1966 Chevrolet Corvette Long-Term Road Test

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1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray: Owning a 1966 Corvette

June 9, 2015

1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray

Much of the appeal behind owning an older car, like our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, is the personalized list of quirks and nuances that accompany it. Old cars are old. Parts break, wear, creak, rattle, stop working when it's wet, stop working when it's dry, require a tap or bang to operate. The list goes on.

At 50 years old, even the most physically fit of human specimens benefit from a little mechanical sympathy. Such is the case with our Sting Ray. Here's a look behind the scenes of our Corvette for the uninitiated:

Parking Brake
It's below the dash. Pull the lever out to engage. Twist the handle and push in to disengage.

One button raises the headlights, the one next to it turns them on.

It doesn’t work. I can recommend a good speedometer app for your phone.

It's a little slow and the needle bounces as it climbs. I don't recommend trying any redline shifts.

It's precise enough. This is a four-speed. Neutral sits someplace between 1st and 2nd gear, but it will start in 3rd if you miss. Lift the lever for Reverse. Make sure it clicks back again for 1st.

The only brake assist here comes from your thigh and calf. Leave extra space in front of you.

Bias-ply tires are not the same as radials, especially if they're wet. Leave extra space in front of you.

The fuel nozzle is smaller in diameter than the opening for the tank. So if you catch the lip just right you don't have to hold the nozzle sleeve back manually. To avoid an overflow, peek into the tank frequently to gauge how close those bubbles are to the opening. But the fuel gauge is accurate.

Rearview Mirror
At about 3,000 rpm, it vibrates to the point that it's really of little use.

Steering Wheel
It creaks sometimes. Until it gets worse, we are going to leave it alone.

Driver Seat
It creaks sometimes. Until it gets worse, we are going to leave it alone.

Aside from these idiosyncrasies, the Corvette is like any other car. Have fun. Driving this car truly is a glimpse of the past and a special experience.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ unknown miles (odometer doesn’t work either)