Messenger - Vol. 4, No. 4, Page 8
Leader of the pack

     Satab Bachmura Jr. is a "gear head" with a good heart. Bachmura,
Delaware '79, has a 1979 Corvette coupe that he takes out for special
reasons, such as to auto shows that raise money for spina bifida. He
and the car also will go the extra mile to raise contributions for the
Fair Acres Geriatric Center in Media, Pa., and Toys for Tots
     As an elected governor of the National Council of Corvette Clubs
(NCCC) and a member of the County Corvette Association (CCA) in Media,
Bachmura says he is proud that his local group has consistently raised
between $5,000 and $7,500 each year for charity, mostly through
admittance fees charged at auto shows. The more than 10,000 NCCC
members and their sponsors yearly raise tens of thousands of dollars
through rallies, raffles and races since the council adopted spina
bifida, the leading birth defect of newborns, as its cause.
     This year, the annual CCA May showcase starred big winners,
including Bachmura, the champion of the 1994 Eastern region of the
Concours d'elegance competition for Corvettes. Bachmura's Corvette
(his third) and the 51 trophies it has earned since he began showing
it in 1992 were a drawing card for the crowds.
     Bachmura and his coupe are taking a rest for much of the 1995
competition season. But, you can still catch them at charity events
because he just can't say no.
     You'll recognize this car when you see it. For a starter, though
its original sticker refers to the coupe's color as "black," that's
too lackluster a label for this car. It's more accurate to say this
car is the color of black lacquer buffed to the silvery-gray sheen of
polished hematite jewelry. The exterior offsets the car's alabaster
interior. The understated gloss of the jet enamel-finished engine is
interrupted only by the brilliance of chrome and stainless steel
replacement parts that Bachmura installed for dramatic effect. And,
yes, the engine is immaculate and luminous.
     The car has the kind of documented pedigree that a Westminster
Kennel Club Dog Show winner might envy. The car's two previous owners
took pains to minimize wear on the car (the '79 model had 6,000 miles
on it when Bachmura bought it five years ago). They also preserved its
window stickers and installment note, and passed them on to Bachmura's
archives. This car inspires devotion.
     Still, Bachmura is quick to concede that the car isn't flawless.
The original owner owned up to getting a stone chip in the front, and
his suspenders somehow left a mark on the white leather bolster of the
driver's seat. And there are minor stress fractures in the original
factory paint, invisible to the layperson.
     Bachmura cleans the finish with Liquid Onyx glaze to avoid wax
build-up. He has removed and soaked the engine bolts in a phosphate
solution. He has polished the hood clamps. All are things that
competition judges expect him to do to win.
     At Bachmura's level of competition, inspectors grade the car on
minutiae- everything from whether the clock tells the correct time to
whether any rust is on the horn mechanism in the engine. To cut down
on some wear and tear, both on the car and on his nerves, Bachmura
transports his car to shows on a trailer.
     A lab technician at DuPont's Experimental Station in Wilmington,
Del., Bachmura says, "From the time I was little, I've loved cars. I'm
a gear head. Motor oil is in my veins. I like all cars, but I love
                              -Priscilla Goldsmith, Delaware '78, '85M