2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: South Before West
October 18, 2013
Dan's got music studios on the brain as we meander down through Tennessee into Alabama. And just as quickly as we're on the interstate, we're off of it. We're not driving through towns as we are through groupings of small buildings. The lack of pace here is palpable and the 2014 Corvette Stingray just seems so unnecessary.
An old truck would hit the spot.
After 30 minutes, I lose track of the cemeteries we've passed. I get the sense there's been more dying around here than there's been living and I'm all too happy to coast into Mussel Shoals and past an Astro Van limousine.
Memphis brings a new reality. Depressed seems to be the norm, so when a new Corvette pulls up at a stop light, it doesn't go unnoticed. No one hides their interest. Cars bristle with cell phones and pedestrians think nothing of walking out into traffic to stop you. You wait. You oblige, but you don't bask. It's not your car after all.
The BBQ joint, Payne's, sets a new standard for both a rib sandwich and gawking. Dudes walk up. They cross the street and they emerge from the local garage. In one minute there were two. In five minutes there were ten. Cars with the darkest window tint I've ever seen are pulling up and cracking their windows. More phones and a lot of music. For now, the car is surrounded.
But there's something else at work here. This attention isn't directed at the Corvette because it's a new car or expensive. No one's mentioning money. Instead, this is the hot new Chevrolet. The brand is accessible. Chevrolet makes their Impala. It makes their Suburban. The Corvette is well and truly a halo car. It's inspirational. It's aspirational.
We bail and wave goodbye as I powerslide Number 23 out of the parking lot. Payne's was worth the time and so were the people. We'll make Arkansas tonight but not before the car blends with the deep, dark green of Mississippi at twilight.