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Same but Different

Joe Guerriero

I bought my first Corvette just after turning 40. Mine is the same story as most other people: school, work and family came before my dream car. My first Corvette was a 1978 Silver Anniversary model. I had driven a friend’s just like it when I was in my 20s. I thought it would be cool to buy the same model I first experienced. I held on to that car for about 5 years, but then got the itch to get a chrome bumper shark.

I started the search for my next Corvette. It took a while, but I finally found the exact car I had wanted. It is a 1969 convertible with a stick transmission and the L46 engine. I fully enjoy the car and over the years have made changes to bring it as close to stock as possible. While the car is great to drive, I don’t use it as a daily driver even in summer months. That’s because it lacks some creature comforts like air conditioning and I worry about it being damaged.

So in 2006 when I turned 50, I decided to add another Corvette to the garage. I purchased a 2006 coupe with the same color combination of red on black that I have with the 1969. So now I have a car that I can use as a daily driver in the summer. The 2006 is a great car that not only provides comfort, but also provides better handling and more power than the 1969 can match. It probably seems odd to some friends and family who are not really car people. They cannot see why I have two of the “same car.”

I think any Corvette person gets it. They might be the same color scheme but the feel when you drive a 1969 Corvette is completely different from driving a C6. The 2006 can run circles around 1969. But the 1969 Corvette is a head turner that gives you that old muscle car feel. So basically I sort of have the best of both worlds. Which one I choose to fire up on a summer day kind of depends on how I feel.

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