by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on September 10, 2015
I try not to be one of those guys who (a) falls in love with a girl on the first date and (b) tells everyone within earshot how amazing the girl was. Those guys are saps.
I'm now officially a sap. Because I had the most magical first date the other night. Sure, she was a bit older, but at my age I can't be too picky anymore. Plus, she was friendly, easy to get to know, and made the most incredible sounds.
Whoa, slow down there. Get your mind out of the gutter. You thought I was talking about a girl of the human variety, didn't you? Nope, I'm talking about our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. I just drove her for the first time. And it was good. Real good.
There was a girl of human form along, too, but that's a relatively unimportant point compared to driving the old Vette.
August 18, 2015
This is a moment months is the making. We finally get to see how our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette performs at the test track, in all its bias-ply glory. Josh Jacquot raced it down the drag strip, drifted around the skid pad and hurried it through the slalom.
On the same day we tested the Corvette, we also tested a 2015 Toyota Camry V6 XLE for a fun comparison test and video. We also pitted a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette against the '66 to show how far the car has come in 50 (well, 49) years. This particular new Corvette came with the 8-speed automatic transmission and marks the first time we have tested a C7 Corvette without the Z51 Performance Package.
August 6, 2015
After taking a few hot laps around The Streets of Willow road course in Rosamond, California, Josh Jacquot piled out of our long-term 1966 Chevrolet Corvette, covered in sweat. Rosamond is hot and the Corvette is even hotter, but he had a giant smile on his face.
We gathered around to hear his impressions. "It's really fun once you stop being afraid of it," he said.
August 4, 2015
There's an uneasiness about driving our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette that's hard to reconcile with the car's reputation. This is, after all, a revered sports car, right? Truth be told, it's terrifying. Initially, at least. I know because I was the guy wheeling the Vette for its recent comparison test vs. the Toyota Camry. It's rare for any car evaluation to reach the conclusion that faster isn't always better, but that's our finding with the Stingray.
Every move I made in my first few minutes behind the wheel of the Vette came accompanied by an unmitigated sense of horror. You see, the realm of comfort I'd prefer in a modern car — let's call it 8/10ths driving — is the worst place to drive this Stingray. Drive it like that and it's both alarmingly unstable and regrettably slow.
June 3, 2015
Eventually, somebody says it. You're standing around an old car and the conversation turns to its engine, as it always does. Then it comes out.
Bro, put an LS in it. Bro, resto-mod. Bro, pro-touring. Bro, LS swap.
Engine swaps are cool and all, but don't think that dropping a modern V8 into our long-term 1966 Corvette would make it better.
June 1, 2015
I'm a big fan of the term "period-correct." Up until the early 1970s, before radial tires took over, bias-ply tires were the norm. What's the difference? Here's a simple explanation from Michelin, but I'll summarize it by saying that radial tires have better compliance characteristics, are less prone to overheat, and provide better traction than bias-ply tires.
Our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette is shod with bias-plies and they clearly demonstrate why radial tires are better. Even when driven conservatively through a turn, you can hear the bias-plies squeal. In one instance, I needed to cross an intersection quickly and the tires spun with very little provocation.
June 1, 2015
In 1966, just as in 2015, every Corvette was rear-wheel drive, V8-powered and available as a coupe or a convertible.
After much debate and about six weeks of research we decided to pursue a Nassau Blue (the most popular color in 1966) coupe powered by the base and most popular engine, a 300-horsepower, 327-cubic-inch small-block with a 10.5-to-1 compression ratio, and a four-speed manual transmission.