Such a looker

Double Take - 2011 Chevrolet Corvette GS convertibleEvery Friday evening a local car show is held at a nearby shopping center. For the event, they rope off a large area of the parking lot situated by a 1950s-themed hamburger joint, and dozens of classic car owners get to strut their stuff and talk cars with gawking onlookers.

Unfortunately, there’s no real draw for me since nearly all of the cars that show up are what you might call hot rods, and hot rods just aren’t my thing.

Instead, I tend to see more interesting cars at the shopping center randomly. Take, for instance, this convertible 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

Eye candy on wheels
2011 Chevrolet Corvette GS conv front leftWhat do you call a Corvette that’s upgraded with equipment beyond your standard, entry-level model yet still a healthy notch below the wild Z06 model? Well, before 2010, the answer would have been Z51. For 2010, however, the Grand Sport model was introduced, offering buyers three models to choose from: standard, Grand Sport and Z06. (The fourth, nearly unbelievable model, the ZR1, was still about a year away.)

This red example is a 2011. There’s only one way to tell a 2010 Grand Sport apart from a 2011, that I’m aware of anyway. That’s the GM ‘Chiclet’ just above the rocker panel on 2010s. However, they can obviously be removed, or added for that matter.

No, I used a much more scientifically precise method for determining this car’s exact year. I read the license plate, it was customized.

2010 Chevrolet Corvette coupe front rightSomething I’ve heard people say about the modern Corvette’s styling legacy is that it’s lacking some wow factor. (Standard coupe model shown left.)

I think part of the reason that newer Corvettes have a tendency to sort of blend in with surrounding traffic isn’t because they are boring or unattractive. Rather, I submit it’s because they’ve had a similar look for such a long time. The fourth-generation Corvette, or C4, was introduced as a 1984 model and, even thought it was instantly recognizable as a Corvette, it still managed a substantial visual departure from C3.

C5 was introduced for 1997 and while it had been thoroughly modernized, it retained much of C4’s appearance. Just under a decade later, the 2005 C6 was introduced; the same generation being sold today. The stylistic differences between C5 and C6 were fewer yet and, being almost 2013 as of this writing, the overall shape doesn’t catch the eye like it once did.

But, when you get up close, and study some of the lines, it’s hard not to feel a little passion from the design, as indicated below.

2011 Chevrolet Corvette GS conv ptofile right

You know, for a design that’s approaching the decade mark, and one that’s undergone minimal enhancements, I seem to always see some detail or nuance I’d not noticed before.

Continue below to page 2, below.

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