Abused - 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Long-Term Road Test
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2002 Chevrolet Corvette Long Term Road Test

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2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Abused

July 12, 2010

vette_skirt.jpg

I'd dare to say the most abused part of our Corvette is not the engine, the brakes or the recently replaced tires. I'd say it's the air dam.

With every sound of scraping plastic, I clenched my teeth and white knuckled the steering wheel, wishing for the sonic misery it to end as soon as possible. My weekend in the Corvette was stressful.

I guess for people who drive cars this low to the ground, looking for clearance and ways to get into parking garages and over speed bumps is a way of life. After my weekend in the Corvette, it's no everyday way of life for me. Sure you might say "It comes with the territory" or "Stop being a panzy and suck it up." Do you drive a low slung car like this all the time? I'd bet most do not.

I scraped the plastic more than I care to remember this past weekend. Even when I thought I was being super careful going through a rain run off trough in an intersection, it scraped. Taking the angle over a speed bump at low speed, it scraped. Just driving down the road and hitting a small bump, it scraped. Ok, it might just be a piece of plastic, but sound it makes me think I'm about to rip off a piece of suspension.

The high point of stress was going into a parking structure I'd never been to before late Saturday night. I didn't notice the entrance had a ridiculous change of angle until I was right on top of it. I entered the parking structure at a meticulously slow pace, hoping not to drag the nose. The guy behind me decided he could beat the light too. He took the left turn and tucked in close behind me. The fact I was trying to be careful didn't bode well for him as the oncoming traffic let him know he was being a jerk by honking at him, which he in turn started to honk at me. If I knew of another entrance to the garage I would have taken it, but I was stuck in the situation and had to deal with it. Despite the careful speed, the angle of approach, there was a sickening thud as some chunk of metal hit the cement. Garage entrance FAIL.

There is no doubt that the 'Vette is a blast to drive on flat, predictable surfaces. But the real world responsibilities are more than what I'd want for my day to day lifestyle. I guess if I was really into our Z06, I'd find ways to get around and minimize the abuse. This just makes me realize I'm not that into our 'Vette to overcome those difficulties.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 49,670 miles.

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