Bobbie Carson, a 95-year-old World War II veteran, is now driving a new 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 3LT after being bumped to the front of a year-long waiting list, Fox News reported earlier this month.
Carson, a longtime Corvette enthusiast, had been active in his local Corvette owners club in Missouri and his fellow members knew he wanted to buy the new Corvette model but faced a year-long wait due to supply shortages exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing the delay Carson faced, his friends got together with Ed Morse Chevrolet general manager David Bean to help him get into his dream car.
Carson, who recently moved from Missouri to Georgia, traveled to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on October 1 and picked up an Arctic White Stingray 3LT Corvette model with an Adrenaline Red interior. WKNY reported it was the 42nd 2022 Corvette model built.
Carson served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army’s 42nd Infantry Division and, as an 18-year-old, joined the fighting in Europe after landing in Marseille, France, in 1944. Upon arriving in Marseille, Carson’s unit was put on trains and transported to France’s forested Ardenne region where he participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
“We were just out of high school and were all athletes in good shape, went through a rugged training course, and then we went straight into battle … can’t imagine it,” Carson told Fox News.
Following the Battle of the Bulge, Carson’s unit continued into Germany, and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. Carson said his unit spent three days near the camp driving out the last of the SS troops holding out in the area. From there, Carson’s unit continued on to Munich, where it fought in the final days before Germany surrendered.
Carson gave his first-hand account of his experiences during the war in a videotaped interview with the Library of Congress in 2018.
Carson bought his first Corvette in 1985 and has since gone on to own seven different iterations of the American sports car.
After his friends contacted the Ed Morse Chevrolet dealership in Lebanon, Mo., a member of his Missouri Corvette club contacted a friend at General Motors, which oversees Chevrolet, and was able to secure a build slot for the model Carson was seeking. The build slot was assigned for September 6, when the 2022 models began rolling off the production line at Corvette’s Bowling Green, Ky., plant.
“His circle of friends got together and reached out to us,” Bean told Fox News Auto. “He’s really well-liked in the community and we were excited to be a part of such a deserving effort.”
Carson said he was “honored” by the gesture from his friends and the dealership and called “I think it’s the greatest car I’ve ever driven.”