Thursday, April 4, 2013

There is a brand new version of a really good American sports car ready for you to purchase with all your stock market monetary gains. Remember the market was hovering about 6,000 when Obama took office now it has more than doubled to 14,000 and still rising. So, cash something and treat yourself this spring to a brand new Corvette. If you have a taste for style and speed at least go for a test drive on a beautiful spring day.
The new Stingray is sleeker, faster and has stylistic lines that can mistaken it for a Italian sports car ready for the race track. It is the latest generation of an American icon. If you are the type of person that likes to be noticed, well, just arrive anywhere in a Corvette lately and you will get that 5 second stare even if you arrive in the classic 1953 version of the car that still looks current even though it was the first year the model was produced.
Now 60 years later there is a very much newer version of the car on the block. It wasn’t until 1963 that the shape and mood of the car changed from a fancy roadster to racer type of car. They showed it off recently at the Auto Show in Detroit and advertised it as the best Corvette ever. Well, I think the statement is pre-mature until they sell lots of the things. It certainly looks like nothing any American car maker has ever made available to the general public.
The car is lower and wider and faster and with four tail pipes it has a fire breathing attitude about it. The editor of Automobile Magazine Jean Jennings put the car on the cover of her magazine with the title saying that it is the best Corvette design in 50 years. Well, if that isn’t the greatest advertisement for the people carrier I don’t know what is. It even sends a message to us that General Motors is back on top again. It says the message that the two seated sports car costs a lot of money but delivers a huge slap of fun. Who doesn’t want a car for two with a giant motor between your legs male or female.
It’s V8 engine cranks out 450 horsepower but is hardly a gas guzzler. They rigged it so that it can shut down half of those cylinders for better fuel economy. The interior with two different leather dyes also make it look and feel like a Ferrari or Maserati. It is the creation of GM’s Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. The car will do zero to sixty in less than 4 seconds. So, you know who will be bolting out first as soon as that light turns green. The top speed of the machine is upwards of 190 mph. There is no doubt that it will be fully competitive with any other car.
The design is smooth with new curves even on the hood of the car. The only thing I miss is the signature round tail lights that always let you know that there is a Vet ahead that you probably wouldn’t catch up to. Tom Peters is the head of Corvette design and has done a great job of combining the tradition of what we know as the look of a Corvette with the more modern sleek lines we are accustomed to these days. He said that just the smooth curve between the head lights and the hood took as much creative energy as the whole body side.
I am glad the car still retains the look of a Corvette not like the new mess of Lincoln cars that look nothing that we are used to in a Lincoln. The squarish hood now looks like the eyes of a squashed bug as a hood. The criticism of the new Corvette is that it looks too much like a Dodge Viper. Well, I can deal with that comment because the Viper looks pretty good too.
Over the years they improved the roadster styling and replaced the standard 6 engine with a V8 and the legendary Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov made it a legitimate sports car instead of a fashion statement. The transmission, suspension and steering were improved to sports car quality standards. The car became a celebrity staring in it’s own TV show called Route 66. The Stingray even has a beach boys kind of song called Dead Man’s Curve by 2 guys named Jan and Dean.
Then came the seventies with unleaded fuel, the oil crisis and a national 55mph speed limit. By the 80’s sales were low and the car was considered to be more mid-life crisis than icon. Still somehow the Corvette survived even through General Motors bankruptcy. Treat yourself to a new toy this spring.

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