My friends all told me they could never see me driving a Corvette; I had started out as an “import” kind of car guy, and I liked that. Furthermore, I really don’t like American built cars; I’ve had the displeasure through rentals and borrowed friend’s cars to drive several of the more mundane ones and they made me decide I would never buy one.
The Corvette, however, was different… It was light, powerful, and made to handle like a real sportscar. The looks of it always caught my eye, and when I witnessed a completely factory one take 1st place at a national autocross event in Milwaukee, WI, I knew I might just have to buy one some day.
Thus, cash in hand, I begun my search for the perfect car… I looked at everything; Nissans, Subarus, Mitsubishis, BMW, Mercedes, I checked cars on Ebay, autotrader, carmax, I asked questions on car forums, asked people in the tuning industry.. I even contemplated buying a couple of different not-so-fast cars and modifying them (for example, buying a Nissan 350Z and twin turboing the factory V6 motor). I concluded that, for the price, nothing could touch the Corvette in speed, braking, and handling. That was it; it was time to buy one….
But I didn’t want just any Corvette… Coming from the boosted world where 2litres can net you 400 horsepower, I had a real problem with buying a car that had an engine displacing 5.7 litres of air and only making 355hp from it. Plus 355hp was old news to me; my RS was already making more than that, and that car weighted considerably less than a ‘vette. Nah, I had to have the Z06.
Like the STI from Subaru, the Corvette Z06 is like a regular Corvette but with less weight, a stiffer suspension, thicker sway bars, better tires, a higher redline, better engine heads and a more aggressive camshaft bringing power up to 405HP and 400ft-lbs of torque. In a 3100lbs car. This one was the one to get.
Like all my previous vehicles, I found the one for me on Ebay, at a hugely discounted price. Also, like both my previous cars, I had never even sat in a Corvette before I bought one. I won the auction and got a plane ticket to Tallahasse, FL, where my car would be waiting for me. I looked it over carefully; it had 18000 miles and had been kept in a garage all its life; never even been driven in the rain. The seller asked me if I wanted to take a test drive… “Nah, its OK”, I said. “I’ll call you if I have any problems”. I got in, started it up, and proceeded to drive 500 miles back to North Carolina, where I was living at the time.