The Wide West - 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Corvette: The Wide West

November 4, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The sun seems brighter than ever. I reckon it's the high altitude and the clear air. Frio reckons it's the tequila.

Coffee at a nearby motel clears us up, but this motel is a little different. It's clean, modern and well appointed. There's no mistaking it for a classic Route 66 job, but it's attractive. Instead of wallowing in nostalgia, it's cleaned up and made something for itself. Naturally Dan and I look, again, at our 2014 Corvette.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Driving through New Mexico, and then Arizona, takes time. These are some wide states, with wide lands and wider skies. It's far from desolate, but it looks impossible. No doubt the buttes wonder why we're in such a hurry, but we're driving to get home. Just passin' through.

Drives like this bring out conversation. Dan and I hit music, cars and society. We power through a box of Fig Newtons. We chase a rattle in the dash to the center air vent slider. We also drive a paved highway through once sacred land. You can't not talk about that. You can't not want to apologize.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

More fuel for Number 23 and as Dan disappears into the truck stop, a trucker chats me up. He brings up the C6 and I relate it to the C7. He asks about the trick diff and admires the paint. His big gulp is empty so he leaves to fill it. I have the urge to be a trucker.

Trinkets beckon under a fake, dead horse and a giant teepee. Dan admires the dream catchers and I admire the Corvette. What a difference. Genuinely making a case for previous generations of Corvette used to require some creative denial. This one? This one's good. Go drive one and spread the word.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Don't let the pine trees fool you, we're still in Arizona. Flagstaff sits around 7,000 feet above sea level. The Corvette digs a little deeper and the altitude goes by unnoticed.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Driving into the sun is brutal. And after we stop so I can dodge semi trucks in the name of a border shot, Dan drops the hammer. Barstow and a burger, that's what we want.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Barstow yes, burger no. The fuel stop is quick and I pull away from the pump before Dan shuts the door. Home is two hours away, L.A. traffic be damned. Thankfully, we're reentering L.A.'s orbit after dark, which helps alleviate the shock. At night, the city shimmers instead of the stars. The smog isn't visible and I'd almost like to live here.

We're officially welcomed back with an aggressive invitation to race and garbage blowing across the freeway.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Nostalgia has been lurking through this whole trip. Lurking in the legacy of past Corvettes. Lurking just off the major interstates, mummified by desert heat and lurking in the hearts and minds of the former Corvette owners we'd met along the way. We didn't want any part of it. We were just driving through. But as we stop for a shot at the finish line, it's Frio, me and Number 23. We did it, and we're going to remember it.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor


  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Smog and garbage. Welcome to LA. And people wonder why I don't think it is worth the high cost of living.

  • karlhungus1 karlhungus1 Posts:

    "We also drive a paved highway through once sacred land. You can't not talk about that. You can't not want to apologize." Remember the natives to that area never invented the wheel. If you wanted to take something somewhere you had to drag it behind you or carry it. You can pine for the good old days, but I doubt you would like it.

  • Excellent writing, reminds me of Peter Egan.

  • Nice wrap-up, Kurt!

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    Its posts like this that make me wish someone else would foot my gas/repair bills and drive my old warhorse of a truck across the US. Will I get the same attention as the Corvette? No but it would be nice to road trip at least once in my life.

  • marmotking marmotking Posts:

    @desmolicious... "Excellent writing, reminds me of Peter Egan." Seconded. Came here to say that. For those few who are unfamiliar with Mr. Egan, well, it's high praise.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    another great post. based on the final photo you guys adjusted the seat a lot!

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