First corvette tale...
First we must explore where the money came from. Back in the day I was cranking through cars pretty quick. For me a simple test drive will not do, I must experience the joy (and pain) of paying tax on every car I buy!
My favorite car at the time was my first discovery 1 Land Rover XX special edition. Next comes the sad part, sometime around Christmas in whatever year it was at the time. My mother had loaned her minivan to a family friend in town and in its place was my Land Rover for her to drive around. The fateful call came that evening while about to enjoy a glass of wine with Martin Bauer, I downed it in one gulp as I had a brief conversation over the phone. My mother and aunt had been rear ended and pushed through a small wall, she was fine but the car was totaled but saved her life. That tough thing just took that Mercedes like a champ and broke the wall too!
My friend Karl Schmidt started priming the pumps for a corvette, which sounded fun but out of reach in the reality of money. I was able to haggle with the insurance company offer of $4500 and got them up to $7,000 after they researched the special edition value. Now the cheapest c5 (97-05) corvette in tarrytown was $11,500.
I found out that it was a gift to the family selling it, so they didn’t have any skin in the game. On top of this the car was sitting out and quite dirty and the radiator leaked. After some in person haggling and a threat for a fist fight, I paid 7,500 which was the offer from car max a month earlier.
Boom! 345 horsepower and 350 torque. That’s super car numbers from the late 90’s, I paid cash and got to work. I was loosely working with a friend who had opened a shop and that became my side project. A 1997 Chevrolet Corvette with a 6 speed manual. Although it wasn’t a rev-happy motor it started with torque in the low and finished with hp in the 6k rpm(rot/min). Plenty of quality issues compared to a European interior, that was dwarfed by the sheer acceleration when you put the hammer down with your right foot.
Many a night I would take it out on MoPac, warm up the oil and engine, do a warm up lap to 183 and stretch the legs before slowing down by camp Mandy where the popo like to hide before or after the overpass. I never got close to the top of the speedometer, but I did my best to try. Over the next months I updated the anti-roll (swaybars) to some thicker ones that came on the z06 higher power model. I kept the catalysts to keep the engine management happy and removed the rear mufflers and added some chrome double tips, which sing the song of my people. Some people said it sounded like a boat engine, but I enjoy a raw engine sounds from a 5.7L power plant. In addition, if you know how to play with the throttle you can cruise quietly in the middle of the rpm range to keep the elderly from shaking their fists whilst out on their walks.
Unfortunately living at home wasn’t cheap enough for me and I kept buying cheaper deals, I came down to my last $500 after paying my credit card bill. I posted the vette on Craigslist and sold it the next day for 10,500 dollars, which is how much money I like to have on reserve. I demonstrated its anger and finesse down the back side of mount bonnet rd and promptly she left my life. I don’t normally miss a car this much but it truly was my favorite car to this day.
A note to the readers:
My wife Dorothy will be giving birth mid June to a baby girl named Olivia. If you weren’t already aware feel free to leave a gift of diapers or red bull so we can stay awake this summer. Or a gently used Uppababy Vista stroller would also be nice.
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