Corvette Stingray - Greatest Ever Sports Cars Nº8
" For more than 50 years, this next car has been making dreams come true for sports car lovers all over the US. In automotive terms, the Corvette Stingray is the original American Idol. "
" I still remember pulling the car magazine out of its sleeve and looking at it and say, "Oh, wow!""
" This car was an exquisite package that came from nowhere and just slapped the hell out of the European competition."
" Unlike everything else on the road, this car oozed Americana."
" I mean, it's got America written all over, United States written all over it. It's a kind of stars and stripes in automobile form, really. And you can't help but see that car and you think everything that's big, blowsy powerful, go-ahead, and a bit excessive. Thought about the United States is represented in that car."
" It's patriotic, it's blue blooded, it's American. We will buy this in our droves because it is that. You know, often what America wanted which was fast, straight-line performance, reasonable reliability at low cost, and a thumping-great V8. "
" The earliest Vettes had the traditional inline 6-cylinder engine, 6 cylinders lined up in a row and connected to a crankshaft to turn the wheels. With a top speed of 120 miles per hour, it was popular motor for the time. But the brass at Chevrolet wanted something with more power, something that would earn them respect."
" To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the V8 showing up in the Corvette, why don't we imagine that these are the cylinders."
" The question was how to get more cylinders under the hood without radically changing the size and shape of the engine."
" But how are we gonna do it because we're tied into a package, to a size, to a weight, to a chassis. We're gonna have to change everything about the car in order to fit 2 more straight cylinders."
" The answer was a simple repositioning of the cylinders."
" So what, basically what they were able to do is create a V8 design where they had 8 cylinders feeding into the crank still down the middle and a better package, a little bit wider but not long. They could fit wide, they couldn't fit long."
" More power, same cake. Happy Birthday, 50 years. V8 in a Corvette."
" Great engine, lots of torque, and that's the American way 'cause you know, it is stoplight to stoplight here. There's not so many corners. It's not like Europe."
" Critics claim the chassis wasn't rigid enough to resist flexing at high speed. The result was that its feet, in effect, weren't as well planted on the ground."
" It's great on that lovely road to Santa Monica out of LA, Highway 1. You got the Eagles playing in the 8-track and it's like the slightest curve in the road, the slightest pimple, or cavity in the contours and you're all over the place."
" It's a car that's not really designed to be thrown around tight mountain bends. But it's a car for cruising along, 1 hand on the wheel and a gorgeous girl next to you along, you know, a highway that's forever California or in the coast."
" Now, I know Uncle Sam, it's your only sports car, but there's a crude, rough, just unrefined quality."
" The Europeans would call me a bit crude. And, you know, they would sniff at something that came in and beat their pants off. That's what I say to them. You know, we're all a bit crude in America, but were crude but effective. How's that?"
" Nobody can accuse the Stingray of refinement. It just doesn't have that. It's really the polar opposite of the European or Japanese sports car. It is muscle bound, it's aggressive, it's showy, has great fairground qualities to it. It's like a fairground ride on wheels in some ways. But come on, it's just such great fun. I mean, that is like let's-get-out- there-and-have-fun-boys car. And that's what it's for."
" If a Corvette was interviewed by a psychiatrist, the Corvette would tell the psychiatrist where to get off. It would tell the psychiatrist, "Psychiatry is for wimps." That's the kind of car a Corvette is."
" No other sports car has captured the American imagination the way the Stingray has. None has lasted so long. But critics are right to point out that it can be hard to control in the corners. That's why the Vette hits the brakes at number 8."