Welcome back to Quick Shift, a content feature here at CorvetteBlogger featuring links to Corvette and automotive-related stories of interest. This weekend’s reading and viewing material includes a C8 styling deep dive with interior designer Brett Golliff, C3 & C6 buyers guides, Jordan Taylor, GM corporate espionage, another new Cannonball record, a ’90s sports car battle, and more!
We are going to start off by sending you to Cool Hunting who were able to do a (digital) sit-down with GM/Chevrolet’s Global Color and Trim Design Manager, Brett Golliff where they discussed “the interiors, colors, and philosophy behind the new Stingray.” It is a great read with some even better original photography. Enjoy it here.
Buyers guides! Coincidentally, Hagerty and Road & Track both posted Corvette buyers guides this week! If you are thinking about adding either Corvette generational multiple of three to your stable, step on in because they have a full rundown of the C3 and C6 production runs. Hagerty took a year by year look at the C3 from its fire-breathing infancy in 1968 to its GT-focused twilight in the early ’80s. R&T, on the other hand, took a model-centric approach that starts with simple education, moves into a helpful “which one is right for you” section, and an aftermarket-based conclusion. Do your research before you buy a C3 or C6!
In honor of the number 3 C8.R, third gear is going to GM’s Performance website, The Block. This week, they did an outstanding profile on Corvette Racing’s newest driver, Jordan Taylor. Get to know the newest (and perhaps funniest) member of our favorite racing team while you wait for the new mid-engine marvel to get back on track by clicking here.
Next up we have an interesting look at General Motor’s decade-long legal battle over the C4’s LT1 V8 (more on that engine later!). One of the trick pieces of tech in the second-coming of the LT1 was reverse-flow cooling, which circulated coolant from cylinder heads into the block. The process was the brainchild of one of the General’s subcontractors, John Evans who ended up on the other side of a legal dispute with his massive client over its implementation. If you only read one gear this week, we recommend fourth, it is quite the story! See for yourself on Hagerty.com.
Back to our friends at Road and Track for a double dose of interesante. First up is Jason Cammisa with a fun, nerdy look at 0-60 testing and why your car probably isn’t as fast as the mags say it is. Following that up is the second reported breaking of the Cannonball Run record since the country has been quarantining. An official time hasn’t been given but, apparently, the parties responsible cracked the 26-hour mark for the first time which would mean averaging more than 108 MPH on public roads for the duration of the drive. It is an impressive feat if you are into that kind of thing, but we feel like we should also include Car and Driver’s rebuke of these actions that they helped popularize.
Time for the third edition of Alex is envious of Porsche, where I link to a story on The Drive that details a new tool that the company just released which allows shoppers and window shoppers alike access to all 192 of their US dealership inventories all in one, convenient place. What a dream machine this is and GM/Chevrolet need to rip it off ASAP! For Porschophiles, the days of perusing through the countless online vehicle marketplaces or trusting their salesman to “find” that perfect snowflake they have been lusting after on Dealerlink (or worse, at auction). Now they can just hop on over to Porsche Finder and let the internet work its magic. I might not want this for Chevrolet quite as much as Paint to Sample, but it is close!
The past few months have left ESPN and their competitors scrambling for content while there are zero live sports to cover. Similarly, automotive publications have had to grapple with the reality of canceled auto shows, vehicle launches/first-drive events, races, and just about everything else that they are accustomed to covering on a daily basis.
Car and Driver has handled the lack of new information better than most with interesting pieces like “How We’d Spec It” (we like where Rich Ceppos’ head is at on that one!) where the editors play one of our favorite games and pick the new car they’d have with a different set of parameters each time. These usually involve implementing a certain cost ceiling (the price of the average new car, their 10 Best price point, etc.) but they have done some other variations such as, “trucks” as well.
While these are a good time to read and play along with, C&D has really separated itself during the stay at home order by reaching into its nearly limitless road-test archives for stories which are sometimes getting digitized for the first time. One of these retro-reviews caught our eye this week. Straight from the pages of the September 1993 issue of Car and Driver is a fantastic six-way sports car comparison (which also makes us miss the days when magazines did large comparison tests like this outside of once per year occasions like Lightning Lap). The test was dusted off as part of C&D’s “Supra Week” and it pits the iconic MkIV Supra Turbo against its contemporaries in the $40,000 range. The other combatants are the Mazda RX-7, Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, Nissan 300ZX Turbo, the Porsche 968, and, in our Red, White, and Blue corner, a 1993 LT1 Corvette coupe painted in the beautiful Ruby Red paint of the 40th Anniversary package (lucky for the others, the ZR-1’s Achilles heel of a price tag prohibited it from participating in this one).
This comparison is still able to bring out plenty of emotional reactions, 27 years after it was conducted. In fact, it might be even more compelling to look back on now, knowing what we do now (if you haven’t read it yet and want to avoid classic spoilers, click here to do so before coming back for our assorted musings below).
- We would like to reiterate that the ‘Vette finished mid-pack (beating the Porsche, which is all that really matters) even though it seemed to be a bad example that didn’t show as well as it could have. A real shame to be sure and one that is even more annoying because Chevrolet has recently made the same image-tarnishing mistake all over again!
- It is also fun to think about how far America’s Sports Car has come in the generations since this was published. The test winning Supra returned to much hype this year but while it is still built in the same, sports car mold as its predecessor from the article, the Corvette has completely left it behind in every metric. Even a tuned MkV Supra is lightwork for the C8.
- In 2020, it is pretty mind-boggling that Japan used to make so many sports cars. This field made up of the six best $40k models available in ’93 featured a whopping four that hailed from the land of the rising sun with a now defunct Porsche model and Corvette rounding out the list. Also crazy is the fact that out of the six competitors, only the ‘Vette has remained on sale in the US continually since, with the 968 bowing out for the Boxter/Cayman after ’95, the VR4 being discontinued in 2000, the Mazda actually spawning a successor that soldiered on until 2012, and the Nissan Z and Supra both taking prolonged hiatuses between the generations in this article and the current models to wear their badge (The Z took a sabbatical between ’96 and ’02 in the US and between ’00 and ’02 in its home market while the Supra ceased US sales in ’98, living on in Japan until ’02 and finally made its BMW-aided return last year).
- A thought-provoking question that I like to ask when looking back at old comparison tests is “Did they get it right?” and the deeper variations of the question, such as; “Has the victor stood the test of time/which car would I most want today?” Here, I’d say they did get it right from both a performance and investment perspective but I’d still take a ’93 Corvette as long as it was the disqualified King of the Hill!
As always, Corvette Nation, thank you for reading, have a great weekend, and please keep the conversation going in the comments section.
Previous Quick Shifts:
C8 Review, LS Swap, Business Case, British ZR-1 Sedan, 2010 Grand Sport Reveal, and more!
Future C8s, Banshee History, Four-Rotor C8 Project, Harley Earl WWII Manuals, Dream Cruise is On, and More!
Assembly Plant Rumors, C8 vs Carrera S, Tommy Milner, Engine Mods, Mustang Day, DeMuro C5 Review