Me & My Car: red hot, sleek and grunty
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You’re driving a 2018 Corvette you brought in from the States. How did you initiate the import?
The car was ordered directly through Huebner Chevrolet in February 2017 as I wanted the first Corvette off the production line. I paid a reasonable deposit to secure the car in July 2017.
After much dealing with Huebner, it was agreed that it would go to Yenko for modifications. Yenko is the approved modifier of Chevrolet, and the car was changed to 615kW. I finally decided on Torch Red and super-charged 416 cubic inch displacement.
Did you need to go to the States to arrange it?
This process of purchasing a car from the States is long-winded, with a lot of paperwork and a lot of time needed. Hence the reason New Zealand is not flooded with new American cars. I did not need to go to the States. We had a contact in America, who was able to do some of the necessary groundwork.
When did the Corvette arrive on New Zealand’s shores?
When the car was finally completed, the long process began and eventually it was shipped to New Zealand in June. But it then required compliance. This also turned into a very difficult journey.
As the car was 615kW, it required rigorous and stringent inspections. Basically, it was treated as a scratch-built car, and those in the know will acknowledge the time this takes.
Why did you want this car specifically?
I have always loved Corvettes and I have previously owned a 67 Tri-Power. I sold this, along with my 68 Camaro race car, to enable me to fund some of the purchase price of the new Corvette. I am Chevy mad and I love horsepower.
The idea of owning a brand new car is every car enthusiast’s fantasy. The interior of the car is very impressive. It even has #1 stamped on the door sill.
Does it meet your expectations?
The car is gruntier than I ever imagined. Almost too grunty. It sounds amazing when it’s fired up. I will, at some stage, take it to Hampton Downs race track to get a proper gauge of its “firepower”. I need a proper play in it.
Will you ever sell it?
I am hoping to keep the car until I either run out of talent to drive the said Beast or I expire!
How often do you clean it?
I haven’t had much time behind the wheel yet so I haven’t even needed to clean it.
Does anyone else drive it?
Neither my wife Chrissie nor my daughter Daisy wish to drive it. Daisy, aged 17, couldn’t quite cope with all that power and Chrissie doesn’t want to drive it for fear of bending it.
Any good family road trips so far?
We can’t do family trips as it only has two chairs.
Do you have a special plate for it?
I may possibly consider a personalised plate but it would need to be a birthday or Christmas present.
Any reactions from people drooling over the car?
Everyone who sees the car comments that it “looks awesome” ... “sounds grunty” ... “looks too hot and sleek and mean for geriatric old Bill”.
Any more buys planned?
The next car planned would be a nana car. The only way I will be allowed to buy another classic car is if I win Lotto — my garages are full.