Part sports car, part muscle car and part hot rod, just about everybody loves Corvettes.
My personal favorite year for the Corvette is 1962. The solid-axle cars were simple, honest American sports cars
with small-block Chevy engines that any of us could work on, with beautiful lines that make it everything a true
classic should be.
The 1958-1962 series of Corvettes has been immortalized in everything from the TV series Route 66 to the movie
Heavy Metal. They've competed in road racing, IHRA and NHRA
sports car club slaloms,
Bonneville racing, and rallies, among other forms of
When the 1963 Corvette was introduced, my first thought was that they had ruined a great car. But the Stingray
grew on me. In 1965, when the
big block cars became available, I wanted one. When the
427 was new, that was a hell of a car.
About two months before the 1968 Corvette was released, I remember seeing a train go by that was transporting the new Corvettes. I told a buddy, who had a nearly-new '67 coupe he loved, that the '68 looked a lot like the Mako
Shark show car. He didn't believe me and got mad at the thought of his '67 being less new than it was. But it was true. At the time, the '68 made the '67 look dated, just as the '63 had done to the '62.
The "mid-year" '63-'67 Corvettes further established Chevrolet during its racing reign. For all their shortcomings they are still considered to be great cars. It's just a shame they're so valuable that most of us can't afford to
hot rod them any more.
My interest in new Corvettes (and all new cars) pretty much died when the 1973 models came out in a year where all the new cars got slower, heavier and uglier. 1973 was, to many of us, the end of the
muscle car the death of the era where you would even want to buy a new car. Detroit hadn't figured out how to deal with all of the federal regulations
pertaining to emissions and impact-absorbing bumpers (although the bumpers on the
1928 Model A Ford worked just fine. Can't stop? Bounce off a tree.).
When the 1980 Corvette was released, things were looking up. I've always liked the lines of the 1980, although it was still a heavy car. I still remember the ads for the '80, showing a yellow Corvette with the top off. A 1980
Corvette (last year for the carburetor) with the L-82 engine still makes a nice daily driver.
We had to wait for 1997 when, with the release of the C5 Corvette, and the C6 that followed, we finally had cars we didn't have to apologize to anyone for.
Who would have thought that Chevy would ever build something the European sports car purists would love?
They did it. They're great cars.