Monday, July 21, 2008

$30k Collection The Corvette (er)

The Corvetteer.

There is nothing quite like riding in a Corvette. What with its acres of hood stretching out in front and barely any material behind you it is the modern equivalent of a Roman chariot. And I think that macho, riding-into-battle aesthetic is what most owners like about the fiberglass cars from Bowling Green. And for $30k you can get a collection of these American originals. Unfortunately, they will be at the rear of the charge going into battle due to the lack of horsepower. But, the style will be all there so you’ll look plenty like a suntanned Charlton Heston. All of the below models can be bought well or bought poorly on an $8 - $10 budget. I would spend the most on the 78 and the least on the 91.

1978 – Although you probably can’t get a Silver Anniversary edition for your funds you can do well enough to live out your Corvette Summer(the movie was released this year) dreams. Don’t settle for an L48 with its anemic 185HP. Really, to this day I am puzzled at how you could get so little power out of a small block. Hunt for the L82 and you’ll at least have the power to build up enough speed on the straights to scare yourself with.

1982 – Bye, bye Rochester Carburetor. Say hello to what will be the long-running “Cross-Fire” injection system. Although horsepower dipped a bit from the L82 torque was up to a useful and hoodlum inducing 285lb-ft. The two-tone colors with glass T-tops are the ones to go for to pin the look of the era. Being surrounded by velour never felt so good. Or sounded so squeaky.

1991 – The C4 Corvette. The door stop. The kinda flying wedge. Whatever you call it the Corvette was growing up. Especially in 375HP ZR-1 form, which you can’t afford. But the base model with 250HP, 350lb-ft is plenty fast. The sports seats plenty space-shuttle agey. Look for the ones with the 6-speed manual to get the lower rear diff for spirited driving. And if you still own a soft-shouldered linen suit than go for one of the tropical colors.

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