Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

I like Horsepower! Iowan's Passion Has Ranged from 638 HP to ... 2

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

I like Horsepower! Iowan's Passion Has Ranged from 638 HP to ... 2

Article excerpt

Entering a Corvette is something of an art form. Dale Den Herder says he more or less backs into the driver's seat. "I sit and pull my feet in," he explains. "Once you're in your seat, you're fine."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Den Herder has mastered that essential maneuver over years of collecting Chevrolet Corvettes, so many that he's lost count. He currently owns five, ranging from two 1965 models, a coupe and a convertible, to a red 2010 ZR1 model that packs 638 hp.

"I've always been kind of a gear-head," says Den Herder, chairman, president, and CEO of $550 million-assets American State Bank, Sioux Center, Iowa.

Many things can attract a driver to the iconic fiberglass-bodied car, but for Den Herder, it comes down to this: "I like it because it's really fast."

His ZR1 accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds--faster than you can read this sentence out loud. "I can't believe that they let ordinary people like me drive it," he says. "It is so fast. It's like a race car." (Check out an awesome video of a stock ZR1 on a race track at http://tinyurl.com/zrlattheRing)

Den Herder loves the quest for parts to restore older corvettes and working with professionals to upgrade mechanical details and body paint. The chrome work he does himself. Everything he owns can be driven, but the 1965s tend to stay behind in the special building that houses his collection.

"They're not as much fun to drive," says Den Herder. "They have older technology, and handle like the older cars. They're just not as comfortable. …

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