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Wheels Of Change - Idle Chatter

Aug 11, 2014

It’s often been said the only thing constant in life is change, and the longer you hang out on this spinning ball of dirt the more true it becomes. To some, the idea of change is a scary thing, but in reality it should be embraced. After all, without change we would all be still driving Corvettes with antiquated suspensions and gas guzzling engines instead of the miracle of modern engineering C7 we have today.

1999 Chevrolet Corvette Frc 2/2

Loaded with HUD, Z51 suspension, and brand-new off-brand tires, this ’99 fixed-roof-coupe (FRC) spent its days in a garage, under a car cover. Well, its easy life has officially come to an end. The day after plunking down the cash we had it at a local road course where we found a lot of room for improvement. Now we just need to get it from Chicago to sunny California. Anyone up for a road trip?

Over time things around this book will be changing also. If you’ve read my last few editorials you’ve most likely noticed a trend; namely the desire to see people drive their Corvettes. We also want to see people roll up their proverbial shirt sleeves, grab a wrench, and work on their cars a bit. There is simply no better way to “bond” with your car than an afternoon of tinkering. No, we’re not expecting everyone to be doing engine swaps, but there’s certainly lots that can be done without going to that level. To that end you’ll start to see a lot more technical content in the magazine. The way I look at it, my job is to impart knowledge. You can use that newfound wisdom to tackle the job yourself or maybe it will just keep you from getting ripped-off if you take your ride to a shop. Either way, it will certainly fall into the “knowledge is power” category. We will also be doing more engine builds. After all, every car needs one, and whether it’s a modern LS or old-school small-block it’s nice to see what works rather than rolling the dice and hoping to not hit craps.

To make room we will be doing a bit less of the lifestyle stuff, specifically the scenic drive stories. It’s not that we don’t like the idea of hitting the road, obviously we do, it’s just that we don’t see someone living in Florida being hot to read about a drive through the Oregon countryside. If I’m wrong then I suppose my mailbox will fill with hate mail, but hey, that’s what it’s there for.

What won’t change is our coverage of Vettes, both old and new. That includes the historical stuff because without that we wouldn’t be here. To me, every page of edit is important and if it doesn’t have value to you, our readers, then it really doesn’t belong in print. Given that, I invite every one of you to drop me an email telling me what you want more, or less, of in this publication. I may not always agree, but I will read every email and if I see a trend then we’ll correct our course a bit.

In my first act of putting my “money where my mouth is” I picked up a new project car: a 1999 FRC Corvette. We found it on Craigslist in Chicago and snatched it up for $14,000. It’s super clean, and more importantly completely unmodified. This will make it easy for us to baseline the car and see what we can do to raise its performance to C6, or C7, levels. Our plan is to make it perfect for open track days but still keep it nice to drive around town or cross-country as needed. Open road racing in Nebraska? Hey, no problem, and we won’t even need a trailer.



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