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Front Lines - June 2013 Letters

Jun 1, 2013
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Road Trip Revisited

Thanks for the great C4 article in your Mar. ’13 issue (“What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”). I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the cross-country journey. I own a ’96 green/tan convertible, and it is still one of my favorite cars in my collection. Please keep the C4 articles coming.

Joseph Meisinger
Wethersfield, CT

Loved the article “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” by Barry Kluczyk. My question involves the author’s concerns with the C4. The car performed very well, but he hinted that this generation had many problems.

I purchased an ’86 Corvette convertible with 37,000 miles through a friend who bought it from the original owner. I bought the car for driving and have enjoyed it very much. I just want to know more about any issues I might be facing down the road.

Gary M. Riffe
Jamestown, ND

While the C4’s basic drivetrain components are quite durable, some of its other hardware—for example, the plastic interior trim—is far from it. Factor in the age of the cars—the “newest” of which are nearly 18 years old at this point—the cramped engine compartment, and the profusion of electronic sensors and wires scattered throughout, and the C4’s reputation as a mechanic’s nightmare is easy to understand. That said, fourth-generation Corvettes currently rank among the hobby’s best buys, and the need for regular fettling shouldn’t deter you from purchasing and enjoying a well-preserved example.

Father Figures

Not you guys too! Why do I keep seeing the great Zora Arkus-Duntov referred to as “Father of the Corvette”? As much as I worship and adore him, Harley Earl is the car’s true “Father.” Harley conceived it, led the design of it, and ultimately oversaw its “birth.” Zora didn’t even work for GM during the creation of the original EX-122 concept Corvette (I won’t go further into the history, since I assume you guys already know it).

Zora Arkus 2/2

Zora definitely saved the Corvette’s life and raised it into the great machine we know and love today, so he can be considered either the “Stepfather” or, as many prefer, the “Godfather of the Corvette.” Since VETTE is one of, if not the largest Corvette publication [It is—Ed.] in the world, maybe you guys can help correct this “familial oddity.”

Chris Del Rossi
Onley, VA

We’re inclined to agree, and will endeavor to use the “Godfather” designation in the future.

Stopping the Popping Top

In the last VETTE (Mar. ’13), Steve Simolari wrote in “Front Lines” that his ’07 coupe’s roof was crackling and popping. You recommended performing the “E-Clip Mod.”

I never tried that, but instead went to my Chevy dealer and bought a tube of Super Lube with PTFE 1 (PN 12371287 GR.8.800). I saw this on Corvette Forum awhile back.

I came home, removed the roof, and put a light coating of lube on all of the contact points, including the rear pins. I also put a very light coat on all of the weatherstripping, making sure it was very light and even. Since I did this, I have not heard one sound from my removable roof.

Please share this fix with other C6 coupe owners.

John O’Connor
Bethlehem, PA


I enjoyed reading the story on the “discovery” of Neil Armstrong’s 390hp 427 ’67. However, I am a bit disappointed that it will not be restored and driven. As a pilot, aviation historian, and Corvette owner/enthusiast, I have always been interested in astronaut-owned Corvettes, but there seems to be very little information out there. I’ve always wondered: What happened to the white ’62 Ed Cole presented to Alan Shepard after his first space flight? Where are the custom-painted Corvettes driven by Apollo 15 astronauts Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin?

Steven Chapis
Georgetown, DE

We contacted former astronaut Alan Bean, who had this to say:

“Chevy only loaned [the Corvettes] to us for the one year, till the next year’s model came out. We then turned them in when we picked up the new one. I understand that it was sort of like the arrangement senior executives of Chevy had. We did not know where they went after that.”

While the fate of all the “Astronaut Corvettes” is unclear, the case of Armstrong’s ’67 demonstrates that at least some of them were resold at Chevy dealers as used cars.

What Do You Say?

Got a question, comment, or complaint? Log on to and share your thoughts. We can also be reached by email at or through our postal address at VETTE Magazine, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. All letters must be typed and are presumed to be for publication. VETTE reserves the right to edit letters.



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