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Rick Bowness and Corvettes: A match made in sports car heaven

The Stars interim coach sits down with senior staff writer Mike Heika to talk about his love for the automobile

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Stars interim coach Rick Bowness drives a 2015 Corvette. It is the fourth Corvette he has owned, and he said he's always had a love for the cars. Here, he details his history with automobiles in another On the Fly segment:

 

How did you first get into driving Corvettes?

When I got my license, I bought a 1967 MGB, and I had a great time. I wanted a Corvette, but I couldn't afford a Corvette, so I drove that MGB for two years and moved up to a 1970 MGB my last year of junior hockey. Then, when I could afford it, I moved up to a Corvette, a 1975 convertible. That's the one I wished I had kept, because they stopped making convertibles for 15 or 16 years, and that was a great car. But we got married and we had kids, and the Corvette just wasn't practical anymore.

 

How long were you between Corvettes?

So in 1999, we went to Phoenix, and it was down to just Judy and I and my daughter, and I bought myself a 1999 corvette. Then, I kept that until I traded it in in 2007. Then, I kept that one until I traded it in for a 2015. It's funny, I always loved the pop-up lights, so I didn't really like it when they went away from that. But when this new body style came out in 2014, I loved it, so I knew I had to have one.

 

What's it like to drive them?

The first one I had drove like a truck, but I loved having a four speed, and I loved the power and speed. Now, the one I have drives better than any car I've ever driven. It handles so well, it's so tight, and it's so much easier to drive. You are low to the ground, so you always have to deal with that, but it's a lot quieter than the other ones.

 

Is there something special about the feeling you get when you drive it, even if it's just a quick drive around town?

I like a two-seater, I like to shift, I like the way they handle. I try not to speed, but I do get to the speed limit a lot quicker. I just love driving. It might just be driving to the office in the morning or driving home after a game, it just feels good. Now, when you're in traffic here in Dallas, you do have to be careful, because some people don't know you're there. So I'm always careful of my surroundings, especially when I'm around big trucks because they might not see you. But it has 460 horsepower, goes zero to 60 in three seconds, and that's fun.

 

Former Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has taken some runs on a racetrack with his cars. Is that something you would like to do?

No, no. The guy who sold it to me said, `Oh, we've got to take this out on the track.' And I said no, I don't drive that fast. He was telling me he was going to get new tires and show just how fast it can go, and I said I was fine. I don't need that.

 

Does your wife like driving with you?

This one makes her nervous, because it is so powerful. She didn't mind the other ones, but this one scares her.

 

Is this the last Corvette you'll have or would you like to maybe try another one?

I'm eager to see these new ones with the motor in the back, so you never say never. I would guess this is going to be the last one, but I want to see the new one and drive it. (The 2020 Corvette is supposed to be produced soon).

 

Would you consider any other car?

No, I've always said if they gave me the choice between a Ferrari, a Maserati and a Corvette, I would always take the Corvette. I've just loved them since I was young. There's something to them.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika, and listen to his podcast.

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