Les and Kelly Rhoades
Tell us how you got started with a Corvette, how many you have owned?
In the past 20 plus years we have owned 6 different Corvettes and our current ride is a 2015 Night Race Blue coupe; 3LT, Z51, 8-speed automatic with magnetic ride control. As kids in High School Kelly drove a Mustang and I had a 1975 Mercury Bobcat (for fun, Google it). We purchased a sharp looking two tone silver 1981. It was a great entry level Corvette that we could afford. It was several years later (and our third Corvette) that we finally purchased our wholly grail of Corvettes. A 1972 Sunflower Yellow Rhoadester, 4-speed, white top, fully loaded with air conditioning. Over the next two years I rebuild everything from the suspension, engine, interior and new top. We received well over 30 trophies with that car. At that same show at Holiday Isle in the Florida Keys we received best of show out of over 300 Corvettes, which was picked by Corvette Engineer Dave McClellan himself. The trophy was called; Dave’s Pick. I still have the autographed trophy in my office. A job opportunity and move to Switzerland forced the sale.
Where do you live, number of kids, how did you meet? How long you’ve been married?
We currently live in Aurora, Colorado. Kelly and I met on a blind date, which was orchestrated by our mothers. Kelly was 19 and right out of High School and I was 24 and just finished my first hitch in the Air Force. We got married a year later and have been married for 30 years come this November. We have one daughter. Her name is Dana.
Sports or crafts you enjoy?
I’m a professional photographer so that tops the list of hobbies for me. I have published two travel books; one featuring Switzerland and the other one details Provence, France. Although we truly enjoy bowling, golf has become our new summer sport. We like to travel with our Corvette.
Where were you born, what brought you to Colorado?
Kelly was born in Florida and I’m from Vermont. A new job opportunity moved us to Colorado in 2009 from Switzerland where we had spent almost 10 years working at the US Embassy there.
Where do you work?
Kelly works for the Department of Justice and I run a home-based eBay store where I sell just about anything. I work for clients as well as list my own inventory.
Anything else you think the club members might enjoy.
I retired from the US Air Force in 1999. I was an aircraft maintenance technician and worked on fighter jets; F-4, F-15 and F-16 and others. One of the F-4’s I once worked on is now sitting on static display at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I have flown both the F-15 and the F-16…what a thrill. Kelly is the love of my life and we both enjoy the Corvette hobby equally.
Les and Kelly Rhoades