By on March 1, 2013

Today marked a sad occasion at TTAC; the final C6 Corvette rolled off the line at Chevy’s Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant.

 

The last C6 was a 427 Convertible with an engine built by Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. The car is destined for GM’s museum in suburban Detroit, and in an ironic twist, demolition of the C6′s assembly line began mere minutes after the last C6 rolled off of it.

Despite constant haranguing regarding a perceived anti-GM bias, there is universal admiration for the C6 in these parts. The base car and the Grand Sport represent some of the best sports car bargains available and the Z06 and ZR1 are among the world’s best performance cars at any price. Reaction to the new Corvette Stingray’s styling has been mixed, but given the superb performance of the C6, it’s easy to be optimistic about the C7′s capabilities. But the C6′s styling will always remain as the definitive modern ‘Vette, evolving the best cues of the C5 into a timeless shape that was distinctly American. A Black C6 Z06 is high upon my “must own list”.

 

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35 Comments on “TTAC Salutes The C6 Corvette...”


  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    This car is simply an amazing performance value. Its a shame that the C7 has so many gills and flares, but maybe in a few years itll grow on me. I’ll never forget doing a 200ft burnout in a black on black C6 Z06, and then setting off car alarms with the incredible sounding exhaust. That car is definitely a must own for me in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      I think that the C7 is really good looking in the front, but they played too much with the A-pillars and whatnot. Also the back looks a little too much like a Japanese super car. I think that if the top just got colored with the body color it would be perfect — sort of how the Jag XJ would look nice if they stopped blacking out the c pillar. The vents are unnecessary but they dont bother me too much.

      Idk the viper is wayyyy cooler but its a different price point.

    • 0 avatar
      amca

      Ah, but those gills and flares are all functional. Hard to complain about that, I say.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the C7′s styling. I think most of the resistance is related to all the vents and louvers. They’ll probably offer them in body color later this model year, or next, and all will be right with the world.

    Oh, and get used to the angular tail lights. It’s obvious NOW that first the Camaro, then the Malibu, are leading a new tail-light language, and the ‘Vette is following with its own interpretation.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I think you are right about the vents and louvers. People reacted the same way to the 1958 model with its chrome tusks and louvered (fake) hood, it was a bit over the top and was changed for the better (more modest) in 1959.

      As to the Corvette in general, sometimes GM gets it right and in a very big way.

  • avatar
    RobertR

    I was frowning a bit at your “the C6′s styling will always remain as the definitive modern ‘Vette” assertion, but you won me over with the black C6 Z06 comment. Someone near my office drives one of those, and I just want it so bad every time I see it. Just looks mean.

  • avatar

    In the words of Jeremy Clarkson: “Well done, fat man from Kentucky! This is masterpiece!”

  • avatar
    crtfour

    Farewell, old friend

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    This is the year for a turnover of our aging (but near mint) fleet…and the C6 Z06 would have been my choice except for the cheap interior. I am really looking forward to the car show in a month because I am hoping that the C7 continues to grow on me. I never was into Vettes in my early years but there is something about them that I find appealing.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    I soured on Corvettes at a very early age (after owning one briefly) and they’ve yet to win back my attention. But I am curious to know in what respect the demolition of the C6 line was “ironic”.

    • 0 avatar
      ZoomZoom

      I grew up loving the Corvette, and wanting one in the worst way. But I too soured on them after owning a C5 for two years. It wasn’t all the car’s fault, either.

      Terrible dealer service. I drove GM cars for many years, putting up with their gouging and excuses from various Olds, Pontiac, and Chevy dealerships year after year, car after car.

      Finally, they chased me and my C5 away when three dealerships were unable to fix the problem. What made it worse was they didn’t want to fix the problem. I got a lot of pushback whenever I suggested we contact the manufacturer directly to get to the bottom of the problem (a faulty antitheft alarm). I even had ample manufacturer’s warranty still left. I remember one day I left the dealership half lividly enraged and half crying with frustration. The problem unsolved, I drove it in a state of sickly uneasiness (for me) for another couple months until the next problem happened. That second problem would have been an easy fix, because it was just a simple faulty coolant thermostat.

      But that’s not supposed to happen to any vehicle under 3 years old, and the car had already had two computer fixes, two window actuator replacements, and had once stranded me when the steering wheel locked, preventing me from starting the car and requiring a tow and a day without a car!

      Finally, FINALLY, the thermostat thing was the straw that broke this camel’s back. It made me realize that the car and the service department techs were slowly killing me and it wasn’t just this car. It was every GM I had ever owned. Intention or lack thereof is moot, they were killing me! So I sold it at a Carmax and bought a BMW.

      That marked my separation and immediate divorce from General Motors. The BMW however, immediately renewed my love affair with cars that don’t continually whine and complain about aches and pains. The local dealership gave me great service and I never had a problem.

      Today, I think of that Corvette as nothing more than a nightmare high-maintenance girlfriend with diva sensibilities and a propensity for breaking a nail at the smallest of life’s curveballs.

      Now I drive European and Japanese cars, and I’m happy. Because I can DRIVE on sunny Saturdays and not spend them sitting in service department waiting rooms worrying about how much this next one is going to cost me in lost time, some stupid out-of-warranty cost, or delays getting to work!

      I get actual service and I don’t have to put parts of the car back together after a service visit. Yes, I used to have to do that! Got to a point where I had to bring a screwdriver with me if I knew that the GM service techs were going to have to remove a door panel, kick panel, or inside rear quarter or sail panel. One GM dealership gave me my car back with a wiring harness preventing the stick from going into 5th gear.

      That could have killed me, a passenger, or another innocent on the road at the time!

      I still like the shape of the Corvette. All of them, from the ’57s I’ve seen to today. But I’ve learned my lesson and won’t play with divas anymore!

      And I haven’t even mentioned the bailout. Oops, I just did…

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Ah, the Corvette Wave! Fun car though and a right to passage for the American driving enthusiasts. Lots of repect on the road from fellow motorists and the police. After a ride at Mid-Ohio racetrack my buddies wife fulfilled her love growing up fascinating over the Corvette just bought a C5.

        If you guys would have gotten involved in the Corvette community like driving events or the hosts of events at Corvette museum you could have established contact with the engineer for your concerns. At the big events there always representatives from GM rank and file and some of the engineers really wanted to address owner concerns. Even not attending an event and just perusing the Corvette Forums could have helped.

        Having owned a 1999 FRC(FRC) and a 2000 Coupe(in 2006) I only attended a few events but they had talked to an engineer about addressing the front fender to bumper gap which more aesthetics and a design issue to me. They even had an engineer working on someone’s door as they had it apart.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I wonder if most of these dealer issues are a result from the way deal domestic dealer techs are separated into specialty areas and never work on the complete car. Everything is so intertwined on the modern vehicle that I think this is a very obsolete way of fixing cars.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffzekas

        Funny- your experience with Corvette and GM mirrors MY experience with the 3-Series and the BMW dealer! The BMW had been MY “nightmare high-maintenance girlfriend with diva sensibilities and a propensity for breaking a nail at the smallest of life’s curve balls.” Our Japanese cars (Toyota Corolla and Subaru Impreza) have, on the other hand, been the reliable hard working wives, always there when you need them!

  • avatar
    Michael500

    I’m not so sad, I think the new Vette is pretty boss. You Vette guys always complain before accepting the new design! It happened when the C6 lost its hideaway headlights, in 1984 and even when the ’68 was revealed!

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I’m not really a Vette fan, but my favorite style remains the C4 (1984). It had the cleanest lines of them all.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        YES the “flat one” as I call it. My favorite. And I loved the rad-80′s wheels many of them came with.

        These! http://www.motorera.com/corvette/1980/1984/84bronze1.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Mine too. I wonder how one would perform with an LS drive-train and some modern suspension.

        • 0 avatar
          Larry P2

          A C-4 Vette with a 450 horse 383, modern cross-drilled ventilated rotors and ceramic brake pads and Koni adjustables with modern non-run flat high performance rubber will outhandle and out-accelerate just about anything, for under 20,000 bucks, including the purchase price of the car.

    • 0 avatar

      Even when the ’68 was revealed? You’re trolling, man.

      • 0 avatar
        ZoomZoom

        No he’s not! It was just a backward reference in time! And he’s right; the “true believers” are always the ones who have the most difficulty adapting to change. :)

        My favorite model was the mid-to-late-70s Stingray. When I was in High School, I saw one at a local doctor’s office, parked with the targa roof removed. It was white with a red and white interior. That was the first Vette I really really fell for.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      The Corvette and Porsche 911 both have loyal fans that are resistant to design changes. I think Porsche is even worse than GM because they stuck with the air cooled rear engine layout that was carried over from the original Beetle from the 40′s. I always thaought the 911 was a stupid design, and the only thing that saved it was the engineering talent of Porsche to wring the best out of an inherently flawed idea. Front engine-rear drive is a much better layout in terms of everyday practicality than a rear engined car. Having said that, when you come right down to it a Corvette is probably the best bang for the buck semi-practical sportscar out there. You really don’t need much more performance from a street car, and the “supercars” are just overkill for road driving. The thing is a Chevy and you can get parts for it at almost any auto store, including replacement engines. I always hated the disco era C-3′s though, they remind me too much of gold chained middle aged guys with potbellies and bad taste. The C-3′s had the worst god awfull modifications done to them by their owners, and nothing says 1970′s better than a C-3 with some horrible aftermarket body kit or a metalflake paint job with murals on it. That’s another problem with the Corvette, the image of the people that drive them. Most of the guys that own them are in their 50′s- 60′s, so they wind up as an old geezer’s grand touring car, and that’s why you see so many with auto transmissions. The older C-4′s are dirt cheap on the used car market, and most of them seem to be owned by Harley owners with poor taste or by trailer trash. The C-4 has all that 80′s cheesiness to it with the rectangular interior and the high tech for the time digital guages. The C-4 reminds me of a cross between KITT and the A-Team. The Corvette didn’t really start getting good until the C-5 series.

  • avatar
    Commando

    I owned two C6 Vettes. I still lusted for the C5 hardtop (not to be confused with the coupe). Either way, the interiors sucked badly in both gens. From what I’ve read the C7 interior sucks only slightly less.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    The Corvette in general and the C6 especially encapsulate everything that is right and wrong at the General. You can just picture some downtrodden engineer saying “for just $12 we can fix the interior” and some bean counter (or Smith or even Bob) saying “no it is good enough.”

    It is/was almost perfect but the “almost” was the problem. The same gen 911 (and E46 M3) ate their wildly expensive engines, but when that happened their owners took them to a dealership that didn’t have a bow-tie, so somehow that wasn’t a dealbreaker, but the low-rent interior and panel gaps on the exterior of the plastic Chevy are. Life is not fair, and the ‘Vette has to be better than just a performance bargain. Especially since it is not much of a bargain anymore, at least compared to sparsely optioned M3s or mildly tuned STi/Evos with equally craptastic interiors.

    All that criticism aside. I just love the C6. I have loved Corvettes my whole life but the only one I have ever driven was a C6 from Hertz (thank you, lunatic Hertz executive, I hope that one day you get a presidential medal of freedom for offering that car for rent). It was a transformative experience. Compared to the one truly fast car I have owned and the many fast cars I have driven it was top notch, just a fantastic car. One of the best experiences of my life was taking my GM lifer father-in-law out on a backroad, saying “you ready?” and stomping on the gas.

    I gotta go, I think I got something in my eye.

  • avatar
    Morea

    The C6 was also a winner on the track including (by my count) at least 6 production-class victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans with a chance for more this summer before the C7 races in 2014.

  • avatar
    AFX

    History repeating itself. The last C4 rolls off the line, and behind it the assembly line is dismantled:

  • avatar
    ott

    I’ve got a red C6 Targa with black interior, one that closely matches the colour scheme of the red C7 we all see floating around in the press pics and online. I love my C6, and I have to admit that the new one will take some getting used to. If the scoops are made body colour, and if the roof can be entirely blacked out, and if the front and rear bumper fascias can also be had in body colour, I think I would like the car a whole lot more. The C7 interiors are awesome.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    At least the C7 should have a real interior and not one from the old Aveo. C6 was good though.

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    POS now, POS it has been forever. Good riddance…but yet another generation of POS. I’ll take my Civic any day, and drive right on past that POS steaming on the side of the road with its blown gaskets and loose steering wheel.

  • avatar
    j3studio

    Thanks for the kind words about the building of the last of these wonderful cars, which I’ll agree look great in black. My wife’s 2012 “Centennial” narrowbody has been very good to us as her daily driver. We look forward to the C7 and will likely own one some day, but expect to enjoy “Louis” for many years.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The C7 Corvette is all business up front and PaRTy in the back. I’m a past C4 owner and was hoping the C6 would grow on me. It never did until I saw the C7.


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