One-hundred-octane blood flows through my veins. But nothing revs my engine quite like the Chevrolet Corvette.
It’s my dad’s fault. He bought his first Vette in 1977 (180 hp, three-speed automatic, AM/FM/eight-track player, orange), infecting me with a lifelong virus for Chevrolet’s two-seater. I owned that car for a few years but let it go to be a good husband and father and buy a house for a young family.
The summer of 2012 is one of those rare points in Corvette history during which major changes are taking place:
— Chevrolet launches the 2013 Corvette, the last of the C6 generation of the car. And history shows that the last model of nearly every Corvette generation is among the best.
— Development is in the final stages for the C7 generation. It is set to debut next January at the Detroit auto show and goes on sale later that year as a 2014 model.
— As part of that changeover, General Motors is spending $131 million to overhaul the Corvette assembly plant–the most extensive upgrade at the plant since it changed over to the C5 Corvette in 1996.
— And the competition is getting stronger. Chrysler has just debuted the redesigned SRT Viper, which goes on sale later this year. Meanwhile, Ford has stuffed a 662-hp engine under the hood of the 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500.
I’m going along for the ride and hope that you’ll join me via Autoweek, autoweek.com, Facebook and Twitter. This binge is dubbed #CorvetteSummer.
It starts on Friday with the annual Corvette Bash at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., just across the road from the Corvette assembly plant. The Bash draws hundreds of Vette fans from around the country–and many of the top members of the Corvette development team at General Motors, including chief engineer Tadge Juechter.
At the Bash you can get tips for maintaining your car, mingle with members of the Corvette product and racing teams and–most importantly–get an up-close look at the 2013 Corvette, including the new 427 convertible, led by the Corvette team. And maybe we can pry a detail or two about the next-generation Corvette, the C7.
My Vette lovefest will include stops at the Blooming Gold, Corvettes at Carlisle and the Mid America Motorworks Corvette Funfest. There’s also the thriving Vette restoration community, local Corvette clubs and even those who show their Corvette love outside of North America.
So check autoweek.com for stories and photos from this weekend’s Bash. And look for other updates at Facebook and on Twitter. Follow me @dalejewett or look for the #CorvetteSummer hashtag.
Let’s hit the road.