By on November 25, 2011


Our friends at Jalopnik posted this unfortunate street-racing episode earlier today… but I happened to find it from another link, that of a Corvette crashing during a rather poorly-run autocross. Click the link for a few recent Corvette crash videos which have made it to the ‘Tube…

A Corvette bangs a curb mad hard during an autocross, yo. Who runs a high-speed slalom next to an autocross? Not the SCCA, I will tell you that. This one was run by “SpeedVentures”. But what’s more interesting than a Corvette hitting a curb during an autocross?

That’s right! A Corvette HITTING A SPECTATOR!

How about a Corvette crashing during a back-road run? Cut and paste

into your browser. But come right back, so you can see this video from a “Cars and Coffee”:

More bumping Corvettes…

They’re just attracted to each other!

When showing off goes wrong!

In the upcoming week, I will discuss why most of these incidents happened, and how you can keep your Corvette from ending up in a YouTube video. Happy Black Friday, everyone!

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58 Comments on “TTAC’s Black Friday Special: Corvette Crashes...”


  • avatar

    Not surprised the guy with the slushbox ate it. Hope gramps remembered his Depends that morning.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    I’m gonna predict that at least some of these incidents occurred because you have at least 300lb-ft of torque as long as you haven’t stalled the ‘vette.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      What we are seeing here is what happens when technologies exceed intelligence and what happens when this limit goes undetected due to arrogance and stupidity.

      Ask Adam and Eve. We cannot be perfected. Demanding that technology recognize this problem is a possible solution, however we all must be more aware of our own limits and humbly accept them so that we can create those techologies.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Looks like in every case, the driver is outclassed by the automobile. Respect the car, and it will respect you.

  • avatar
    vww12

    Do those cars not have electronic stability program?

    What about Acceleration Skid Control (ASC) and Engine Torque Control (ETC)?

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Hard to tell. It was an extra cost option on the C5 models. I think it may have been standard on the C6, but it doesn’t do any good if you turn it off, as many people do on the track.

    • 0 avatar
      garythompson

      Yes, the programmers had a fix in the program called stable traction under power induced drift (stupid). I guess you just can’t fix stupid…

  • avatar
    segfault

    I love how the rear side marker light pops out when the C6 hits the curb in the second video. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside with That GM Feeling.

    ETA: I’m guessing the reason most of these crashes happened would be the person behind the wheel deciding his balls are too big to leave the traction/stability control turned on. The one in the rain looks like something that would happen with worn rear tires.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      I wonder if they’re in good hands or if the good neighbor is gonna be there to pay for the damages?

      • 0 avatar

        I’m your midlife crisis. You decide to buy that new Corvette because it makes you feel virile, vigorous and potent.

        One day, you’re out driving in the rain when you drive by some young girls. You decide to show off your prowess by gunning it when–

        *Corvette spins out into a water barrier hard*

        And now, like that sticker on your rear window says, you’re all “wet.” Everyone is laughing, especially your cut-rate insurance, who sooooo will not pay for this.

        So get Allstate. It’ll save you time, restore your dignity, and protect you from mayhem… like me. Heh-heh. Wet.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    A friend of mine had a C3 in highschool. One day in the rain he spun in an intersection and hit a rear wheel on a curb, breaking the rear cross member. The salesman he spoke to at one of the biggest Corvette parts outfits in the country said that he was the first customer to ever need to replace a cracked rear cross member. A few months later, he became the 2nd customer to ever need to replace a cracked rear cross member too.

  • avatar

    Corvette’s Greatest Hits:

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfjtgongmnw&w=420&h=315]

  • avatar
    Signal11

    I rarely ever use this word, what a pair of douchebags. Figures that between the two, the more incompetent one drives the automatic.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    People should not be allowed to hoon their cars on public streets. These guys are obviously not competent to handle cars like that, they’re a serious traffic hazzard. Seriously. Not even on a racetrack are they competent enough.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    That first one look like an average online race in Gran Turismo 5.

    I find it interesting that its largely C6 Vettes that seem to spin out and crash.

    I encountered two C5s on the highway once, both were doing slightly below the limit (one even let me pass in my OmniHorizon), seems like they’re driven by more responsible drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      That’s because the driver’s were either old dudes or dudes minus the Napoleon Complex.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        If we are going down that rat hole, what about BMW drivers? If you remove the buyers that are only interested in badge snobbery, you are down to maybe 20%. Of that group, half are just as incompetent as these knuckleheads.

        In all fairness to anybody who finds themselves with oversteer, the untrained response is to, like any issue behind the wheel, lift and then to bleed speed with the brakes. You’ve sealed you fate before the throttle has even fully closed. No surprise that carmakers design suspensions with a serious bias toward understeer. Keeps the lawyers happy.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        You’ve sealed you fate before the throttle has even fully closed. No surprise that carmakers design suspensions with a serious bias toward understeer. Keeps the lawyers happy

        +1. Million.

        People complain about front-wheel drive and commodity front-drive platforms, but a car that does the safe thing when someone panics is smart.

        Yes, there’s a small percentage of people who can drive better without stability control, traction control, ABS or a heavy bias to understeer, but those people either a) wouldn’t put themselves in so stupid a place, or b) would do so anyway because they’ve got issues with risk. For most people (and even for competent people who just happen to share the space in the next lane) default-to-safe is a good thing.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @golden2husky

      +1000

      You absolutely never back off the throttle to correct oversteer! It may be counterintuitive and really goes against what we’re told in drivers ed. but everyone should learn this right down to the librarian in a Ford Contour. There’s definitely no excuse for a Corvette owner.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve never, ever had this problem and my car is ridiculously overpowered.

        I can’t believe Corvetttes are this bad. I’ve slipped on ice just a little but my ESC always corrects me.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Traction nannies are a beautiful thing but it’s always better to back them up with good ole fashion knowledge/experience just in case. I mean what if you’re driving someone’s older car and you hit a patch of black ice? What if you forget that the ESC is off and enter an unfamiliar turn too fast? ESC will save you up to a point but it can still get overwhelmed. It won’t save you in every unforeseen scenario.

  • avatar

    Minimal IQ and maximum horsepower-it’s how we thin the herd on crowded roads.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    As much as people want to say bad things about Corvette owners. I’ve seen people do the same thing in Nissan’s, Honda Civics, Ford Taurus, F-150, Dodge Ram pickups, etc etc..

    bad drivers are bad drivers and it doesn’t take a car like the Corvette to make them terminally stupid and drive badly.

    Some people just shouldn’t have driver’s licenses. (like about 95% of Chinese drivers in China)

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Is there something about white and gray Corvette C6’s that seem to attract douchebags? Notice there aren’t any Z06s or ZR-1s out there acting the fool.

  • avatar

    Looking forward to your article on controlling these things, Jack. A 2004 Convertible Corvette is in my future in a couple years.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Also looking for more Baruth insights on over and understeering.

      I’ve heard Corvettes, with so much power, are just unforgiving cars. The tires feel like they have infinite grip, but will let go without warning. On friendlier cars (I’m thinking Miata or Cooper), the tires will squeal, the steering wheel will give you feedback, and the chassis will be tuned toward slight understeer.

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        I drove one on track a couple of years ago, very unforgiving even in the dry.

        Death trap in the wet, I did one lap later on in the day on a wet but drying track and then parked it.

        You need to be very talented to drive one of those beasts fast.

        Give me an Elise ,Cayman or my TT over a vette anytime.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Personally I liked Chris Harris’ old drift tutorial
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2Vt3ybz0t0

        Anyone who buys a high powered rwd car needs to spend serious time in the snow belt or on dirt roads…in an underpowered rwd car or pickup first. Unless of course you have unrestricted access to tires and racetracks.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I spent three days at Bondurant driving a 2008 Z51 Vette. It was very easy to drive. It was understeery and had plenty of feedback. I was never ham-footed with the throttle like the guys in the video though. Squeeze it, don’t mash it! I never once even got it to oversteer during throttle lift or trail braking, and the ESC only came on once, totally unnecessarily, when the car went light over a bump mid-corner. Nobody in the class came close to losing control of those, AFAIK. There were multiple spins with the Formula Mazda race cars on day four though. I had no problem with the concept of staying on the throttle and countersteering, but it’s a rush whenever it happens.

      I would expect an Elise to handle more similar to those race cars than the Vettes; better, but less forgiving.

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        This was a stock vette, automatic trans.

        The dreaded run flat tires may have been the main problem.

        The lack of manual transmission and grip did not provide confidence compared to other vehicles I have tracked.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    I DEMAND that NHTSA open up an investigation. Clearly these cars are defective and they should be recalled immediately. This is another egregious example of a manufacturer building something that isn’t fit to be driven on the street (by yahoos)

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    I’ve watched the first video three times. And except for the crappy aftermarket wheels on the C6, I can’t figure out what went wrong.

    Good thing I don’t own a Corvette and don’t drive any of my three V8 powered cars like that.

    When I was in Driver’s Ed more than 30 years ago the text book was titled Power Under Control. The theme was that any idiot can drive a powerful car fast and wreckless, but that it took a reasoned individual to drive a powerful car safely.

  • avatar
    inamishland

    Well those drivers at least made it out on the road. Few years back, I was sitting watching a fool practicing burnouts in the McDonalds drive through lane, yep the drive through lane, douche of the highest quality. He then went to pull out from the restaurant onto the main street which required a 90 degree right hand turn. Of course, he floors it too look cool for the ladies, lights the rear tires, spins the rear of the car all the way around, cracking the curb incredibly hard. The rear wheel/axle breaks off on the curb. He then tried to explain to the cops on how the car just took off with a mind of its own, It was not his fault but had to be a manufacturing defect and daddy’s lawyers will be all over this defect. Dad’s high powered car+ dumbass =Priceless. Even better when one of the business owners came out and offered the cops the tape of this douche in action.

  • avatar

    For some strange reason, my Uncle wants to buy a Corvette. I’m trying to talk him into a supercharged Doge Charger instead. I HAVE NEVER had this kind of problem in my 300cSRT8. I’ve done hundreds of light burnouts and NEVER lost control.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      You wouldn’t have any problem driving a Vette either. The guys in the video just don’t know how to drive. Before my buddy got decent tires (Michelin Pilot PS2) to replace the junk that came with his Z06, he could light the tires up in second gear at any speed if he ham-footed it. Another friend had them intentionally lit up at over 60 mph fishtailing side to side one night and didn’t seem the least bit phased, though the car’s owner certainly was! A bit freaky as a passenger, but it’s not like the car is hard to control relative to his sudden-boost 600 hp/1200 ft-lb truck. I wasn’t about to play around like that with the Z06 when I drove it though. I know my own experience level. My only wheelspin in that thing has been at launch.

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    So much for the glory of stoplight street racing. If that first video doesn’t put it into perspective, I don’t know what will.

  • avatar
    67dodgeman

    Years (and years ago), before I became a responsible adult, I might have engaged in a little street action. Had a 65 Coronet with a 440 magnum 4 speed running up against a really hot mustang. Hit third and lost traction, car went completely sideways at 90 mph. I was staring straight at the mustang’s passenger door not two feet from my front bumper. At the ripe age of 16 I was able to yank the wheel, clutch it a little, straighten out, hit 4th, and win the race. No excuse for me doing it, but I did it. The idiots above need some driving lessons in a really bad handling car before they deserve a vette. That 65 would just about lose it in any gear, any speed. Got real good at keeping her straight through lots and lots of practice.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    As a motorcyclist that wreck in the mountains scares the shit out of me

  • avatar

    And every one that ends up in a junkyard is one more Gen III/IV for me to pick from for my ’68 Chevy Truck.

  • avatar
    Bob

    So autocross is driving around cones in a parking lot? Lame! Only creepy old men drive Corvettes, they almost always have on baseball caps. My favorite video is the old man trying to show off the the girls in the rain and almost killing them.

  • avatar
    jco

    after seeing that Autocross crash.. i’m sure I’ll offend some people, but I just don’t ‘get’ autocross. you drive an hour or so in the morning, get to the ‘track’, pay your $30ish, and then spend the next 8 hours sitting around baking in the sun surrounded by sun-roasted asphalt. for what usually ends up being like 6 minutes total of ‘track’ time. every damn weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      Seconded.

      A fellow twenty something friend of mine went to an autocross event recently and apparently decided it was the greatest thing ever. So he’s selling his almost-new, sporty car for some boring econosedan and the least-awful air-cooled 911 he can get for twenty grand (which will probably still be pretty lousy). He doesn’t have a clue about cars or how to work on them (have fun keeping an air-cooled Porsche in tune) and he’s a terrible driver…the thought of him bombing around back roads in a notoriously tricky-handling, ass-engined deathtrap keeps me up at night.

      I’ve tried talking him into a 964 Carrera 4 or even a 944, but once some people get an idea in their head, forget about it.

      I had my 5.0 Mustang for just over a year and had absolutely zero desire to go out to a parking lot to see if I could drive it around a parking lot faster than all the other motor heads. Maybe that’s why I sold it after only a year. Well, that and the pesky speeding tickets…

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Please give us an update when your friend tries the ‘cross in his Porsh, that’ll be interesting.

        I just hope that he knows to only use Premium in the air-cooled engine, anything lower and eventually it may catch fire as air-cooleds were meant to run on leaded gas.

        Either that or you could try to convince him that the VW Type 3 is a Porsh, that way if he ruins a car he’ll ruin one thats crap.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “I just don’t ‘get’ autocross”

      You might not ‘get’ sports cars either. I don’t ‘get’ alot of sports but when I first hit the open road I was obsessed with speed and car control and after putting it in the ‘cabbage’ once or twice I found it wasn’t as easy as Jim Rockford and Steve McQueen made it look. AutoX events were a safe place to hone my skills much like a marksman might go to a shooting range. Today I don’t have a need for speed but the skills I picked up early on I’ve used to avoid collisions with bad drivers, wildlife and unforeseen road conditions including black ice and rocks in the roadway. I recommend shooting ranges if you carry a gun for a living but we all drive for a living.

  • avatar
    jeanpierresarti

    I am pretty sure the first video is in The Woodlands Texas just north of Houston. I unfortunately am very familiar with this area and of the baffonery of the close to – or just retired – baby boomers with their cars.

    The biggest problem with these fools is that they think the Viagra commercials are real and are trying to relive their own version of it.

  • avatar

    I bought the book that Jack suggested, “Speed Secrets” by Ross Bentley. I knew a lot of what was discussed in it, but not everything by far. I think a few of sport car drivers would benefit from reading it and reflecting.

  • avatar
    orick

    How did the guy in video 5 lose control? It’s on the highway, perfectly straight, doing OK speed, in good weather …..

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I think that he was trying to pull off a powerslide or a drift, not a good idea on a narrow road.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      To me, it looks like an abrupt lift-throttle with the transmission in a very low gear, i.e. tons of engine braking very abruptly … and who knows what the idiot was doing with the steering wheel when he abruptly lifted off like that. Who knows what the tire pressures were, either. Or what the wheel alignment was like.

      Stiff suspension combined with stiff, low-profile tires can produce a very twitchy vehicle that gives little warning to the driver that things are about to go sideways.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    My favorite part of the first video was when the jogging parent and cycling child cross the street ahead. Then the cyclist makes a right turn beside them. Wasn’t that indication enough that there are pedestrians around?! That sort of behavior makes me stabby. The one vette taking out the other was the perfect end.

  • avatar
    pb35

    When I was younger, the C3 Vettes that I had access to didn’t have enough power to spin the tires, much less spin out of control. Boneheads.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Dick measuring contest gone bad….never a good thing when.

    Street racing is never a good thing, and especially not when the following formula is true

    Horsepower > Self-perceived penis-length x IQ

  • avatar
    NorthwestT

    Nice collection. I’m looking forward to Jack’s tutorial. How do you crash in a straightline drag race? Seems super common, but seriously, how do you do it?

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