It’s early Summer, about a week before the birthday celebration of our great nation, and my phone rings. On the other end is my dude Pierre – a hired gun of the automotive industry that’s hooked me up with rides from “The General” on many an occasion. (Ed. Note: Mass Appeal gets its red, white and blue-blooded GMs from a Frenchman named Pierre. Can’t we all get along? (RIP Rodney King!))
To my surprise, mon ami was wondering if I’d like to rock a 2013 Corvette Grand Sport for the weekend. Corvette, huh? As I suppose you do, I had my preconceptions of those who push the coupe—as iconic as it is. For starts, I always thought a prerequisite for sliding into its high-backed driver seat was a bad haircut; to my advantage my barber Lou had just laced my fade nice. But what the hell, the weather report sounded blemish-free and I had nothing better to do. “Bring it on,” I said. “America, f**k yeah!”
Now I know stereotypes are bad, but they’re usually rooted in some amount of truth. That in mind, I couldn’t accept how a car styled this well had become poster material for a mid-life crisis. Perhaps more than ever, the Grand Sport’s shape is an eye-popping union of testosterone-dipped angles and curves. Long gone are the flip-up headlamps like the one sitting in your creepy uncle’s garage. Even with all the necessary modern touches and accoutrements, you’d be hard pressed to find a citizen of Earth that can’t identify it. Behind the brolic front fenders, redesigned functional vents provide an escape route for engine and brake heat, and also add a dash of exotic ’80s flare to an already sexy profile. A head turner all buttoned up, taking her top off is easier than a front-hook bra. Pop the 20 lb. (give or take) roof panel neatly into its designated trunk space, and you’re ready to whip it out in front of everyone.
Behind the wheel, the cockpit of the Grand Sport is incredibly Spartan. Aside from
a leather-wrapped dash—reminiscent of some higher dollar competitors—the
controls are simple and to the point, like plain yogurt. There is no shape-shifting digi dash, and the entertainment unit looks like little more than a Best Buy stocked GPS unit popped into the center console. That a problem for ya? Then you’re clearly not suited for a true driver’s car like the Corvette, with or without its stereotypes. Off the line, the GS pulls hard, with a strapping, burly gurgle popping out its tailpipes. Granted its 436 horsepower 6.2L won’t spin ‘em quite as easily as its big brother ZR1, but with a fully-loaded sticker of $70,785, you can cop one for a good $40K less than the top-of-the-line model. Light-to-light shenanigans are without a doubt quite agreeable (its 0-60 clocks in at under four seconds), but don’t neglect the bends. While it is a long car, the Vette’s combination of finely tweaked suspension and ultra-low driving position will have you treating every trip to your boo’s like a hot-lap.
Speaking of boos, if you like where all this is going, you best make sure your family
commitments are close to nonexistent. There are of course no back seats, and if you
decide to ride around with no roof, cargo space is limited to a few stuffed duffle bags. Maybe that’s where the whole mid-life crisis thing sneaks in. Alas, it’s a fact I cannot confirm nor deny—to my personal satisfaction, I’m still young enough where
riding around with a chick half my age could land me in serious hot water. Now did its
nonstop emission of Americana turn the heads of 50-something orange-skinned Ginzos?
Absolutely. But along with the expected, it also snapped the heads of svelt young ladies, thug types, and kids of all ages. There was even a yellow-cab driver who, in his thick middle-eastern accent, told me “Buddy—that right there is my dream car. You are living my dream, my friend.” That to me summed it up pretty well. Corvette owners of the world, I apologize. You may still have your issues (and bad haircuts), but you truly are living the American dream. Live long and prosper!