2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Do we have Clearance, Clarence?
September 20, 2010
Yes, we already know that our Corvette has a tendency to scrape its air deflector on just about every driveway, dip and speedbump. It's just part of driving a low car with a long overhang. When it makes that plastic-on-asphalt dragging noise, passing pedestrians always seem to look at me like I'm abusing the poor car. But c'mon, I'm being as careful as I can, trying to go slowly and at angles that will minimize the contact.
This weekend, I discovered a Corvette noise that's even worse...
My neighbor's tree is lifting a part of my driveway, right where it meets the sidewalk. It's not much of a peak, but it's just enough to SCRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAPPPE the undertray in the middle of the wheelbase. It sounded like I was ripping pieces of fiberglass off. Reluctantly, I checked for damage, but there was none. The scraping came from a steel frame element, thankfully. For the remainder of the weekend, I drove the 'Vette halfway over my lawn to avoid the offending concrete slab. I hope my landlord doesn't mind.
But there was still more to come. Later on I was pulling out of a small parking lot that had a one-way exit with spikes and a speedbump. The Corvette scraped its frame again and just for good measure, also made the obligatory nose scrape on the street as I exited. Too bad our Z06 doesn't have a nose-lift function like the Lamborghini Gallardo has. Judging from the above photo, there's only about 5.5 inches of clearance between the wheels. Man, that's low.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor