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Thursday, August 23, 2007

 

A mission statement for the Corvette

I'm a firm believer that a good car project always needs a mission statement. Ok, maybe that may be a bit of a silly and Dilbertesque way to put it, but to make a really good car you've got to have a good sense of what you want it to do, rather than throwing parts at it willy-nilly.

I kind of had a bit of a dilemma with this car. On one hand, it's a bit beat up, faded, worn, and showing signs of its age. A car like that might make a good beater. Except it's a Corvette. Beaters have their advantages - drive a beater, and you're accountable to no one. You can bomb it down gravel roads, change the color with Krylon, get it airborn on railroad tracks, or cut up perfectly original parts with a hacksaw for creative hack-job modifications. But it's just wrong to treat a Corvette like that. At the same time, I'm not sure I want to put thousands of dollars' worth of speed parts into a $3,500 car.

The answer to what sort of buildup this should be came when I decided the radio needs replacing (it won't lock onto the stations correctly, for one thing) and remembered I had a Blaupunkt CD player that I'd picked up for free from my brother in law: See if I can find some cool mods for way less than retail - either free cast-offs, used parts, odd deals I might be able to whistle up from various connections through work (hey, this isn't the Challenge, so I can use that advantage if I want to!). Kind of in keeping with how the car itself was a score I couldn't pass up. I may sometimes have to pay full price - doubtless will for some wear items, repairs, and things that don't make sense to buy used. But I'm going to see if I can make this a supercar fit for Clark Howard.

Besides some creative scrounging, it needs some other key planning elements. So here they are.

1. First and foremost, it's my daily driver. That means everything on it is to be kept in good working order, I'll keep the AC, stereo, and other things that add weight but make traffic more tolerable, and it won't get mods that ruin its practicality.

2. It'll be made for good handling, and frequently autocrossed. Maybe in A/Stock for now, B/Street Prepared for later. I don't plan on pushing it into Street Mod 2 unless I really run across an impossible to pass up deal on an aluminum block.

3. And like I said earlier, scoring good deals may very well turn out to be as important as going fast.

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