National Corvette Restorers Society

Several colorful Corvettes from the National Corvette Restorers Society visit the Princeton Train Museum on Wednesday as they travel to Kentucky, with the final stop being the Corvette convention in Las Vegas.

PRINCETON — Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society stopped to visit and enjoy the Princeton Railroad Museum on Wednesday.

Traveling from their home states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and more, the tourists looked forward to enjoying the small-town atmosphere. While on their way to Kentucky, participants expressed that they were interested in visiting the museum, thus marking Princeton as a stopping point in their trip.

Tour leader, Gary Dukeman, said that the main goal for the trip is to partake in the Corvette convention, which takes place in Las Vegas on July 14 — 19, which will see corvettes judged. These Corvettes will be judged based on their uniqueness and levels of restoration.

“The main goal is to restore the Corvette to how it was when it came off the showroom floor,” Dukeman said.

Arriving at the museum in an impressive stream of glistening vehicles, the members were eager to speak with guests about their prized possessions. Gary and his wife Andrea arrived in a sparkling blue 2016 Corvette.

“I got into Corvette’s when my brother stored his two 1961 Corvette’s in my garage,” Gary said, “When my kids left I thought I thought why not get into Corvette’s.”

Ranging in years, styles, and colors, the group offered a plethora of cars for guests to enjoy. Among the group, two couples were enjoying all of Princeton’s offerings and the sights to see.

Gene and Susan Manno, of Ontario, New York, and Dan and Mary Soldano, of West Deptford, New Jersey, have been members for a number of years. As the couples live so far away from one another, they aren’t able to visit often. The annual trip gives them the opportunity to catch up on their lives and enjoy the company.

“Each year we go to a different place,” Dan said, “We like going to places like this [Princeton] to see what the rest of the world is like.”

In order to see what their various destinations are truly like, the group prefers to travel on smaller highways rather than the larger interstates. “I love the backroads,” Susan said.

“On one trip we traveled 8,000 miles over three weeks,” Gene said.

Having visited 21 states and one province, the group have created a family tight bond with each other. “We laugh a lot,” Susan said.

Though the couples both travel in their respective vehicles, adorned on the back of the exquisite machines read declaring license plates. “These are our cars, not their cars,” Mary lovingly said regarding the ownership of the rides.

On the Manno’s the plate reads “SUZVETTE,” while the back of the Soldano’s says, “MARY C7.”

According to Gene and Dan, the majority of group members are retired and the trip gives them all exciting activities to participate in during the summer months. With their trips ranging from several days to a few weeks long, the members always look forward to where the road will take them.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com