William Shakespeare wrote: “When a father gives to his son, both laugh. When a son gives to his father, both cry…” I’m sure that if the Chevrolet Corvette had human faculties, it would have looked up from the drawing board in 1953 and enjoyed a good laugh with its father, Zora Arkus Duntov. The idea was hilarious and they didn’t know if they could pull it off. After all, this was the fabulous 50’s. You could “see the U-S-A in your Chevrolet” that had dual antennas, a record player and fins. “You want to introduce a plastic car named after a boat with no back seat? “No way!” In the beginning years, Blue Flame, Rochester Ramjet and Power Glide provided hearty chuckles for creature, creator and customer alike. Through the years, I’m sure that Corvette provided more than a few hilarious coming-of-age stories for the owner rallies and the boys at the bar.
Now we have an all-new Corvette and, as we’ve said before, it is an important car to Chevrolet emotionally. It is also a deal-breaker. If this one isn’t right, there’s no turning back. So how did they do?
Well, the base Corvette (if a Corvette can be called that) has an all-new LT1 Small block with 450…both horsepower and torque. Your manual can have seven-speeds or your automatic can have six with paddles. With more powerful variants inevitable, one thing is for sure: when you drive this car, you’ll know it’s a ‘Vette. Risks were taken with the design. It’s evolutionary and revolutionary at the same time. Giving aggression and sensuality with the normal Corvette cues, but daring to be bold with fighter plane lines instead of smoothed out edges. After the C6, it was kind of expected. The car is like no Corvettes we’ve seen before (roofline similarities to the Nissan GT-R and Ferrari 458 Italia not withstanding). All the classic Corvette ingredients are there. There are still driving impressions to be given and quirks to be addressed. Despite this, something surprising has happened; like it or hate it – the C7 has hit the bull’s eye.
The automotive world collectively sat waiting for the slightest tidbit of news. We stood perfectly still when the word went out that the car was to be revealed. Now that we’ve been formally introduced to the car, our fears have been put to rest. I will go out on a limb and say that we’re generally satisfied. Venturing out further on said limb, I believe this is the Corvette we were looking for. One that prudently opens the door to the future, remains true to the lineage and performs like the champion we know it can be. A collective sigh of relief was just heard from Corvette Nation. Our heritage baby is still intact.
“SSShhhhh!” I hear another sound way off in the distance, like that of sobbing. Never mind, I know who it is. It’s Zora. The son has given a Diamond Anniversary gift and The Bard is correct.