Work backwards in the Corvette lineage for a moment. The current generation is technologically advanced, surgical on a track and can knock down 30-ish MPG if you keep your foot out of it. The C6 had some of the most monsterous variations that had been applied…remember the Blue Devil ZR1 test car? The C5 was a game-changer, with it’s rear-mounted transaxle and LS1 engine. The C4 was an Eighties baby that created the mythos of the ZR1 nameplate courtesy of a Mercury Marine and Lotus-tweaked mill that dared all comers to try it out. The C3 ran the gamut from pinnacle musclecar to disco fever special, and the C2 is the stuff of legends…big blocks, stunning looks, side pipes and turbine wheels. But the C1s? Other than being Genesis, where do they fit in?
At the risk of offending Corvette freaks, in my world the C1 Corvette has three highlights: the origin of the nameplate, the V8 connection, and the Rochester fuel injection. After that, I could take or leave them for the most part. They’re cool and all, but most of them are restored, babied, driven gently lest they break. Except for a few cases that I see here and there. A first-gen Corvette done as a proper gasser makes me absolutely weak. More so than a Tri-Five, there is something about that shape in that stance that is just dead-on right. I’m sure part of why I love this look on that car is the heresy of it all, but even if that is the only reason, I’ll own my faults proudly. Every C1 Corvette needs a straight axle, a blower through the hood and slicks out back. And a name.