2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Social Ownership Experience
May 13, 2014
Anecdotally, I've gotten more attention in our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray than I ever did in our long-term 2013 Porsche 911. In the Vette, it doesn't matter if I'm at a Sunday morning car show or just going to pick up some groceries, I'm bound to get attention. A 911 may cost $20-140K more, but the Corvette seems to turn more heads.
I give some credit to the fact that the Stingray is a relatively new car, but I also think it's more striking, more unique in Los Angeles and it hasn't looked the same since the beginning of time. Whatever it is, this thing brings people out of their shell.
I recently took the Corvette on a 350-mile road trip along Highway 1 up the California coast to Monterey. There are lots of two-lane highways along this blissful stretch of road, so you can see the other drivers up close and personal and I passed seven other Corvettes going the opposite direction: two C5's, four C6's and a Torch-Red C7. Every single driver gestured in some way. They waved, presented a military style solute, or gave me the thumbs-up. I naturally, returned their gestures. The notoriety wasn't limited to Corvette drivers either, though some specific Chevy drivers didn't play along.
On the same trip, I passed nearly three times the number of fifth-gen Chevy Camaros and none of the drivers took a second look at the Stingray. There are lots of Camaros in rental car fleets here in California, though, so that may account for some of the drivers' general aloofness. To test that theory, I waved at a few of the drivers in modified Camaros to see what would happen, but I was left hanging. Respect, it seems, knows no brand loyalty.
To me, the Carrera 911 is classically good looking, but it's also understated. Not to mention, it's super common in California and it goes relatively unnoticed. The Corvette's aggressive styling and V8 roar are unique and inviting, and people want to know more about it. When you park the car, strangers ask what it is, how fast it is and even how much it costs. A few friendly foreign travelers I met along the way wanted a photo next to the car, so I happily obliged. As the new Stingray becomes a more common sight, things may subside over time, but for now, if you plan on purchasing a C7 Corvette, prepare to socialize.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 18,900 miles