The True Costs of Treating Your Corvette as a Garage Queen

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C1 second barn find

Corvette Forum member El original recently posted a thread¬†intended to give pause¬†to all of us who store our cars away in bubbles and only bring them out for special occasions. He’s blaming us for our cars occasionally breaking, saying that when we don’t drive our cars, they’re more likely to have faults. He’s among us, however, stating that he’s part of the problem.

El original’s C5 recently had a reverse-lockout solenoid fail, and he doesn’t blame GM for the failure, but rather himself for not driving his baby. I, for one, would like to stand in solidarity with El original and say that we should all be driving our cars more often. These are cars that are meant to be driven, they’re meant to be enjoyed, they’re intended to be shared with the world. I know my day is a little bit brighter when I see a Corvette on the street being driven; perhaps it is up to us to brighten someone else’s day by showing them our cars doing what they were built to do.

Being a garage queen isn’t just bad for parts that don’t get used often, but it’s not great for parts that do get used. For example, rubber doesn’t like to sit around without being used, meaning your tires and belts can dry rot, not to mention brake hoses and coolant hoses that fatigue with age. Fluids don’t like to sit around either, as sediments can settle out and congeal in your fuel, coolant, oil, or transmission fluid. Less important to the functionality of your car, your rubber seals and gaskets can dry out and crack, making your engine leak, or your side windows rattle, or your targa top flow some air. And that’s just age related, cars in storage are more likely to have rodents attack them, either tearing out your interior, or wreaking havoc on your wiring harnesses. That just sounds awful.

At the end of the day, I’m not really sure it’s worth it to keep your car in so-called garage queen condition if you don’t get to enjoy it because you’re trying to fix something. Where do you stand on this issue?

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Bradley Brownell is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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