From the December 2021 issue Car and driver..
The Devil’s Triangle is a devilishly winding loop in eastern Tennessee, favored by hairpin turns, lush landscapes, and the ever-appetizing danger of flying fast off the road. It has an ecstatic terrain and an interesting history in its corners.I spent 2021 Corvette Stingray With the Z51 Performance Package and a friend who suggested heading north from Georgia to see what the car and “coal road” he called was made of.
I’m not a member with a Corvette cult card and I’ve never been there. The corvette is the car of people who don’t have me. When I was young, Corvette belonged to a man named Todd, a newly divorced dentist, and a country singer with awe-inspiring substance abuse problems.
I’m not one of these. I grew up seeing what I thought was true speed, such as a rally car flying from a cliff in Corsica, a NASCAR machine roaring at Taradega, and Ayrton Senna ripping Monaco at McLaren. I liked either the speed or the danger of my car, the cheaper the better. The Mazdaspeed 3 Torque Steer, or the abandoned Volkswagen Rout traveling at speeds in excess of 35 mph, fits my needs perfectly. Nothing is more pleasing or pleasing to me than the cheesy thrill of a rally frame and the eccentric rattling a few seconds after it falls on the ribbon.
The corvette was like a kind of almost cosmetic speed machine that most cosmetics enjoy. Do something that focuses on hitting the skull straight rather than aesthetics. (The car was the 1987 Grand National and my youth look doesn’t matter.)
Also, I spend most of my working hours considering college football. College football is like being able to immunize the eternal American Spirit elegy, whether or not it targets a well-known university or a well-known car brand.
So maybe I’m the wrong person, or the right person, to drive the Corvette, because the car CD It wasn’t the Corvette I remembered, it was like destroying them two weeks after my neighbor’s dad brought them home. The car in my home in Atlanta was a 495 horsepower C8, a mid-engined Vette built by GM to offer exotic performance at the price of an American middle manager.
General Motors has put it in a historic situation where it can’t be controlled. With the debut of the C8, the short-term UAW strike, pandemic, subsequent recession, and lack of chips made it harder to find a car than GM probably wanted. But those who found them loved them. It was an unfair entry into the world for mid-engined movements that had been teased for decades. But what is fair? The fair explains the breeze. The C8 looks just like a cyclone with two cup holders.
Tennessee has built the most sneaky prison on the Devil’s Triangle for the same reasons that it could pass the license exams for amateur aspiring rally drivers. Located on the Cumberland Plateau, in a crimped geography known for two things:
1. Where is it James Earl Ray and six other prisoners fled When Ray realized from Brassie Mountain State Prison that the surrounding terrain was fighting too many to keep running even the most desperate man, it ended less than 10 miles from the prison. It spurred a large two-day man hunt.
2. Where is it Berkeley Marathon Runs, foot races are very long, brutal and hellish, and most athletes are not close to the finish. Feet passing through the prison grounds are considered one of the more comfortable ones.
A friend chased me with a Honda Civic Type R, and another friend played a game in the passenger seat next to me. Pressing the Z button on the steering wheel hardened the suspension, sharpened the throttle and brake response, opened the exhaust vents, and added weight to the steering, causing the car to shoot through the claws. Most important for anyone buying a C8 just because they can (not because they want to know a single spec): its loud Z-button ignites the vehicle’s display and turns red, and the car is an Oldboy’s. A hammer is running down the corridor of a 2×4 thug.
I realized that I didn’t have to brake in the corners, even at exorbitant speeds. I was confused as the Corvette jumped out of the turn without stuttering too much. When I had to brake, Brembo held it in every corner with a headlock. Without doing anything, I dropped my friend into Type R twice. The C8 broke very violently, rocking rocks and rocks as it passed, rocking loose fanatics. The only thing that slowed me down on the way down the horror came out of the forest like a brightly colored hallucination.
Arranged side by side from the trees. I knew I would climb rocks all over those hills on all fours, but to be honest, I didn’t even see it drive on the road in front of me. It was just there, equipped with neon lights, and piloted by a local giant in Realtree camouflage. I thought I had to brake, but he knew the way well. They lined up and shook violently at each corner. I imagined the wording of a police report that I had to fill out. A giant camouflage man cut off my corvette and tilted his entire giant body to the left and right like an Olympic sailor until it was still useless. The crater, including his body and the wreckage of the most flossy golf cart I’ve ever seen, may be a mile and a half below us.
Despite all the laws of physics, he did not create craters. When I finally found a safe road through him, he went down the hill and out of a dazzling car wormhole where only spaceships like the C8 could navigate. Pumped his fist. When I left, I heard him say, “Yes, brother,” even if I didn’t.
I got it now, but let me say that “getting it” first has nothing to do with finding perfection. After all, I have to be the one who gets the Corvette. I’m in my 40s and I’m firmly on the radar of a car’s midlife crisis targeting system. I had a Camaro salary, an AC / DC ticket, and a cool uncle who blew off a replica jacket of what Burt Reynolds wore on his camera. For better or for worse, I’m there.
After scrambling the hills of East Tennessee for two hours with moonshine, I placed the Targar roof on a driveway car and found two small scratches on the paint where the top returned to the car’s body. Then my eyes stayed in a row of buttons on the right rail of the dash, which now looks a bit tiny when I look at them and definitely a corner in the name of optimizing everything else. Looks like a cut. Both the front and back of the car are great and it looks like they belong to two completely different cars. Coming, it’s in front of a razor-sharp Eurosupercar face and long torso. Leaving it rocks Costco-sized American sports loot.
As I was driving on the freeway from Tennessee to Georgia, I was pushed into a small cocoon in the driver’s seat, with the display lights shining in front of me and almost silent. With comfortable air conditioning and a silky sound system, it was easy to steer the C8 first at blazing speed, and the world passed through the windows.
I greatly forgive that feeling and allow more to turn the hill in the car. Maybe it’s because you can actually drive a little when you’re young, or because you allow yourself to be selfish enough to enjoy it. In any case, the C8 can actually disappear for a moment, like a supercar, a thick and vulnerable driver. It erases everything else, leaving only the thrilling ghosts that are moving the wheels — only the brain, eyes, hands, and feet that are mechanically pulled in space.
My biggest complaint is that the car works so well that it accomplishes the speed feat with its well-designed tenderness, but it’s wild and extravagant. But it will probably all change in subsequent versions, which are more powerful and tend to give the driver more fear. Think of it this way. When someone drives Stingray, they are driving a great first draft. And there is the thrill.
Sports and travel writer Spencer Hall is a co-host of college football podcasts. Shut down Fullcast Delve into different topics on channel 6 of the subscription site (Channel-6.ghost.io).He is on twitter @edsbs..
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