There aren’t many times you get the chance to drive something truly unicorn like. Getting behind the wheel of a rarity is always a pleasure, and especially as very few of this particular unicorn were actually sold in this country. You guessed from the title and the picture i know, but the C6 Corvette is something of a childhood dream car for me.
Not far from where I lived an older kid was fairly wealthy, they always had nice cars and the best of everything.
But one day as I was cycling past, a bright red C6 Corvette was parked outside. It looked stunning and it sounded even better, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be lucky enough to get behind the wheel of one in later life.
Justin from Classics Central arrived to pick me up on a somewhat wet autumn day. Just the type of weather for a rear wheel drive, 6.0 litre V8, that makes 400 BHP and 540 Nm of torque…
Having set my affairs in order, I opened the door and hopped in.
First impressions of the interior. It’s really not half bad. Seeing as this ‘vette is nearly 10 years old the interior could well pass for half that age. And as we make our way over the speedbumps out onto the open roads there are no creaks or rattles to be had. All the plastic inside is deathly quiet, as if it had just been driven out of the showroom. Impressive.
Oh, and those dials are to die for! Pin sharp and crystal clear, modern manufacturers need to take note!
As the rain slowly passes we are left with some wet and greasy tarmac. Justin is in the driver’s seat and puts the car through its passes, showing me how it handles, and where the traction actually starts in these conditions!
Planting your foot to the floor will light up the back tyres until about 40 MPH before grip catches up with itself…
One thing I notice straight away is the power delivery. It is just so smooth! Acceleration starts off a little slow – this isnt GT-R neck breakingly quick – but it builds speed like you wouldnt believe. The power and torque just seems endless, no matter the pace.
There is however one caveat. This comes in the form of the four speed auto gearbox that is fitted to this ‘vette. It isnt the smoothest auto in the world, and if you let off the gas just before it changes up you get a violent lurch forward as the gearbox catches up with the accelerator – even though you are fully off the pedal.
It isnt a bad thing, some would say it adds character..but I’m sure a manual would be much more pleasing in this beast.
You can shift the gearbox into “Sport” mode which speeds things up a tad, kick down when cruising at 70 happens quick enough – this is no double clutch affair but it isn’t at all lackadaisical in its manor.
And now for the handling…
After hearing all of the bad mouthing about leaf springs, and corners being nigh on impossible I was very sceptical. But honestly…it really isn’t that bad! You can feel the rear end dance about a little over rougher patches of road, but on nice, flat sections of tarmac it rides very well.
Damping is particularly good for such a light, sporting car, it isn’t at all crashy and it absorbs most of the worst that the English B roads can throw at it.
Cornering also felt pretty good, even in the wet you can push into a corner quick enough and it grips rather well. No doubt due to the C6’s breadth and the width of the tyres, the rears are shod with 285/35/19 if you’re wondering.
It also felt pretty planted for only weighing in at 1475 KG. I was expecting it to dance around a lot, especially in the wet, especially with so much power. But it didn’t at all.
Now about those leaf springs at the rear. The Ford Model T had leaf springs. Americans are slow moving when it comes to evolution…
When driving up the ramps in the multi storey there was creaking. No doubt due to the chilly weather and the rubber bushes being cold, but every slope was met with a groan as we weaved our way up to the roof.
It was hilarious, but it kind of shows why the C6 could never really compete with European cars of its ilk.
Braving the elements on a rather drizzly day we motored our way through the Buckinghamshire countryside, top down. The cream soft top is semi electric like an MX5, you pull down a handle in the roof at the top of the windscreen, twist and then press the electric roof button. The rest is done for you.
But forget about using it whilst driving along, technology wasn’t that advance back in 2005!
Returning home in one piece i actually rather liked the Corvette. It’s the sort of car you could eat up mile after mile with ease, especially in auto guise. The interior quality is great for a car of this era, and that effortless power is rather addictive too.
Even in its retirement red and cream combo it still really appealed to me…and to find out that the C6 really isn’t as bad as the wider press makes out was a delight in itself.
This very ‘vette is heading to Classics Central second ever auction on Sunday, November 8th. It has an estimate of around £25,000, which for such a low mileage example isn’t bad at all.
Classics Central are a relatively new classic car auction house. Run by Justin Lazic, a team of 5 full time staff canvas and hunt out only the best examples to bring to auction.
Every car is treated equally, whether it be a £1,000 Ford Fiesta, or a £100,000 Jaguar E-Type. They are all advertised in the best way possible, owners clubs, niche magazines, and even direct calls amongst contacts in the industry.
Justin is seriously passionate about cars, his enthusiasm about almost any classic motor is relentless – and what he doesn’t know about 1990’s Merc’s isn’t worth knowing. It’s wonderful when you find someone in business because they love what the business is. These people don’t care about the money. Yes it helps, but it’s a passion they follow and pursue, which means you get their full effort and attention all of the time.
We shall be attending Central Classics auction on November the 8th and will have a full feature on attending our first car auction.
Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter