It was great not only because they had an opportunity to display their work, but I also got a prime piece of real estate to display my car at a national show visited by thousands of people.”
What does the future hold for you in terms of the next dream car?
“I don’t see much in the way of future cars for two reasons. #1, I love the color of my car too much to get rid of it. If it was just black or red it would be a different story. #2, with a small child and all the expenses that go with him, I don’t see me having a surplus of cash for a while so I had better make this one last.”
But McCabe isn’t finished with the modifications to his ‘Vette; a pair of custom leather seats is firmly on the to-do list. He had previously considered doing major engine upgrades like adding a turbo, but, “ I couldn’t bring myself to pay $8,000 an a 12 year old car.” Even in naturally aspirated form, the car makes north of 400 bhp. And how long does McCabe plan on keeping the car? “Probably forever. Until the thing dies.”
How does being a new dad affect how you own and drive the car?
“I don’t get to drive it as much as I want. It’s hard, and illegal, to fit the car seat in there, so the key is to make time for the car.” Judging by McCabe’s passion and enthusiasm, we’re pretty sure making time to get behind the wheel of his Corvette won’t be a problem. Welcome, Shawn McCabe, to The Torque Tube.