Bill's 2013 Corvette
May 4, 2016
Recently my 95-year old mother died, leaving me a modest inheritance. When depositing this money at the local Bank of America, the teller asked if I'd like to deposit the money in a bank CD. I said that I might be interested and asked her about the current interest rate. She looked up the rates and told me, "0.15 percent". I suspected that this was the yearly rate, but I asked if this was the monthly rate and was told that no, this was the annual rate (APY). Of course I know I could beat this rate with other institutions, but then not enough to really matter. Of course there are other more risky investments, but years ago after taking a beating in the stock market, my wife and I decided to only put our extra money in risk-free investments. So we discussed it, and decided to use the money for something that would be FUN for both of us.
I was born in 1944. From 1958 until 1967, I thought the Corvette was the spiffiest car on the road, there wasn't even a close 2nd in my opinion. Then in 1968 the C3's came out and IMHO they looked awful. Because of this, I more or less lost interest in Corvettes until the first C7 came out in 2014. This car looked outstanding to me, so I decided to take a look at C7's and possibly purchase one with the inheritance.
After a week of browsing online and at local dealerships, I decided the C6 was also great looking and of course was more reasonably priced than the C7's. So for the next two months or so I spent a LOT of time surfing the web and talking to various dealerships around the country trying to zero in on the perfect car for us. What I finally decided was that my car should include all of the following:
- 2013 Grand Sport Convertible
- 3LT package with NAV and USB input
- Crystal Red Tintcoat preferred, Torch Red acceptable
- All black leather interior
- Polished chrome wheels
- Automatic transmission
- Low mileage
- Nearly new condition
- Clean CarFax
I required the USB input to the audio system because I have over 3,600 titles on flash drives. For me it is a lot of fun to plug in the drive, set the audio system to "random" and take off for a drive in our Toyota. Of course I wanted the same capability with the new car. As for the automatic transmission, this is actually my 11th sports car, but the first with an automatic. I was originally going for a manual shifter, but after reading that the automatic slightly outperformed the manual in 0-60 and standing 1/4 mile times, I decided to forgo a manual transmission this time around.
There were a couple of "nice to haves" on my list, including the NPP exhaust and the magnetic suspension control, neither of which was critical.
After extensive online searches, I found that there were less than six Corvettes throughout the entire USA meeting my exact requirements - none within 1,000 miles of my Arizona home. After much phone time and swapping E-mails, a car that sounded ideal was found in Naples, FL, about 2,200 miles from here. So I flew down to south Florida Tuesday, 03/22/16 and checked out the car. Had the condition, mileage and features been less than the seller represented on the phone, of course I would have been on the next plane back without making a purchase. But the car was perfect! It even had my preferred red color and a NPP exhaust complete with a "Mild2Wild" remote control.
I purchased the car and early Wednesday morning started driving back, arriving home Friday at 1:00 PM. The car performed perfectly on the highways, getting about 23(+) MPG which was a surprise considering it has 436 HP! After driving 2,200 miles back to Tucson, the odometer is now showing 4,300 miles . . . I've already put more miles on the car than the original owner!
Interesting things learned during the drive home:
- This is absolutely the most comfortable highway car I've ever owned!
- I ran into a massive thunderstorm in southern Louisiana . . . the convertible top didn't leak a drop into the interior.
- The M2W control added 0.5 MPG when run open.
- The best part of the drive home was the 550 miles along I-10 between San Antonio and El Paso. A very nice highway with an 80 MPH speed limit and very little traffic . . . I set the cruise control for 83 and burned off the miles like crazy!
- After 500 miles or so I quit using the speedometer and only looked at the HUD. After 54 years of driving, I had no problem adapting to the HUD and may never look at the Corvette's speedometer again.
Things I learned from this process:
- If this is your first Corvette, before making a purchase spend a LOT of time in the various Corvette message forums learning everything you can about these cars.
- If you decide to purchase a used Corvette: Take your time, decide exactly what you want, use the Internet to find the "perfect" car, fly out and take a look, then drive it home - even if home is 3,000 miles away. If the car is right you will be a very happy camper! Of course there's always the chance the car won't be as represented by the owner or dealer, in which case take the loss on the airfare and keep searching.
- Sales people don't seem to know Corvettes very well, even at GM dealerships. You'll probably learn more about potential purchases if you deal with private sellers whenever possible.
- If an online dealership says to send E-mail for more information about a particular vehicle, DO NOT send a message. I did this with a number of dealers and all of my responses said exactly the same thing, "Call us for more information about this vehicle". Then they started inundating my inbox with spam. Fortunately all the dealerships included an "unsubscribe" button with their spam and they all honored my request to drop me from their junk mail list . . . so far. :( So the moral of this tale is to call dealers to ask about their cars - don't give them your E-mail address.
- Unless you will be driving the car once a week or more, have a battery tender ready to go or ensure that the car includes one as part of the sale.
Note that I purchased my car from a private seller. In Tucson, this means I avoided the 8.1% sales tax when registering the car! :) With the $3,845 savings, I registered the car for 2 years, ordered a personal plate, purchased a 6-year extension on the bumper-to-bumper warranty and paid for my trip to and from FL!
The following pictures were all taken during my first six weeks of ownership . . . enjoy!
(Click on picture to enlarge)
NPP dual exhaust.
I added the 2" convex mirror.
Front air scoop.
Side air scoop.
Great color depth!
I keep it covered when in the garage. On the wall behind the car is . . .
. . . a CTEK MUS 4.3 battery tender. This device came highly recommended by a LOT of users.
You may use any of the above pictures for any purpose and may do so without giving me credit. Note that these pictures have been downsized for those with slow connection speeds. If you'd like copies of the original JPG pictures, send me an E-mail telling me which pictures you want and I'll be happy to send the original pictures to you at no charge!