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The Two Best Days In a Corvette

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 6 days ago Brian Brennan,Robert McGaffin,Gerry Burger
a car parked in a parking lot: 05-2016-corvette-coupe-interim-brennan.jpg

All of us have lifetime markers we remember or note something of importance in our life when an event occurs. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, let me say that the birth of my daughter Shannon and the marriage to my wife, Kimi, are the two best days drop the mic! But there are other noteworthy days.

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My two best days with Corvettes don't even include the days that I got my 1957, 1962 or my current 1968 (up and running) and 1971 (still in rebuild mode). Nope, the best days involved racetracks, drivers far more competent than myself and new Corvettes.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, November 30 and December 1, 1982, at Riverside Raceway in SoCal I was able to spend time with the 1983 Corvette. Only 43 1983 Corvettes were made and the final 10, listed as "non-saleable units," were delivered to Riverside Raceway in Riverside, California, for the press preview. According to records, these cars were built on November 15, 1982. For these 10 cars, all had RPO HE3 3.07 rear axles. Five of these 10 cars had RPO Z51.

It was an incredible two days' photography and driving at speed, these latest and greatest Corvettes. I would consistently hit 130-133 mph down the back straight and proceed to scare the living bejesus out of myself going through the corners. At Turn 9, the best corner, I managed to lose control and go for a spin through the mud, grass and lots of weeds. As I came back into the paddock area it was apparent what my miscue had been. First up, as steam came off of the rotors, the mud needed to be wiped off of the sides, then new tires were installed and, in general, a walk around was performed to make sure I hadn't damaged anything on this million-dollar test ride. It was a fantastic couple of days.

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: 01-2016-corvette-coupe-interim-brennan© Robert McGaffin,Gerry Burger 01-2016-corvette-coupe-interim-brennan

Next up occurred some 34 years later. This time I found myself at the Corvette test track in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The NSRA Street Rod Nationals had wrapped up and I found myself with time to fill before the following weekend commenced with the Tri-Five Nationals. I figured it would be a great time to drop by and see the folks at Holley then over to the NCM and finally my personal little bit of heaven on earth NCM Motorsports Park, aka the Corvette test track.

It was Monday, August 8, 2016. Our Corvette was the latest C7 with a Z51 package and we happen to arrive as Mitch Wright, General Manager of NCM Motorsports Park, was taking the silver bullet out to "bed" the latest brake pads just installed. I should point out that I rode as a willing passenger, but must admit there were some muffled shrieks every now and then.

It's always fun to see what kinds of top speeds you can achieve, in our case around 130, but it was the cornering ability of the C7 that was absolutely amazing. You know you are going through corners fast and hard when you bang you head off of the door glass!

For the record, the four quickest times recorded at NCM Motorsports Park are as follows:

1. Dodge Viper ACR (Mk V)Larry Webster1:58.14
2. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C7)Larry Webster1:58.25
3. Ferrari 488 GTBLarry Webster1:59.04
4. Ford Shelby Mustang GT350RLarry Webster2:02.27

I should point out that I wasn't aboard for any of these lap times but I enjoyed myself immensely.

Should you have your own Corvette you can have all the fun days you wish, but should you want to take your car to the NCM Motorsports Park (www.motorsportspark.org) you can. You can take your car around or you can go for chauffeured rides. The track offers Hot Laps where one of the professional drivers will take you for a spin in a Corvette or you can drive one of the track's C7 Corvette Stingray Z51s for a few laps in a lead/follow format. Check it out it's a hoot!

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