2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Brand-think
June 02, 2010
Corvette is a brand, not just a car.
From the beginning, GM set the Corvette apart from Chevrolet. That's why Harley Earl's design team worked so hard to create a unique logo in 1953 (complete with the European visual imagery Earl liked so much). That's why Zora Arkus-Duntov's famous memo about Chevrolet and the enthusiasm of young hot-rodders for performance earned him lasting influence as the Corvette's first chief engineer.
Because Corvette is a brand, not just a car, everyone on my street has come by asking about a ride in the Z06. Just like the guy a couple doors up who has had a series of American cars, from his 1966 Pontiac GTO to his late-gen Thunderbird. He's always wanted a Corvette.
But that's just the trouble.
Everyone I meet says that they've always wanted a Corvette or always wondered about a Corvette. The strength of the brand has given them lasting awareness of the car. Yet almost never do I meet someone who says that they're going to get a Corvette. Everybody knows the brand, but too few know the car.
And that's why this used Z06 with 48,305 miles on it is such an important automobile. This is a Corvette that is cheap enough to own. It's not some exotic automotive icon; it's a car that you can drive. As my friend Bill Cooper, the winner of the 1989 Corvette Challenge racing series, frequently tells me, you can want a Porsche, but you can drive a Corvette. It's the difference between $80,000 and $20,000.
If I were the Corvette guys, I'd be working hard on the certified pre-owned program and I'd be telling everyone to visit guys like Corvette Mike. Even better, I'd be reminding people that one day soon you'll be able to buy a Corvette Z06 like this one for $15,000
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 48,305 miles