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September 2003 Corvette of the Month

Rudy and Celeste Antonucci's 1998 Torch Red Coupe

Name: Rudy and Celeste Antonucci

Current Corvette: 1998 Torch Red Coupe 6-speed

Previous Corvettes: 1990 Blue Coupe 6-speed

What first attracted you to Corvettes: First attracted by the looks when I was a teenager

How was this Corvette acquired: I was doing the Virgina City Hill Climbs On July 17th 1997 and I wrecked my 1990 Vette. After looking for several months for a replacement, I ordered a new one through our club member Bob Schneider, but we were having trouble getting the ordered confirmed. Well, one day I got a call from another member, Jerry Dierker, says he is reading a for sale ad in the San Francisco paper for a Corvette just like the one I have on order with Bob. I called the guy and made the deal over the phone with Southern California Motorsports — that was on a Tuesday. Friday of the same week, my son and I flew to Palm Desert California, met the guy at the airport and drove the car home. That was December 12, 1997 — hard to forget because December 12th is my wedding anniversary — what a great present.

Modifications: Lowered about an inch and a half, Blackhawk air intake, throttle body bypass hose, air temp sensor, 178 degree thermostat, modified mass air flow sensor, Bosch platnium plus four plugs, Magnacor plug wires, Corsa Indy exhaust, Brembo rotors, Performance friction pads, Safco fire suppression system, BF Goodrich g-force tires with chrome wheels, DRM front brake ducts, ZO6 rear brake ducts, ZO6 sway bars, Arizona speed and marine harness bar, Simpson 5-point racing harness, adjustable coil over suspension, racing decals and graphics on the entire car.

Modifications Planned: Maybe larger brakes on the front.

Other Facts: Celeste and Rudy own a durable medical equipment company. They enjoy the outdoors, going quad riding with the kids, racing the Corvette, and going to races. In 2000, Rudy was the series Grand Champion with a group called CARS, doing open road racing, in Nevada and Texas. Gary Becton and Rudy's nephew were his navigators during the races.