Anyone who knows me personally knows I am an avid automotive fan. I love cars! I am stupid about them. I get excited over old jalopies that leave my wife cringing. The other day we saw, my second favorite car in the world. It was rusty and beat up, but I was so excited to see it considering how rare it is. My wife looked at me like I was crazy (72 Buick Riviera Boat Tail).
Cars have been part of who I am for as long as I can remember. Having said this, I have a special place in my heart for muscle cars. A muscle car, by design, is supposed to be beautiful, loud, and go fast in a straight line. That’s it! They are simple, and their simplicity makes them majestic.
The longest running muscle car is undoubtedly the Corvette. There has been a corvette since 1953. While not always considered a muscle car (until the muscle car movement of the 60’s), it has always been a staple of American sports cars. Having said this, I truly believe GM has ruined the spirit of this classic great. They have attempted to make the Corvette something it is not, a supercar. You might as well make it a station wagon, again.
Now, GMC has the right to be proud of their accomplishments. I mean, the new Corvette came in 12th on the Nürburg ring, only a half a second behind the new Nissan GT-R, a car with significant track racing pedigree. This is exactly what has ruined the Corvette, in my opinion. It has lost all of its simplicity. Additionally, it is also significantly more expensive than it used to be, albeit far less expensive than its new competitors (Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, etc.)
It is still a stunning car. I think the fact that it has evolved into something else, perhaps even better, has me a bit bothered. I think if GM had done what Ford did with the Mustang, I wouldn’t be so upset by it. Ford still sells the standard 5.0 Mustang that can’t turn but, if you want a car that can, and you still want a Mustang, you can buy the Roush Edition, which has the racing suspension. You don’t rob the consumer of the car’s history and heritage. I wouldn’t even care if Chevy just called it something else and still offered the boring ol’ Vette. Fuel injection and traction control (that you can turn off)—that is enough for me.
I did not want to lose the Corvette to the European supercar rage but, I also cannot in good conscience consider it a muscle car anymore. The more complicated suspension (albeit they still use a modified leaf spring) combined with the bells and whistles that make the car, by any standards, better, have come at a cost. It’s soul.