America’s Exotic Car

118
10084
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Corvette used to be America’s sports car. It will soon be America’s exotic car.

Something gained – maybe something lost.

The next one – on deck for 2019 – will apparently be mid-engined, exotic in itself and certainly by Corvette-historic standards. The pushrod/two valve V8 will still be there, of course – one assumes – but beyond that and the name, what else will this Corvette have in common with all the ones that came before?

Very little.

Probably this will also include the car’s price.

It is already high. Not yet quite exotic (six figures being the water mark) but. . . . getting there. The current car’s base price – $55,400 – is still a steal compared with what out-of-the-closet exotics go for (and the Corvette’s performance is actually better than a number of exotics) but it’s no longer just a bit of stretch more than it would have been back in the ’70s or ’80s, even, to get into one vs. getting into a loaded Z28, say.

In 1977 – 40 years ago – the base price of a new Corvette was $$7,768 ($30,765 in today’s money). A brand-new Z28, meanwhile, stickered for $5,170 ($20,475) that same year. The difference in dollars – if not percentages – wasn’t that forbidding.

Only about $2,000 (in 1977 money). If you could afford a new Z28, you could almost afford a new Corvette. It might take some saving, some crimping . . .  but, realistic.

Doable.

Today, 2017, a new Camaro SS (the latter-day equivalent of what the Z28 used to be, back in the ’70s) starts at $36,905 – about six thousand dollars more in real (inflation adjusted) dollars than a ’77 Corvette.

Granted, the ’17 SS has literally more than twice the power (a base ’77 Corvette with the standard L-48 350 packed all of 180 hp; the new SS has 420) and it has orders of magnitude superior brakes, wheels and tires, stereo and amenities generally.

Still, the fact remains: The new SS is now at the same economic level that the Corvette used to occupy . And the current Corvette is at a level occupied by . . . exotics. On the lower end of the scale, perhaps.

But no less so because of that.

The guy – and it is almost always a guy – who can afford a new SS probably can’t afford a new Corvette – which (like the Camaro) costs a lot more than a Corvette used to cost.

It’s already a big bump up from the cost of a ’77 Z28 to the cost of a ’17 SS – and it’s another $20k jump from There to Here. Not easily done – and probably not by the same guy.

It will be a different guy.

The next Corvette – the mid-engined one on deck for 2019 – makes this shifting marketing strategy explicit. Chevy is going full monte, whole hog.

Exotic layout. . .  probably exotic in price.

A new kind of buyer is being courted. The people buying Corvettes today are not the same kinds of people who bought Corvettes back in ’77. For openers, they do not wrench. They pay others to. They are upmarket people. Ferrari and Porsche people.

Exotic people.

That’s who Chevy is going fishing for.

There is, however, a potential rub.

Chevy.

One wonders whether they – Chevy, the people in charge – have considered this. The fact that an exotic and Chevy might make for an odd couple. Back in ’77, the guy who pinched a few pennies and moved from a Z28 to a Corvette didn’t mind getting his ‘Vette serviced at the same place the guys who bought Z28s (and Chevettes) got their cars serviced. It was not unlike having the nicest house on the block; maybe so – but you were still part of the same neighborhood.

But will exotic people cotton to having to sit in the same waiting room as Aveo-owning proles? Will Chevy ever have the cachet that Porsche does?

We are talking about an entirely different neighborhood. A gated community neighborhood.

Whether the Corvette is a superior machine may be irrelevant, once a certain price threshold has been reached. The level at which you are buying something more than lap times, G forces and top speed. A Kawasaki ZX1400 can toy with a Ducati on the race track. But the Ducati is a Ducati… and people (certain people) will happily pay twice the Kaw’s price to be able to say they own a Ducati.

And they don’t care that the Kaw is quicker around the track.

So it’s a gamble. A big one.

Chevy made a lot of hay out of beating the exotics on the race track with a car that didn’t have an exotic car price tag. It was a kind of automotive Trump presidential run – a tire-frying, sideways drifting Up Yours! to the brie-tasting, Bruno Magli-wearing Ferrari/Porsche people.

That was America’s sports car.

Bruce Springsteen, Heavy Metal, cruising on Saturday nights, hood i

What’s on deck is an exotic car that happens to be made in America.

Times change. Whether for the better we’ll soon find out.

If you like what you’ve found here, please consider supporting EPautos.

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! Especially this month; we’re low – see the pie chart on the main page.

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

EPautos
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: EPautos magnets are free to those who send in $20 or more to support the site. Please bear with as I have had to order a new batch; they should be here – and in the mail – within a couple weeks. 

  

 

 

Share Button

118 COMMENTS

  1. hello eric,
    brent, long time regular and good dude or not,
    has failed multiple times to simply read my comments, and then insulted me several times as well.
    i have stated multiple time about both the 60’s gt-40, and the ford gt from the 2000’s.
    he cannot seem to understand that i know the difference, and have referenced them both.
    everyone else seems to get it.
    both were available to the public.
    period.
    gt-40 to be allowed to race had to sell x-amount of cars to the public.
    they did.
    ford gt sold to the public … i walked onto a car lot with three of them available.
    bill eliot ford in georgia.
    brent cannot seem to get that through his head.
    i’m tire of his uninformed insults … he simple does not know what he is talking about … and then basically calls me a liar.
    he can either apologize, stop making comments about/to me, or go to hell.
    his choice.
    but i’m tired of it.
    he may be a great guy, and knowledgable in many car areas, but in this case he simply does not know what he is talking about and constantly trolls me.
    this has nothing to do with you, and i like reading your articles … sometimes i agree with you, sometimes i don’t … i recall a year or to ago you and i had a disagreement, but we were civil with each other.
    and i thank you for it.
    but some of your readers were not so civil.
    i don’t take that crap anymore.
    i give back.

    • Grey, now you play the victim? You have insulted me with terms like “sonny” and that I didn’t know what I was talking about. You did this right from the start. Then after several rounds of such behavior from you I respond with a tiny fraction of what you threw my way and then you whine while repeating the very same insulting thick-headed behavior. You need to apologize to me.

      The fact is it is you does not know what he is talking about. I was discussing the Ford GT. The first generation in 2005 and the second generation right now. You keep insisting on the irrelevant to this discussion Ford GT-40 which was fifty years ago. I was not discussing that car. Your failure to recognize that at this point has to be intentional.

      No dealership that cannot even afford a web page (there is no dealer named Bill Elliott Ford that comes up on searches) got three Ford GTs in 2005-2006. No Ford GTs were available on the lot for purchase by people who just walked in as new cars. Demand was too high for that. There is a major Ford dealer down the street from me. They add premiums to allocated cars and then sit on them for however long it takes to find someone who will pay it. I’ve seen them sit on cars for over a year until someone would pay the surcharge. Their Ford GT? Never saw it. Back in 2005 I would stop there regular too.

      There were only about 3900 2005-2006 Ford GTs for the US market. There are currently about 3300 US Ford Dealers. Probably more back in 2005. There is no way any Ford dealer in rural Georgia got three. None. Zero. Don’t care how much into racing they were, no way. Ford doesn’t work that way. They did in the 1960s, but that’s irrelevant to the discussion about the present era. 2017 and later Ford GTs require buyer approval by Ford itself.

      Your antics might work on Cliff and Norm at your local bar but they don’t work on me. If you saw anything from 2005 and later you were looking at used cars.

      • brentp,
        i’m not playing the victim.
        you don’t know what you were talking about.
        and your being dishonest.

        “What ever Bill Elliott Ford in Georgia was it apparently didn’t survive to the internet era so I doubt they sold any 2005 and later Ford GTs.
        Now it would be conceivable that some dealership may have been able to obtain three such vehicles but they would have to be a _HUGE_ dealership and I doubt they would have vanished between 2005 and today. At the very least the name you gave should have some internet presence. It does not. So you must be confused with the Ford GT-40 road going 289V8 models. These were sold to whomever showed up to buy them because they were made long before Ford’s instant collectable marketing program got started in the 1990s.”

        there you just called me a liar.

        “It was inside a small shop on Hwy. 183, now renamed Elliott Family Parkway, that it all started. Like his brothers Ernie and Dan, Bill’s passion for racing was instilled by his father George Elliott, whose Dahlonega Ford Sales dealership backed the family’s racing effort.”

        http://www.trueyellow.com/US/Dahlonega/Georgia/Bill+Elliott+Ford/4130502/info.asp

        wow !!! “no internet presence ” and yet i googled that in about one second.

        so apparently you are incompetent with google.

        “You’re talking about a different car at some dealership from fifty years ago. I’ve politely informed you multiple times and my politeness has run given your attitude.”

        no i’m talking about different cars … and have been talked about the gt-40, and the ford gt throughout my conversations … if you would have bothered to actually READ my comments you would know this.

        i made it very clear … as other commenter’s have noted.

        “There were only about 3900 2005-2006 Ford GTs for the US market. There are currently about 3300 US Ford Dealers. Probably more back in 2005. There is no way any Ford dealer in rural Georgia got three. None. Zero.”

        so now you call me a liar … again … well go blow.
        i saw them on the lot.
        and talked to the people who ran the lot.
        you are not privy to how ford works.
        period.

        you have insulted me again and again from the very beginning.
        if you cannot follow a simple conversation then keep your mouth shut and stay out of it.

        i mentioned the ford gt-40 in my first comment to the article.
        then i mentioned the ford gt in my second comment or so.
        both comments were relevant to the discussion with other commenters.
        you kept butting in with erroneous information.
        after awhile i finely had to correct you … which i had to do several times … because you could not simply look up the information … which took about 3 seconds for anyone to do … and then admit to yourself you were wrong.
        and you were wrong.
        now you compound that by continuing the insults.
        so yes … sonny … i will put you in your place.

        • Grey, your link is a yellow pages search, not a web presence. Where’s their web page? With their inventory, hours, parts department, used cars, etc and so on? It’s a dealership that doesn’t exist and probably hasn’t existed in decades if it ever did. There was a dealership owned by Bill’s father, George. It was a small dealership that was located in various buildings as indicated in this 1985 article: http://www.si.com/vault/1985/07/22/620583/bills-driving-em-bananas If it made it to 2005 there is no way in hell they would be allocated one let alone three new Ford GTs. But it didn’t make it to 2005.

          Click on the map link of your link. There’s no car dealership there. The Ford dealership in Dahlonega, Georgia is Chestatee Ford which has been open since 2001. It is located down the road from where this Elliott Ford might have been when that fossilized yellow pages entry was created.

          Chestatee’s webpages are here: http://chestateeford.net/ and http://www.chestateeford.com That’s what a new car dealership’s web presence looks like. BTW, the phone number you cite now gets routed to Chestatee Ford according to whitepages.com

          So apparently your Elliott Ford has been out of business for a long time and it’s business number routed to a different dealership.

          Simply put, there was no Bill Elliott Ford in 2005 since Ford would not have allowed two dealerships so close together. A four year old dealership would likely have not gotten an allocation for a Ford GT.

          How Ford allocates and sells its special cars has been public knowledge for over two decades. Ford enthusiasts know the processes well.

          You’re an automotive bullshitter. Stick with Norm and Cliff at the bar you’re out of your league here. You can continue to dig your hole. You’re not being called a liar, you’re being proven to be one. Keep digging. You should have bowed out when you merely looked mistaken.

          • i’m not gonna argue anymore … i know what i saw, and who i talked to.
            apparently you are the expert.
            so carry on.
            ford apparently only does what brentp wants.
            you have continually misrepresented what i have said.
            so be it.
            i’ve talked about the gt-40, and the gt. i know the difference and have been a car guy and a ford guy for decades.
            bill elliot still has records held in nascar … ford is intimate with it’s racing teams.
            who they give cars to … is probably up to them and not brent p.
            you may think i’m a automotive “bullshitter”, so be it.
            the opinions of an insignificant little nobody bother me not.
            I know you are a liar.

            • It’s not what I say, it’s what Ford does.

              You saw not one, not two, but three unspoken for available to anyone who walked up with the cash roughly $150,000 MSRP 2005/2006 Ford GTs at a small olde-tyme rural ford dealer that went out of business no later than 2001 and I’m the one lying who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You saw what you saw. If you did, you need to call Heather Wade and George Nory about how you slipped through the space-time continuum to a parallel universe.

              Save your stories for Norm and Cliff and maybe coast to coast am.

    • The Ford GT was never meant to be an accessible car. It was meant to be the opposite. A dealership reward car sold to those who had a personal relationship with the owners of said dealerships. The latest generation Ford decided who was worthy enough to buy one.

      • Brent, You’re exactly correct. Color me surprised when a guy picked one up from the dealer in Jim Ned, Tx., a wide spot in the road but evidently a well run dealership. It was the first and only time I ever got to look “under the hood” so to speak at a GT 40. It’s pretty impressive, a race car with a/c and stereo.

        • Hi Gray,

          Brent meant affordable. Built and sold doesn’t mean affordable. The Ford GT is a car in the same class as a Bugatti. Built and sold, sure.

          But to very, very few people.

          • first, my original comment was about the gt-40.
            america’s exotic … way before the corvette.
            you … and other commenters are confusing that with the ford gt.
            gt-40’s were made for civilian sales by ford.
            however, price was too high for average customer.
            second, ford gt’s were made for the public … i know several people who own them.
            i was stationed in north georgia when the ford gt came out met several owners who bought them from bill elliot ford in georgia.
            yes, rich people … but if i had the money i could have bought one off the lot.
            third, limited production does not necessarily mean only for the rich.
            if enough people would have bought them they would have continued production
            just like shelby’s today.

            • Dear Gray Man,

              Apparently there was some confusion over the GT-40 from the 60s, and the current Ford GT.

              As you correctly noted, the GT-40s were indeed sold to the public, albeit on a very limited basis. If I’m not mistaken, production minimums were required to qualify for the GT category cars that Henry Ford II pitted against Enzo Ferrari’s models.

              The film “The 24 Hour War” addresses the 60s era Ford vs. Ferrari war at Le Mans. A failed merger of Ferrari into Ford led to intense bad blood between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari. According to the film makers, the two men were determined to humiliate each other during a decade long pissing contest.

              The two car makers’ GT cars were definitely part of their sales promotional strategy. Winning races meant increased car sales.

              The film is pretty detailed. It covers Carroll Shelby’s role in helping Ford promote sales through the Cobra, the Daytona Cobra, the Ford GT, and so on.

              Good film. Well worth seeing.

            • Don’t think I woke in a different world but Corvette dates to 1953. They were powered by a Blue Flame, 150 hp engine mated to a Powerglide transmission and sped to 60 mph in a blazing 11.5 seconds.

            • The Ford GT-40 was made in the 1960s. You could buy those if you had 60s Ferrari like cash in your pocket.

              The Ford GT was made for a couple years starting in 2005 for the first generation as a dealer rewards car. You could only buy one if you had a very good relationship with a Ford dealer that sold enough cars to be rewarded. They were MSRP of about $150K.

              The current generation Ford GT you must have applied to Ford and been approved to buy one.

              http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/future-cars/news/a28809/heres-every-question-asked-on-the-ford-gt-buyer-application/

              “But even if you’re ready to spend $450,000 on Ford’s Dearborn supercar, you won’t be able to just walk into your local dealership and grab one. There’s an application process, and each buyer must be personally approved by Ford before they can custom-order one of the 500 GTs being built over the next two years.”

          • forth, the article is about “america’s exotic.”
            key word exotic.
            the ford gt-40, and the ford gt, both fit the “exotic” category.
            the corvette does not.
            the shelby’s and the corvette may fit in the same catagory, but the corvette is not “exotic”, while, in fact, some of the shelby’s are.

            • Hi Gray,

              What I was trying to get across in the article is that the Corvette is becoming an exotic. Both the Ford GT and the GT40 were (and are) exotics.

              • hi eric,
                i know and didn’t mean to start a ruckus.
                some of the young people here do not remember the power wars of the early muscle car era.
                “win on sunday, sale on monday.”
                i lived through a lot of that era.
                i wish i could have bought the last shelby 427 cobra, sold off the lot in 1974 for $4,000.00.
                if we only knew then what we know now.

                • Hi Gray,

                  No need to apologize – ruckus is good! We like a hearty debate!

                  And, yeah, on hindsight. I have a story for you, too. I had an opportunity, way back when I was a college kid, to buy a well-used but still intact and operational ’74 SD-455 Trans-Am, with its SD engine still in it.

                  For $4,200.

                  But it might as well have been $42,000 for a 19-year-old college kid and so the SD slipped away…

        • At 150K a pop plus dealer mark up for the 2005 era ones. I don’t even know about the current generation. Probably a lot more. And it’s not accessible if you can’t go down to the Ford dealer and order one or buy one off the lot.

          For the current generation of Ford GT buyers had to _apply_ to Ford and Ford decided if they were worthy of owning one. That’s not accessible, road car or not.

          • I’ve slept a couple days since 2008 but seems like the driver, a good friend of the owner, told me he though it was bought for 180K or so. I think that might have been the total for everything including taxes….or not. I just know the owner was driving a new Lambo or something, don’t recall what because I never saw more than bits and pieces of it. He had just had his meds changed for ADHD and zoned out on a bridge with concrete guard rails, old school road, turned the car into shreds. The only time I saw the guy was when the DPS unloaded him, cuffed, at the hospital. He didn’t look well. A guy can’t even have a wreck anymore without being cuffed and taken for a drug test. The car did little damage to the bridge, just made the old concrete look white.

            I have a real problem with bs like this. If he’d caused harm to someone that would have been a situation that might have warranted that response but simply wrecking your own car? What a shitty country this has become.

            • Dear 8,

              Back in the 60s, when Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden were demonizing America, my college friends and I vehemently objected to their gross exaggerations about America’s shortcomings.

              Now sad to say, 40 some years later, their characterization of America as a fascist dictatorship actually fits like a glove.

              Not that it vindicates them of course. The New Left and the New Right took turns transforming this into a shitty country.

          • I see more than a few more mundane “exotics” here on the streets of Metropolitan Taipei.

            Many spoiled sons of industrial tycoons here on Taiwan tool around in their late model Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and Aston Martins. Seated next to them are their trophy girlfriends or wives.

            They do jackrabbit starts from stoplights, then slam on the brakes two blocks down when the light turns red. Taiwan is simply too small and crowded. There are no stretches of road where one can really let er rip.

            It’s all about image and status.

            The irony is that if fun was what they wanted to experience, they could have saved a bundle and bought Mazda Miatas instead. I’ve seen a few of those parked near where I live as well.

            As many here have noted before “It is more fun to drive a slow car fast, than to drive a fast car slow”.

            • Just because one dealer had 3 doesn’t mean any dealer could get one, because they couldn’t and can’t, even today. Same goes for Corvette is you want to get technical. Many GM dealers don’t qualify to sell Corvette’s.

            • What ever Bill Elliott Ford in Georgia was it apparently didn’t survive to the internet era so I doubt they sold any 2005 and later Ford GTs.

              Now it would be conceivable that some dealership may have been able to obtain three such vehicles but they would have to be a _HUGE_ dealership and I doubt they would have vanished between 2005 and today. At the very least the name you gave should have some internet presence. It does not. So you must be confused with the Ford GT-40 road going 289V8 models. These were sold to whomever showed up to buy them because they were made long before Ford’s instant collectable marketing program got started in the 1990s.

              • “What ever Bill Elliott Ford in Georgia was it apparently didn’t survive to the internet era so I doubt they sold any 2005 and later Ford GTs.”

                have you not heard of google ?
                bill eliot raced for ford – nascar.
                maybe you should do a little research BEFORE your start arguing with me.
                i can see you want to be the smartest kid .. with all the answers … but rather than run your mouth … do some research.
                bill elliot:
                William Clyde “Bill” Elliott (born October 8, 1955), also known as Wild Bill, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, or Million Dollar Bill, is a retired NASCAR driver. He won the 1988 Winston Cup Championship and has garnered 44 wins in that series, including two Daytona 500 victories in 1985 and 1987 and a record four consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway between 1985 and 1986. He holds the track record for fastest qualifying speed at Talladega at 212.809 miles per hour (342.483 km/h) and Daytona International Speedway at 210.364 miles per hour (338.548 km/h), both of which were set in 1987; the mark at Talladega has since been the fastest speed for any NASCAR race ever.
                Elliott won NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award a record 16 times. He withdrew his name from the ballot for that award after winning it in 2002. In 2005, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue declared October 8 as Bill Elliott Day in the state of Georgia.He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on August 15, 2007 and into the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Elliott has also been honored by the state legislature with a stretch of roadway in his native Dawsonville renamed Elliott Family Parkway.
                i lived through this era i am talking about sonny … and have researched ford performance cars for decades.

                • I know who bill elliot was. The dealership was owned by his father george. There is no Bill elliot ford dealership in business in the 21st century with an internet presence. So, your subject change aside you don’t know what you’re talking about with regard to the Ford GT.

                  • brentp …I’m not sure what the 21st century has to do with anything i said.
                    your nonsense aside i was in the army, stationed in north georgia.
                    dahlonega to be exact.
                    bill eliot ford was a few miles down the road … and had 3 ford gt’s for sale in the lot. i know because i went and looked at them. and i talked to the salesman. if i had the money, i could have driven one off the lot.
                    ya’ just don’t know what you are talking about sonny.

                    • You’re talking about a different car at some dealership from fifty years ago. I’ve politely informed you multiple times and my politeness has run given your attitude.

                      I don’t know if you’re trolling me or you’re senile and can’t tell 1965 from 2005 from 2017 or what. The Ford GT is a 21st century car sold with Ford’s 21st century special model marketing schemes. It’s not the 1960s any more. You can’t just go into a dealership and buy whatever you want at MSRP. If you want ford’s special models you have to play ford’s games. For the 2017 Ford GT you had to apply last year or the year before and be approved by Ford to buy one. And have nearly a half million dollars in your pocket to pay for it.

                  • “You’re talking about a different car at some dealership from fifty years ago. I’ve politely informed you multiple times and my politeness has run given your attitude.

                    I don’t know if you’re trolling me or you’re senile and can’t tell 1965 from 2005 from 2017 or what. The Ford GT is a 21st century car sold with Ford’s 21st century special model marketing schemes. It’s not the 1960s any more. You can’t just go into a dealership and buy whatever you want at MSRP. If you want ford’s special models you have to play ford’s games. For the 2017 Ford GT you had to apply last year or the year before and be approved by Ford to buy one. And have nearly a half million dollars in your pocket to pay for it.”

                    and i don’t know if you are an idiot or illiterate.
                    i made myself clear multiple times.
                    i have talked about both the ford gt-40 from the 6o’s and the ford gt from a few years ago.
                    BOTH and i mean BOTH were available to the public.
                    period.
                    because YOU could not buy one does not mean they were unavailable.
                    now if you cannot simply read my previous comments, and follow a simple conversation, stop responding with your uninformed asinine gibberish to me.
                    you simply do not know what you are talking about.

    • The Nash-Healey was pretty exotic for its time as well! Then there was the Muntz Jet. There have probably been exotics of one type or another as long as there have been cars.

    • Dear gray man,

      I tend to agree. Subjectively speaking, the Corvette never came across as an exotic to me. When I think of Corvette and Chevrolet, I tend to think of Thunderbird and Ford. I think “personal luxury car”.

      The racing documentary “The 24 Hour War” has just been released on video. It’s about Ford’s battle with Ferrari at Le Mans during the 60s.

      The car they put up against Ferrari was the GT-40 variants.

      • Morning, Bevin!

        Or to me.

        There were exotic versions, such as the L-88 and ZR-1. But the regular Corvette was for most of its history a sports car that could compete with exotics as far as power/performance but which was not exotically priced.

        The current Corvette performs as na exotic but is increasingly priced that way, too.

        • Corvette less an exotic price was the entire point of course. Once the small block V-8 was stuck in the Vette Ford promptly dropped the “sport” from T bird and targeted another type of owner. The L-88 was exotic as it had no radio or heater and was simply a track car and when you found one on the street there was no doubt you weren’t going to win that race.

          OTOH, Ford had 1 good engine back then and how often did you see a 427 side oiler? Nearly every Cobra back then had a small block in it. And while Ford may have been “in the race”, it didn’t transfer to a car you could actually run on the street and back then and still today, street cred is the way most people view a car and the company that made it.

          Recently, Jeff Gordon drove the winning Caddy home from the race and the two Caddy’s that competed finished 1 and 2. What did Ford have in that race? Nothing. Last Ferrari I bought was….oh wait, that was a dream.

          • Dear 8,

            “Last Ferrari I bought was….oh wait, that was a dream.”

            Just as well. If you ever owned a Ferrari, you’d have to turn in your man card. LOL.

            • bevin, good one. I’ll have to remember that. Back in those days it would have been people like me who would have tuned the Ferrari’s for the crusty types who owned them.

              You’re correct on the point about cheap performance and cheap guns too. My neighbor, who is 30 years old looks more practically at guns than I even though I own a model 70. He recently showed me his new Mossberg .243 and I’m thinking before I saw it “why doesn’t he spend a bit more since he can?”. Then I saw it and it had a fluted bolt, a full floated barrel in a black synthetic stock and a 6X32X40 scope on it. Well, the scope is a Burris and while it does what it claims, it isn’t even in the same realm of a Leupold. Still, the gun is a tack driver and shoots sub-MOA with a very slick action. I saw how well it worked when he came to see a historic part of the county on my property, a dugout people lived in back near the turn of the century. My wife and I and I suppose no one we knew every realized the significance of it till 30+ years ago when we happened to be speaking with an octogenarian who told us he lived in it when he found out where we lived. He mentioned the well 30 feet away too and then we met another person who had lived in it. A small world indeed. While we were looking he saw a coyote looking at us just barely visible through the pasture grass a couple hundred feet away. We are plagued with a plethora of varmints these days and that coyote being one of them. He asked if he could shoot it and I said “please”. He got out that gun and plugged it toot sweet, a perfect center shot right below her head.

              Back in the 70’s I started buying Colt AR’s after I shot a friend’s gun and nailed a crow 100 yds away in a 50 mph dirtstorm. Back then people thought the guns were inaccurate due to the bs told about them during Vietnam. I put the lie to that going to turkey shoots and shooting all they’d allow with it when you only had a turkey head to shoot at. The same 4 of us would pile into my Impala with a trunk full of guns, a cooler of beer and various other things and go to turkey shoots all day Sunday on the week-ends. So many companies now make sub MOA or sub .5 MOA AR’s I wouldn’t even consider one that wasn’t of that quality. Amazing how good ol USA guns are superior to most foreign exotics although I’m still a Sig and HK man when it comes to handguns.

              • Dear 8,

                The new batch of budget bolt action sporters, especially the Ruger American Rifle, owes almost everything to Savage. Savage pioneered the technology that made sub MOA custom rifle accuracy possible in a cheap mass produced gun.

                http://www.savagearms.com/performance/

                Savage’s headspace control method, barrel bedding method, and floating bolt head, for example, make one wonder why gun industry experts failed to come up with Savage’s innovations long ago.

                Why was glass-bedding the only solution for improving accuracy all that time? Hit or miss glass bedding has to be the stupidest method ever devised for improving rifle accuracy.

                Ruger deserves credit for acknowledging Savage’s genius through imitation, the sincerest form of flattery.

                • bevin, great link. Glass bedding isn’t hit or miss but it only addresses the stock/barrel thing. I use a sling to shoot because I learned that way and can’t imagine how anybody could hold as steady without it. Putting all that stress on the barrel itself can and does change the POI on many guns. I never noticed a difference in POI on an AR held this way and it’s accuracy when in a gun vise or sand bagged which made me wonder how much side load on a barrel actually did affect any gun. A Parke Hale .243 I had with a pencil barrel would put 3 almost together and the 4th would be a flyer by and inch or so when shot steadily.

                  • What I meant was that glass bedding is utterly dependent upon the skill of the aftermarket gunsmith doing the work.

                    The rest of the gun industry should have been making an effort to reach the same rock solid, free floated bedding system that Savage invented. But they didn’t.

                    Ruger, to its credit, at least was willing to follow Savage’s lead, and come up with a good variant on Savage’s metal to metal barreled action to stock mating system.

                  • Have to admit that the AR for all its faults, was dramatically more accurate and effective at longer ranges than the AK.

                    The deliberately loose tolerances that made the AK so resistant to jamming, was unfortunately also responsible for its “minute of pie plate” accuracy. LOL.

                    • Bevin, AR has few faults now. Neighbor bought a new call box used it today, had a bobcat rubbing on it in 15 minutes Lol

                  • Great links.

                    Aren’t they?

                    I always believed that manufacturers of any industrial product should find ways to mass produce custom hand made tolerances without custom hand made labor costs.

                    The Savage headspacing system was pure genius.

                  • I was never an AR fan. But even I admit that the AR has over time, been refined to the point where it has overcome many of its innate deficiencies.

                    It’s sort of like the rear engine Porsches. Having the engine hanging out over the rear axle is fundamentally a design flaw that dooms a car to terminal oversteer.

                    But through Herculean effort, the rear engine Porsches have been made to work, against all odds.

                    “Porsche’s mid-engine Boxster and Cayman models exhibit the quicker reflexes and better balance when changing direction that the mid-engine layout provides. Even though they are lower in Porsche’s pecking order, those cars have better handling in the twisties.”

                    http://www.maxim.com/rides/porsche-first-mid-engine-911-2016-11

                    Sad how Porsche insists on positioning its superior mid engine cars below its innately inferior rear engine cars.

                    • bevin, one undeniable thing to an AR is such little recoil you don’t lose your sight picture and see the results letting you send another and correct if needed, the ultimate varmint gun. Now there are iterations for everything. I get 39 more tries before changing mags

                    • True.
                      No argument there.
                      It is unquestionably advantageous to have so little recoil that one can retain one’s sight picture for a follow up shot.

          • “OTOH, Ford had 1 good engine back then and how often did you see a 427 side oiler? Nearly every Cobra back then had a small block in it. And while Ford may have been “in the race”, it didn’t transfer to a car you could actually run on the street and back then and still today.”
            289, 302, 351, 427, 428, 429, 460 … etc
            hardly one engine.

        • Dear Eric,

          “The current Corvette performs as na exotic but is increasingly priced that way, too.”

          That’s a shame. The whole point of the 60s era muscle cars, especially the rock bottom cheapest ones, such as the early Road Runners, was bang per buck.

          Once the car is no longer a high value low price item, its appeal rapidly diminishes.

          I’ve been reading how surplus Mosin Nagants are now selling for nearly 300 bucks. For that money, you might as well get any of the new breed of budget bolt action sporters from Ruger, Savage, Mossberg, et al for 350 to 400 bucks.

          • $300? That’s awful. They were $60 or so when I considered getting one in the early ’90s. My rifle nowadays is a Springfield M1A. It’s durably built like military rifles are, but a little more finished. Having only one good arm makes bolt actions a little harder to handle for me.

  2. I once owned a ’73 Monte Carlo with plenty of special accessories that I now regretfully traded off for a “car of the year” clone of the Ford Escort. You see, I was in my early 20’s back in the early “80’s, and my cars transmission was making weird noises as it shifted + the vinyl top was ripping apart. I traded that excellent car in for a piece of crap Mercury Lynx that was only a year old! It was a 5 door hatchback, and it could only do 55 mpr in a quarter mile if I manually shifted its automatic tranny, and it would top off at 88 mph.
    I then went shopping for a better car in the late 80’s. I wanted to buy a Buick Grand National, but I quickly learned that I lacked sufficient funds and credit. I almost bought a Nisson Pulsar, but my monthly insurance payments for it was nearly half of what my loan payments would have been.
    I then test drove an inline 6 cylinder Camaro on a test drive, but it lacked the spunk that I sought and my insurance payments would have remained very high. Keep in mind that nearly all cars in the late ’80’s wre pathetic performance-wise. I settled for an ’87 Cavalier Z-24 with a HO 2.8L V-6 engine which had vastly more spunk than the Camaro did, and my insurance costs dropped dramatically! This car very badly needed an overdrive gear, but I loved it never-the-less! I have actually road raced a Camaro with it, and it outperformed the non-Z28 Camaro! Racing with the car beside me at a stoplight wasn’t even in my mind when the light turned green and I heard him floor it. I did likewise. He was about 1.5 car lengths ahead of me and we were accelerating at the exact same rate. I was able to gain on him every time we hit a rise in the road. We finally came upon a stoplight and had to shut them down, but my bumper was even to the front of his door by that time. I had been running at 110 mph with the tach in the red in the 5500 or so RPM range. That car could have easily handled one more gear.
    Sadly, the sideways engine motor mounts wore out and quickly destroyed the transmission, so I sold it to someone who had time to replace it. I had no idea that my mounts had worn out on this car which only had a little more than 100,000 miles on it, and I had no idea that worn mounts could ruin a transaxle.

    • Brian, a friend with a ’77 Z 28 that burned to the ground was in the need of a new vehicle or two. He bought a new ’82 Vette and then a slightly used Vette, a his and hers thing(his used). His insurance payment for two people early 30’s no tickets or wrecks amounted to more than his car payments.

      I can only wonder if that same 30 year old husband and wife with clean records are facing that sort of insurance now on a new Vette. That could really screw the pooch on being affordable.

      • 8southman, back then the speed limit was 55, so of course I had points against my license. My previous car. the ’73 Monte Carlo, had a pair of burned out 12 inch glass packs and a stuck open smog motor. That car was super loud when I floored it, and a few seconds after I let off of it you would hear a BANG, POP,pop,pop,pop. I have literally set off alarm systems with my exhaust pipes, and I have literally seen the reflection of white light in the grassy ditches beside me with that car. Additionally, one of the tail pipes were jeggedly split outward like an exploded aerisol can. Well, I floored it leaving my small town, and I returned to town about a half hour later figuring that the local cops wouldn’t know that it was I who had made so much noise earlier. Well, I got pulled over and the cop threatened to give me a DUI test if I didn’t accept his reckless and imprudent driving ticket. I had indeed been drinking a couple of beers, but I was far from being drunk. I thought that he was doing me a favor, but I learned otherwise when I received my insurance bill! I was not nearly as educated as I am now about dealing with cops. He had no proof that I was the one making all of that noise+ nothing I did was reckless! My tires didn’t even spin! (i wanted them to last)

        • Brian, never let it be said a cop doesn’t have a plethora of lies for every situation.

          In my younger days my MO was often cut-outs open. Probably few here remember cut-outs that were eventually made illegal. I loved the flames at night and with compression ratios often being close to 12-1 that wide open exhaust was music to a teenage ear and devil worshiping to the old farts.

          I was about to leave my parent’s house with my best friend and decided it was easier to remove 2 1/2″ pipe plugs cold than hot so a couple minutes with the old adjustable wrench and they were where they should be, in my view, inside the car.

          I roll in on the farm road, get to the highway and head out of town. The electric company had a huge parking lot and were right inside the city limits. A couple blocks after turning we see all the hot cars on this lot and thinking we were missing something headed that way……slowly. Ah shit, then we saw the cherries on the lights of the local DPS and drove by slowly. in neutral, idling…..trying to not make any noise. Naturally both DPS and everybody else stopped talking and stared at us going by.

          Not being a total fool I costed it as far as it would go, not out of sight as I’d liked. Everyone could see us from the parking lot when it rolled to a stop. We got out raised the hood and bs’s about what we might be doing and I took time to fiddle with this and that but it was all for show since I’d just tuned her up. We decided the problem was under so we looked under it all around while it was cooling and finally took the plugs and inserted them from the other side of the car where they couldn’t see, the problem being, it was way too close to the ground to get to the driver’s side so I got down to look under it, my friend threw me the plug and I screwed it in hand tight. Well, not much to do but ease back into town where the crowd waited and pull into the lot with the DPS motioning to pull in. He starts in on me and says he’ll repeat what he was telling everyone else, No Damned open exhaust or we’d be getting multiple tickets since town wasn’t a race track and blah blah blah and did we understand? Heads bobbing up and down so he finally leaves. Then everybody breaks out in a big guffaw at me driving right into the shitty and nobody else had their cut-outs open.

          So, like every other Satiddy night we ended up on a farm road less than a mile from town, exhausts wide open and it was race city. Of course the DPS heard it and came fast so we all split, some taking the dirt road at the end of the quarter and some, like myself, with little to lose, just nailed it and out ran the black and white. We decided to go to another town and just kept going for it. We knew what we’d find if we kept going on that road, the cops at the other town waiting for us. We stopped and corked it and took a route that had us coming back in the opposite direction. I managed to hit a backstreet and go through town on city streets and back to the house. We parked in the back yard. My parents were out there enjoying the evening. Why are yall back so early? Oh, we decided to go fishing or rabbit hunting. We loaded the cooler and guns into the pickup and cruised town for a while, then went backroading and shooting signs for few hours. Drove by the DPS’s house and being it was late, the car was sitting there still tinking with heat. Then we changed vehicles and went back to town. All right, which one of you sumbitches wants to race? By this time they knew a ’66 SS a guy who lived about a quarter mile from me owned and my car being in town were the only contenders. That was typical. Back then Tx. had n points system and still doesn’t but has a maximum allowable tickets which works fairly much the same. I think it was that year I had 13 tickets but got them in enough counties I didn’t have to go to court. Oh, I got a ticket for loud exhausts with brand new Cherry Bombs on the car, receipt in my bill fold showing they were less than a month old. JP in Slaton, Tx. just didn’t give a shit about the receipt and fined me for them anyway, the DPS’s word trumping anything I had to say or any evidence to the contrary. Guilty, guilty as charged. The Dewey Cox Story.

    • Great story! Yep: My first car was an ’82 Mustang L: 2.3L 4cyl w/3speed automatic. That car was the absolute worst car I had ever owned! Leaked more oil than gas. On a road trip to Syracuse and back (from DC) it took a case of oil! However, it *did* get me through my college years. I got out of college in ’89 and was itchin’ to get a new car, and was looking hard at Miata’s, 240 SX’es and Celicas. I knew then *not* to get any 4cyl car from any domestic manufacturer. (That adage still holds true today, BTW) I decided to try Ford (and the Mustang) one last time. However, this time it was an ’88 GT w/5.0L and 5sp manual. One of the best cars I’ve ever owned. Had to trade it once 2nd kid came along. (Shoulda kept it).

      • One of my college dorm mates told about his HS car (he didn’t even try to bring it to college) – a 56 Chevy. He kept a 5Gal. can of Sears reprocessed oil in the trunk, and never bothered to check the dipstick. If he could see out the rearview mirror, it was time to stop and add oil.

    • A transaxle should not be internally affected by simply worn mounts. The CVs allow for great deal of movement and that’s where the movement would be absorbed. Unless of course GM did something cheap that made something rigidly mounted where additional movement of the engine and trans would cause problems. I can’t think of anything like that, but GM being GM….

      If the mounts get worn enough there’s thumps and other noises/vibrations that happen that should get one’s attention. I suppose some people might ignore them, but ones worn badly enough to throw things way off should be undeniable.

      • That surprised me too Brent. I tried to find an online explanation for that to no avail. This happened well before computers and the internet became popular. I was a truck mechanic back then, and I sure as hell would have noticed a thumping in the engine compartment. I described how my tranny was acting to a car mechanic, and he told me to check the mounts because that was almost certainly the problem. I got a long pry bar to rock the engine with and sure enough, two of the mounts were bad, but one was good. I had just been hired to drive truck otr, so I paid someone to replace the mounts in the hopes that the problem would go away. It didn’t, so I sold the car cheap to someone who had the time and skills to replace the tranny. I also moved away, so I never saw that mechanic or my car again.

    • I disagree. I think if GM wants to build a mid-engine car — a proper sports car, as the chaps on Top Gear would probably say — let them introduce a new nameplate and leave the Corvette whatever it has always been. They HAD one, 30 years ago, if only they hadn’t put that stupid 2.5 and later the 2.8 in it. A 3.8 or a 5.0 in a Fiero? Yeah, maybe the name Pontiac wouldn’t just be a city in Michigan these days…

  3. My guess would be that future Corvette owners won’t have to take their exotics in for service. The local Corvette-certified dealer will send a Silverado with a trailer to their home to pick it up, and return it washed & with a full gas tank.

  4. If I can afford it, I’d buy one. I love mid-engine cars, and I love wrenching on cars myself. My current track-car is a mid-engined Lotus Elise, and the handling is like nothing else out there. I run comparable lap times to high horsepower cars despite having less than 220 HP, I simply don’t have to slow down as much as they do for turns. The Elise has an engine from a Toyota Celica (they made like a million of these things), so parts are plentiful and cheap.

    That’s the allure of Corvettes for people like me. Vettes have the second biggest after-market parts industry out there, second only to the Miata. You can buy corvette rotors cheaper than those for a economy car, and have a slew of upgrades to choose from too. Now, messing with the Corvette formula will make some of those parts unusable, but they will probably still dip into the GM parts bin for most things.

    If they come up with an affordable “exotic” for people who care more about driving than image, they may have something on their hands. It won’t be a “corvette”, and I think they know that, but it could be its own excellent thing.

  5. Eric, you mention the exotic people hanging in the waiting area with the proles. I can relate. Here in my Central Pennsylvania college town, the local Mercedes dealer also owns a buy here – pay here sub-prime used car franchise. To make sure that their Mercedes customers never have to rub shoulders with the common folk, they intentionally placed the sub-prime dealership a good mile away from the Mercedes store.

    • Hi Kitty,

      Yup!

      I don’t blame them.

      I would not be surprised to see GM require that Chevy stores wanting to sell Corvettes have a separate service/waiting area and other amenities for these customers.

      • eric, you are aware only certain dealers can sell a Vette aren’t you? Since 1 in every 6 pickups sold are in Tx. the dealers here almost always have a separate facility just for light trucks and another for used light trucks.

        • I would like to own a ’78 Corvette with the L-82 350 and four speed. That was a nice package. The new car is, of course, much speedier. But it’s an air-bag festooned computer-addled throw-away with no character.

          • That ’78 could be tuned to go a-lot faster then it does stock too. It’s tiny compared with the Corvettes of the last decade or so. My neighbor was showing his 2000 at a local car show, and the guy next to him had a ’78 or ’79. Those late 1970’s ones are dwarfed size wise by the new ones.

            (funny side note: when google maps updated their overhead pics, my neighbor had his parked outside, since its bright red, its very clear what it is).

          • eric, the L 82 was under-rated as far as stated power. Throw the intake, exhaust and smog pump in the woods and replace with something like the highest rise Edelbrock Victor 180 degree or Weiand Team G intake, a good tube header and whatever you could fit where the factory mufflers would go in 2 1/2″ and they’d make considerable power. I’d say use angle plug heads but you’d probably never find a set of headers to fit them.

              • Hi Eric,
                the L82 used much less desireable 882 (smog) casting heads vs. the 186/487 heads found on the earlier LT1 motors. Not to mention two points lower compression vs. the 1970 LT1.
                Even the 487s found on the 330hp LT1s were open chamber heads (thus the lower compression ratio).
                I would be impressed if you got much over 300 crank hp out of a 350 with unported 882s (not to mention factory pistons with a probable quench height of .060″+).

                  • IIRC it was a 4 bolt main block. Beyond that, I dunno.
                    Sometimes I think the general forgot how to build motors for a (long) stretch beginning in the early 70s…

                    • Back then it was the “drive it like an old lady on Sunday, drive it like an on Monday”. 55 mph, WTF does anyone need power for, esp. since we’re sitting on our asses not trying to make any power and selling cars on our former glory days.
                      Those days of letting the bean counters build a car nearly did in the entire domestic car industry when you could get a turbo Celica that would eat any Detroit iron for lunch. Hell, if it doesn’t make power for get the good parts. I’m surprised they didn’t start making non-balanced engines. You could only get a 305 in a half ton pickup the next year. I had a ’77 Silverado with a 350 and a friend had a 78 that wouldn’t sniff the exhaust on the ’77. Who knows what evil lies in the heart of a corporate bean counter? Plenty of it for certain.

                      Those under-powered pickups due to CAFE and GM not having enough shit cars left Ford with the pickup market given to them by proxy. Who wants a 307 work truck?….nobody after a few buy one and they aren’t worth throwing away. Years of GM pickups were literally engine transplanted by owners, generally, the second owner(I got a killer SBC out there in that wrecked (fill in the blank). We’ll take the 307 out and let the scrap guy have it. I recall people taking out SBC’s and putting in the “spare” 454 dual carb engine with the TH 400 that was with it. Pretty soon that car rear-end was in the scrap pile and the old full-floater out of a crewcab was installed via a new driveshaft along with 3/4 or 1 ton springs and shocks. I know, it was me…..and I still have it except mine was a single carb.

                    • Hi Eight,
                      the old man put a warmed up 468 (somewhere between 400-450 hp) into an 86 1/2 ton RCSB chevy once.
                      The motor was originally to go into our Super Gas car but plans changed so we swapped out the Brodix heads for some 781s and stabbed in a mild-ish hydraulic cam in lieu of the solid roller.
                      Nice upgrade from the rolling asthma attack 305 it came with, had to get it rolling 50+ mph before going WOT unless you wanted to burn rubber…
                      Also have had an F150 with a (stock) 460 transplant and another F150 that got a (stock again) 455 poncho in it.
                      The stock 455 pushed that 4000# truck to 14.30s in the 1/4 mile.

                  • dbb, eric, I loathed the 80’s. My not so car-wise sister bought herself a brand new Toronado, I’m thinking an ’86. Big 307 pulling all that weight. It was pitiful. I drove it some years into use. I needed to stop fast to avoid a deer. I stood on the brake and it eventually slowed to a stop with nary a chirp of a tire. I told her son, my nephew, that car needed a brake job bad and told him what happened. He said it was that way from day one. Of course she loved it. It was such a good car. It handled like a rowboat and was about as speedy and stopped almost as quickly. Hell, it was weak in the ass too, something rare to an Olds. pssssssss, wow, we’re really moving now…..passssss, that badass exhaust note.

  6. I hate the idea, but I do believe they’ll find buyers for them. Ford successfully sold the last GT to wealthy car collectors. Not sure how much interest there will be with this new EcoBoost model. The new one is nowhere near as attractive as the last one. The last GT retained almost every design element from the original GT40.

    I do believe cars are deliberately becoming more expensive to discourage average folks from owning a car “in order to slow the effects of climate change”.

    • Hi Handler,

      The new Ford GT is so rare they’re not even putting them in the press fleet … and getting into a Corvette has become like getting into a Lamborghini.

      When it’s hard for a car journalist to get a ride you can imagine where things are headed!

  7. Be careful to be specific when referring to the “Camaro SS”

    The lovely Holden Commodore (Just SS here) looks like a really great sleeper, and it’s too bad Holden has been sent to the glue factory. 🙁

  8. “A Kawasaki ZX1400 can toy with a Ducati on the race track.

    And they don’t care that the Kaw is quicker around the track.”

    What’s a ZX1400? Do you mean ZX-14R? And the only track a ZX-14R is going to toy with (most) Ducati models is in the quarter.

    “Around” the track a ZX-14R is going to get destroyed by all but the low end Monsters or supermotos.

  9. Jerry Seinfeld had a good line about the Ford LTD. “LTD stands for Limited. You know what it’s limited to? How many of these damn things we can sell, that’s what it’s limited to!”

    Once Chevy started limiting production -and announcing the number- on the Corvette it was the beginning of the end for making it attainable. My third grade teacher had a low end C3, which made her about the coolest woman on Earth. A midlevel bank exec who went to our church bought his daughter a used C4 when she graduated college. You’d see them around town, daily drivers. Old guys looking for a hobby picked up used ‘vetts on the cheap because they were more drivable than the antiques tooling around the car shows but still turned heads (and didn’t have a lot of body rust to deal with). There wasn’t anything overly special about them, but they were special anyway because of they are completely impractical if you have kids and a dog. Single women bought them because they could afford the insurance. Single men who could otherwise make the monthly payment didn’t, because the insurance mafia claimed we were all unsafe drivers. Since marketing sports cars to women is hard, GM went up market.

    Now they only allow a small number of dealers to sell it. My guess is there’s a separate entrance for the Corvette buyers, so they don’t have to interact with the Hoi polloi. Most of them will end up in collections and be trailer queens. But they’ll look great on The Grand Tour and covers of magazines. And in a few years we’ll see them pop up on Barrett-Jackson Auctions for 2X or more sticker. And the buyers will get exactly what they wanted (a good ROI), by selling it to some new money Chinese or Arabs.

    • I’d love to have a ’70-’72 coupe with a 350 and a four speed.

      Those cars looked like nothing else – and still do.

      The new Corvette is striking – I will give it that. But it looks more like the other insectoid exotics. The analogy is sport bikes. How do you tell the difference? A Honda has red body cladding, a Kaw is green… and so on…

      • I usually have Velocity network on at the office when I’m doing other work. The Barrett-Jackson auction coverage is on this week and I noticed a few 60s and 70s Corvettes come up. Two in a row had LS-1 crate engines installed. I guess it is a pretty easy mod, so that’s the new normal.

        I wonder if all the wind tunnel testing has been a good thing for automobiles? Seems to me the constant refinement has basically made cars into 3 shapes: Car shape (modified for a hatchback), SUV shape, and truck shape. Then you have the exotics, which are presented as the ultimate purpose-built machine, go fast and hard and that’s it. The wind tunnel determines the shape, not a designer. If I had the money to spend on a Ferrari I’d be looking at the (unfortunately named) California before I’d even consider a 458. But I don’t like cartoonishly fake boobs either, and that seems to appeal to the rich young bucks in China and Russia too.

        • Hi Eric,

          Agreed…

          If you’re racing – serious business – I get function being the only thing that matters. But on the street? Style matters… or does to me.

          Motorcycles, again: The current Kaw/Honda/Suzuki liter bikes are all full-on race bikes that happen to be street legal. And they all look the same. You tell them apart by the color of the cladding.

          My ZRX1200 can’t match them in any category of performance. So what?

          It’s still good for a 10 second quarter, tops out around 170 and looks like nothing else on the road.

        • Years back I worked in a “German air cooled engine” car shop… mostly VeeWees with a fair number of Porsche cars tossed in for some extra spice. Lots of old Bathtubs, some early coupes, a fair number of 912/911 cars…. I was the only wrencn on ths shop floor who had any signficant understanding of non-air cooiled iron. This turned to my favour, as quite a number of our Porsche clients also had other “interesting” iron. Things like a 1947 Rolls Royce with electrical system issues (Locas wiring, piece of cake, hero status earned for not much). The most interesting one, though, was a 1967 Ferrari 350 GTB California. The owner was one of our 911 S custmoers, and was looking for someone to do a tune up, balance and synch the carburetters, and checkup. Didn’t even have to raise my hand to get called on for that one. The best part of the day came once the work was done, there was no way I’d sign off on that one until I’d taken it out and MADE CERTAIN it did what it was supposed to do. Which it certainly did. Five speed crash box, HEAVY clutch, no power assist in the steering. But when that Vee Twelve came onto the cams and started to climb on the rev counter, oh my. I only found enough road to let Third gear find Redline….. I seem to remember that put the clock near 90 MPH. THAT was one of the sweetest sounding engined I’d ever heard. Satisfied I’d done MY bit well, I sadly pointed it toward the shop to write it up and find the next one on the board… or should I say “bored”? Probably one of those filthy air cooled boxer fours from Wolfsburg….. oh well. They all paid the same come Friday, but that Ferrari somehow sticks in the sweet spot of my memory.

            • Too bad the 365 in the movie was a replica (granted a nice one). Even in the 1980’s those were million dollar cars. No one was going to loan them one, since they were going to abuse it.

    • The local to me chevy dealer still sells a ton of vettes the same way as always. Go see them parked on the lot over by the back doors to service and the defunct K-mart’s parking lot. Not exactly the luxury experience….. But they sell a lot of them.

  10. I was considering a corvette at some point in the future, but if it goes exotic forget about it. Nobody’s going to look at the Corvette driving down the street & think wow this guy is Porsche rich. And absolutely NO ONE is going to look at one and think Ferrari rich.

  11. Going from today’s corvette to a mid engine one could be done without tremendous added expense. There’s nothing to make it more expensive from an engineering standpoint any longer. GM can certainly afford the engineers that can find the way to maintain price point. If done correctly all we are talking about is a shift linkage for the MT and they might drop that. With fly by wire that’s solved. Everything else is already in the vette one way another. A cost wash. The big adder would if a new trans entirely is needed… but those are made in china now.

    • BrentP,

      Agreed. Lotus did it with Toyota’s Celica GTS engine, including mechanical shift linkage. And the system should be more reliable – fewer components. And if a small company like Lotus can do it with another company’s drive train, GM should be able to do it with their own drive train. And it should be no more expensive than the current model, except for additions required by Uncle.

      Git rid of OnStar, then they might have a product I’d like…

      • Michael, no shit, the only OnStar vehicle I’ll have any money in is the one hauling my carcass. I kick myself every day for buying that damned 2000 Z 71. This light and that light and everything else comes and go regardless of what really happening. And the damned interior, sheesh, talk about no room. My ’93 Ext. cab had room under the front seats for lots of things, room for lots of things in the console and under the cup holder portion of the console where I kept VOM’s and the like. It even had a pad in the bottom of the console that was glued down you could pull out and line the console with Benjamins in case of emergency and nobody would ever find them.

        The back had big pockets by the back seat that you could remove and stuff parts and whatnot in between the outside and inside body panels(great place for extra hoses and soft things). The 2000 has zip for storage in that shitty little console that goes to the dash????where the ’93 had 4′ or more from the captain’s chairs to the firewall and a big hump with tow shifters in front of the much larger console. It was raining the other day so I pulled on my oldest Resistol and got in the 2000……and didn’t have enough head room….and if everybody’s assessment of my brain is correct I have a mighty small head. If I was a prayin man, I’d send a message many times a day to let me find a good condition 93 again and I’d gradually have it like new. If the damned things weren’t so over-priced I’d pay a new truck price for a new old truck.

  12. I am guessing they intend on making Corvette a stand alone brand at some point. That would be both good and bad I suppose. That could set up for more then one type of model (more then just variations of one basic car), and ditch the low rent Chevy baggage. They could continue to make something like the current set up, and add a new model as a very low volume exotic. Though Corvette as it stands today is pretty low volume, so I don’t know if it could make GM any worthwhile money if they only sell a couple hundred of them (likely if it’s 150k+).

    It would at least leave Camaro at the Chevy store as the aspiration model, though its gotten pretty pricey too. My guess if Corvette is a stand alone brand, very few dealers would actually have it, as the current nitwit marketing types think that every brand is like Apple (they are not), and that people will travel further to fewer flagship type store (one of the worst and most stupid ideas of the last decade).

    It would be too bad if they made the Corvette even more expensive then it has already become. You do see Corvettes pretty often, there are at least two of them on my block alone. I think if they become as rare as other exotics, they will likely be forgotten, as most people don’t think much of those types of cars, since they know they will never own one. I think as it stands most people think they could own a Corvette, even if its an old one. That would stop if even old Corvettes stay in the expensive column.

    • Chevy need the Corvette to market the bowtie. Everyone understands that GM is the parent company, but you don’t go to the GM dealer, you go to the Chevy dealer. If GM were to spin it off into it’s own brand they’d lose one of the most powerful advertisements they have. The press and bloggers will go nuts over this new Corvette for a free lunch and track day experience. The few dealers who will be selling it will have one in the showroom, just like the Audi dealer has an R-10 sitting there (although the dealer I used actually sold a number of them, but it was the closest dealer to Aspen). For sure every dealer will have a Corvette poster or two around. They probably even have some parts like control knobs that look like parts from other Chevys.

LEAVE A REPLY