Three Days in the D

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They had a point. The 427 hood badges definitely evoke the spirit of big blocks past, but they are difficult to read at a glance. Placing them on the front fenders may not be in sync with Corvette heritage, but that would definitely make a more visible statement. As mentioned, a stinger-type hood graphic is available for the 427 Convertible; we suggest ordering it for anyone who wants to ensure his or her car doesn’t go unnoticed.

Sunday: 11 A.m.

Our final day with the 427 Convertible was Father’s Day and this writer celebrated it with his five-year-old daughter, Mary, by attending the Eyes on Design show at the Edsel Ford estate located on the east side of Detroit. Eyes on Design is a prestigious, charity-based concours-like event focused on the design statement of automobiles; it is judged by designers from the industry, including GM’s Ed Welburn. It was the event’s 25th year and the milestone was marked by several displays of silver cars, including a stunning circle of silver Corvettes.

The half-hour drive to the event provided the sort of unvarnished, completely objective opinions that only a five-year-old could utter. Mary astutely compared the car with the only other vehicles she is familiar with, including her father’s 1990 Corvette coupe, an equally old Ford F-250 and a 2002 Camaro SS. On the car’s acceleration: “Whoa! Daddy, this car is a lot faster than your Corvette and the Camaro. I mean, a lot!”

“Thanks, honey,” I replied, thinking she didn’t exactly have to rub it in with that second, more emphatic “a lot.”

As for the 427 Convertible’s handling, which we experienced while taking an on-ramp rather briskly, Mary’s summation was flat and direct: “It feels a lot better going on a turn than your truck.”

I grinned and told her I’d definitely pass that information along to Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter, and that I was sure he and his team would be happy to know their 2013 Corvette goes better through a turn than a 22-year-old pickup truck.

Mary gave another thumbs-up to the new touch-screen radio system, which she figured out just as quickly as her father. The articulating screen moved out and down to provide access to the CD player and a slot for the navigation disc. When I casually mentioned the nav disc slot said “DVD,” Mary immediately wanted to try a movie. I told her it wouldn’t work, but then again, I wasn’t 100-percent sure. So, in the interest of science and the appeasement of a five-year-old who wouldn’t stop saying “pleeeeeeeease,” we slipped in a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse disc and got a screen message that said something to the effect of, “the inserted disc isn’t a navigation disc.” No movie. At least we were sure—if not a wee bit disappointed.

Heavy rain moved in on the way home from Eyes on Design, effectively wrapping up our top-down driving and our time with the 427 Convertible Collector Edition. It left us surprised and delighted. To be frank, we expected a convertible with a Z06 engine—powerful, but maybe a bit ponderous. We were thrilled to be mistaken, finding instead a 505-hp convertible supercar you can drive every day. The ride is really that good.

As we look forward to the next-generation Corvette, we admit being hard-pressed to imagine how Chevy could be improve upon the sublime driving experience of the 427 Convertible Collector Edition. Detroit’s legacy shines brightly with this Corvette, but we can’t wait to see what’s next.

Also from Issue 76

  • 1967 Restomod
  • C5 Buyer's Guide
  • 1957 Convertible Restoration
  • 2004 C1 Conversion
  • Tech: MSRC Shocks
  • 1973 Manta Ray GT
  • Racing: Le Mans
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