LA Times Car Critic Apologizes for Liking the Corvette ZR-1

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
la times car critic apologizes for liking the corvette zr 1

I know that car critic Dan Neil lives on the Left Coast. (I Googled the “LA” in “ LA Times“). And I know that anyone with a college education living west of the Rockies (or north of Houston Street in Manhattan) must espouse hatred of gas-guzzlers, lest they face death by arched eyebrow. But you’d hope that Dan’s Pulitzer Prize would give him the freedom to detour from the usual guilt trip every now and then, pull in at a rest stop and review a fast car for what it is. Which is fast. Did you know that the Corvette ZR-1 is fast? Dan’s gonna tell you– after 10 paragraphs of rhetorical mea culpa throat clearing. “What you would do is line up the ZR1 on some empty straight of tarmac and nail the throttle. To do so is to throw yourself on a horsepower grenade. Even with traction control engaged, the wheel spin is enough to cause the ZR1 to sidestep in a cloud of Michelin-flavored smoke and thunder. A half-second later, the tires hook up and you’re drowning in your own spit and hallucinating speed. In less than four heartbeats (3.4 seconds), you’ve gone through 60 mph and you’re grabbing second gear.” And it handles! In fact, “the ZR1 has more lateral grip than the world’s current supply of Polident.” Now you know. So do you feel dirty? Dan does. But he’ll get over it. At least in private.

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4 of 22 comments
  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 18, 2008

    Kudos to Dan for the visceral, yet clear-minded review of the ultimate red, white and blue "needle" of choice for changing "dino" into "Heroin". If you look around here in PA, the "hot rod" of choice is a jacked-up pickup truck with a V8 and glass packs while sporting a tonneau cover, which reveals its non-utilitarian mission; a beast that I consider wasteful of a dwindling resource. The ZR-1? Apology accepted. And Kudos to Robert's line: "...lest they face death by arched eyebrow." -- I LOL'd. The Corvette program and philosophy of building a superior car for a reasonable price (compared to the world's best) could not likely be applied to less expensive GM vehicles across-the-board, but I'm sure there are lessons to be learned.

  • Blue adidas Blue adidas on Oct 18, 2008

    I am colludge ejukated and live a north of Houston in Manhattan. The vehicles in the garage in my building are mostly high performance sedans. The owners rationalize it because most of us only drive on the weekends, so our "carbon footprint" is extremely low. No one wants to drive a Prius as a pleasure vehicle.

  • Albnyc Albnyc on Oct 19, 2008

    Today's to-do list for Mr. Farago - unwad thy panties; find tongue in cheek. This is one of Mr. Neil's best (and there are many, many to choose from.)

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Oct 19, 2008

    Albnyc : I'm a boxers not briefs kinda guy, but objection noted. And again, I'm a HUGE Dan Neil fan. Uh, maybe I better re-phrase that...