Barrett Benson (member) and Patti Benson (non-member)
How long have you been a NCCC member? Since 1961
How long have you been a CCCC member? Joined in 2015 when club was formed
What Corvette do you currently own? We are fortunate to own two Corvettes: a 2014 torch red National Corvette Museum delivery coupe and a 2008 victory red convertible. The question frequently asked is “which one do you like best”? Of course the answer is the one we are driving at the time the question is asked. We love all Corvettes, but we are partial to red Corvettes.
In the past? Barrett started in Corvettes in 1960 with a red 1956 convertible with a white convertible top, red hard top, with a manual 3-speed tranny that he swapped for a 4-speed. He owned the Corvette while earning engineering degrees at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. Since the Corvette assembly plant was in St. Louis, Barrett made frequent visits to take the tours. After graduation from WU in 1964, he purchased an ermine white 1963 split window coupe that he took to Alaska while on active duty. In January 1967, he was transferred to Washington DC and purchased a Milano Maroon 1966 427 convertible with side pipes, removable hard top, and knock-off wheels. He added a tuxedo black 327 365 hp coupe, that he traded after two years for a yellow 1966 427 coupe with A/C to complement the 1966 droptop. We purchased a 1991 bright red convertible, but kept it only 4 months because a deer decided to play “chicken” with it on US 285 outside of Morrison, Co. The deer lost, but the 1991 was totaled. This called for the purchase of a 1994 torch red convertible and a 2002 coupe. In 2009, we got a 2008 convertible and in 2010, the 2002 Z06. One can never have enough Corvettes. During these years, Barrett was a member of 3 Corvette Clubs in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.
The Early Years: Barrett, hailing from Kansas City, Mo, met Patti, hailing from Indiana, in Illinois where both were working at a research laboratory. Patti was a technical editor of engineering and scientific manuscripts, and Barrett part-time as an engineer while pursuing an advanced degree at nearby University of Illinois. Barrett had the two 1966 Corvettes, so Patti knew what she was in for - a guy with Corvette fever. Within a year they left the humid Midwest in search of the Real West in Colorado! After settling in the Denver area, Patti continued her editing work with several agencies over the years while Barrett continued in engineering with the Environmental Protection Agency on enforcement assignments that took him all across the country and beyond, as distant as Alaska and American Samoa. Amid busy work schedules, they did manage a wonderful multi-week vacation in Hawaii, filled with snorkeling, sightseeing and seafood, and also took some fun camping trips to Vancouver BC, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone.
The Retirement Years: Now living in the mountains southwest of Denver, they enjoy a more relaxed pace. Patti she brushes up on piano skills by tickling the ivories now and then, and has enjoyed taking a variety of classes from Reiki to nutrition. And Barrett now has a chance to pursue several of his interests – foremost, Corvettes! He is also the past Vice President of the Buffalo Creek Gun Club, Secretary of the Radio Historical Association of Colorado, and loves watching baseball on TV. Living in the high country, at about 9,000 feet, they enjoy Mother Nature’s backyard pets, including Shep and Mooch (visiting deer), Michael J (red fox), Spanky (resident chipmunk), and many other critters (not to mention occasional bears) that come by for meals!
Favorite club activities: We love cruises where all we have to do is drive and enjoy the Corvettes. Barrett participates in auto crosses and car shows as a worker. His competition years are behind him. He finds that being a Master Ambassador for the National Corvette Museum for two Corvette Clubs is an honor that he takes seriously. Barrett is a lifetime member of the NCM and a lifetime member of NCCC. His original 1961 membership card in the NCCC designates him as a charter member.
What is your dream Corvette? We are driving them now, but the future might hold a C7 convertible to compliment the C7 coupe.
Anything else you would like to add? Having just celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary, we’re still happy to call Colorado home!