I Drive Bob’s Stingray
Bob Nicholls shed mate hurt his arm and couldn’t drive, and my 88 vette was waiting for a new hose. So we combined the parts of us that worked and I drove Bob’s gleaming red Stingray to the Atherton Car Show, with him as passenger.
It’s been my ambition to drive a 3rd generation Corvette further than just the usual short test drive and this trip included a run up the twisty Gillies range – perfect. For years I wanted a Stingray but when the time came, I choose to get the later model for it’s drivability. This was my chance to compare the two generations.
I climbed in and adjusted the seat and telescopic steering, then with a word from Bob about the engine being cold, which I think was a reminder to treat his baby gently, we left Bayview Heights at 7.45am. The exhaust burbling as we drove down Toogood Rd. The first things I noticed were the different travel on the brake pedal and more turns on the steering. The suspension was firm but not harsh, the accelerator smooth.
The view out the windscreen with the two fenders sticking up either side of the long bonnet brought a smile to my face. I love the look of the Stingray, it’s a stunning design.
We joined up with other club members at Edmonton and then set off in convoy of five cars that grew to seven by Gordonvale. As we began climbing the Gillies, Bob advised me to lock the auto in second, it was the perfect gear, of course.
While I got to know this Corvette, the convoy made better time and soon there was no-one in front. By halfway up the range I had the feel of the car and moved the speed up a notch. The wide tyres gripped well, with no noise on the corners and the suspension handled the bumps. The temperature gauge remained steady.
Further up there was very slight rain, not enough to turn on the wipers. I slowed down a bit in case it made the road slippery but never felt any loss of grip. Once we were through the wet patch we picked up the speed a little and caught back up with the convoy just as we emerged at the top of the range.
We arrived in Atherton and I entered the driveway to the International club at an angle to avoid catching the low front spoiler. While Bob signed in, I parked the vette on the grass beside the other club cars. Bob soon got out the polishing rag, so I went to have breakfast – Hey this car sharing is fun!
It was a very pleasant morning at the car show, lots of interesting cars to see and people to talk too. The time passed quickly and soon it was time to go home. I enjoyed the drive back, feeling I had got to know the car well.
The shiny red Stingray was noticed everywhere. Even as we arrived home, a lady across the road took a picture of us. The looks are the 3rd generation Corvette’s best feature. It’s different to drive compared to the 4th, just as the 5th is different to the 4th. There are similarities too – the low driving position, near to the back axle, being the obvious one.
I’ve driven a lot of cars, including Taxi’s and even underground trains and loaders, but never driven a Mustang or Camaro, and I wonder what it’s like behind the wheel of the larger cars like the Parisienne? I’m always looking to drive different cars and willing to reciprocate with my 88 vette. Ideally the owner comes along, that way they know their car is treated well, and their knowledge of their car is part of the experience.
Thanks Bob for trusting me with your Corvette, my day behind the wheel of a Stingray was special.Share