Posted in: Cars,
by Gregg Laskoski on May 4, 2013 06:00 AM
Who says 'a watched pot never boils'? We've been watching and the moment has finally arrived.
GM has announced that the Corvette Stingray coupe, which debuted January in Detroit, will start at $51,995, and the Corvette Stingray Convertible will start at $56,995. Both prices are about $1,400 more than the 2013 models and include a $995 destination charge. Of course, if you want the 'premium' package with all the bells and whistles you'll be closer to $75k but if you're a serious Corvette shopper, that's probably not a dealbreaker.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray "perfectly embodies Chevrolet’s mission to deliver more than expected for our customers,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “The Corvette Stingray delivers a combination of performance, design and technology that very few manufacturers can match, and none can even come close for $52,000.”
The new Corvette features a small-block, LT1 6.2-liter V8 engine that delivers 450-horsepower propelling you from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds when equipped with the Z51 package).
Perry has good reason to promote the value. Standard features include seven-speed manual transmission; keyless access with push start; dual, eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens, with next-generation Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and rear vision camera; carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel on coupes; Bose nine-speaker audio system with SiriusXM Satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and SD card and auxiliary input jack; and a host of other features.
There's nothing subtle about it. But, is it quite as iconic as the Corvettes of yesteryear? For that answer I went to the source.
Dennis Cicero knows... The Yonkers,NY resident had a 1970 Corvette (sold it in 2005) and I can confirm that it had a sound unlike any other automobile on the road. He agreed: "It had a great natural rumble to it without being intrusive." And, it was the only Corvette around.
Cicero said, "Corvette was a powerful engine and not much else. The quality of the ride itself was very, very rough. I guess some might say that was a good thing as you could "feel the road." Regular disc brakes, power steering, a radio... and that was about it. Oh, the car was very, very hot in the summer. I always had the top down. All in all, it was still a Corvette and what 17 year old kid wouldn't have loved that?"
"Our 1970 convertible Corvette listed for $5,133. Like I said, power brakes, the smallest Corvette engine at that time (a 350cu/300hp) disc brakes, no AC, a radio, and that was it. Oh, and ours was an automatic transmission. A turn-off for many at the time. Today, I would guess MOST owners would prefer an automatic transmission. For me, the most memorable thing about the car was twofold --I was driving a convertible Corvette !! and, honestly, everyone wanted a ride in it."
Is the 2014 edition as unique as the Corvettes of the late 60s and early 70s? Maybe not...
Cicero says: "I do not think it is as iconic as it once was. Not even close. There are just so many options today. As far as value, I really can't say. Today's Corvette costs about 10 times what they did in 1970. But all goods and services have gone up tenfold. Also, today's buyer wants much more than buyers did back then. Back then, first and foremost, a Corvette meant power and the owners were satisfied with that, I believe. Today's buyer wants the power and all the goodies today's cars offer."
Cicero notes that 'back then' ALL Corvette drivers waved to each other as they drove by (every time) just like bikers do today. Not any more.
One thing hasn't changed... it's still all about the power. Cicero remembered a road test on NY's 684 when he reached 142 mph, but that was nearly 40 years ago... he's wiser now.