by Rick Tavel
special to Corvette Forum
? 3-17-2013 All Rights Reserved Do Not Duplicate Without Permission
Here’s the dilemma. Though it certainly isn’t unique to me, I know some of you either have wrestled with or are currently wrestling with the same conundrum. It often happens when a new generation of our favorite car comes to market. It’s the developmental strategy that the Corvette has adhered to from the very first generation that complicates our decision ? the strategy that requires each generation to be completely developed and improved before introducing a new generation and changing the outward appearance and styling of the car.
That strategy has been responsible for bringing us some of the greatest automobiles in history, especially those during the final build years of a generation. It’s not a surprise, just look back at each generation and in almost every case (the C3 may be the exception because of government regulations which affected engine performance) the models produced during the end of the generation are the most revered and coveted. The ?61 and ?62, the ?66 and ?67, the ?95 and ?96, the ?03 and ?04, were the best performing and highest quality cars of the generation. It is during those last years that the ultimate iterations of the generation are produced. And now we come to the end of the C6 generation, arguably some of the most potent production Corvettes ever when appropriately optioned, and as is the tradition, timed just before the introduction of the new C7. Thus herein lies the basis for my dilemma. As Hamlet lamented: ?To buy or not to buy! That is the question! Whether ?tis nobler to choose the fully developed, high horsepower, traditional C6 427 convertible or suffer the untested and potential problems which sometimes plagues first year models like the C7.?
The answer is not as simple as it may appear on the surface, particularly in light of the fact that this Corvette will likely be my Corvette for some time to come. So it is important that the decision be correct. But the decision is quite complex because once I commit I will live with it. I like to hold on to my Corvettes. That’s not to say that I never sell one of my cars, I have and I will again, but it is difficult and usually only the result of limited garage space.
I still have my 2000 C5 and love it as much or more than my C6. They are like old friends and the idea of getting rid of one is no less traumatic than Hamlet lamenting his dastardly deed. The decision is affected not only by rational considerations, such as reliability, comfort, proven performance and technology, but also by emotional and psychological factors like styling ? traditional vs. modern, popularity – commonness vs. exclusivity, and perhaps one of the biggest but least important considerations, what subliminal message does the car send about me. And even that consideration is muddied by my ever-changing perception of who I really am. OMG! Maybe it’s time for another appointment with my analyst. ?Who am I today? is a problem for him to figure out, I have enough on my mind!