2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Keeps Good Company

December 13, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of driving a friend's Lamborghini Countach back from a local car show. Spent maybe 20 miles behind the wheel of the iconic supercar, which, in its day, was a much bigger deal than any Corvette has ever been.

It was epic. But not for the reasons you might think.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Though I'm glad to have had the experience, it was nerve wracking. Most cars from the '80s aren't great drivers and the Countach is no exception. This carbureted LP5000 is powerful enough to be quick, but there's little control. No part of me wanted to corner the car aggressively. With 225s up front and 345s out back it's a desperate understeerer — or so I'm told. Its clutch is heavy, its transmission doesn't shift into second until it's fully warmed up, and its brakes couldn't stop a car weighing 1,000 pounds less. Visibility is utterly hopeless.

Probably the best part of the experience was the sound. The great Hal Needham knew this. Twice, even.

The mid-1980s LP5000 is a car that's come full circle for many enthusiasts, myself included. I embraced it in childhood as the poster car it deserved to be, went through a period of hating its brazen flares, wing and doors, and have once again returned to loving it unconditionally. I mean, really, just look at the thing.

It is hugely, achingly, gratuitously tough looking. Nothing before or since even comes close.

And then, when it was all over and I had returned the Countach safely to its garage, I jumped in a genuinely fast car — a green one — and went home.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor

Most Recommended Comments

By quadricycle
on 12/15/13
12:22 AM PST

@sharpend: Exactly! That's why I think people should pay less attention to numbers and more towards the actual driving experience. The great cars of thirty years ago would seem wholly inadequate compared to many cars today, if we just went by the numbers. Are those cars no longer great, are they now completely inadequate, worthless? Of course not! Time couldn't steal their greatest attributes; the connection and communication between machine and man, the visceral feelings and sounds, the challenge of getting innumerable parts to push a three thousand pound object in the exact way you wanted it to, and the corresponding smile and flutter of the heart. That same principle carries to cars today. I can't stand comments like "that's hardly any faster than a V6 Accord", skip that part and read about how the car made the reviewer feel!

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By hybris
on 12/13/13
6:26 PM PST

Can I suggest that you guys get a Countach or better yet (For me at least) a late model Diablo?

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