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In everyone’s life, there are
moments you’ll always recall with a special clarity: a moon walk, a presidential
assassination, your wedding day, the birth of your first child. My list also
includes the first time I ever sat in a Corvette.
They were a familiar sight in my
house, where both parents routinely tuned into that “Nick at Night” favorite Route 66. But it wasn’t until they
took me to the 1964
Sadly, by the time I was old — and
just barely affluent — enough to afford a Corvette, my interests had wandered.
The C6 redefined Chevy’s classic; notably shorter, significantly more refined, and decidedly more powerful, it seemed painfully close to pulling off a coup, but the 2005 model just wasn’t quite there yet. Now, for 2006, the automaker is back with what a lot of folks are calling “the ultimate Corvette,” and for good reason, as I discovered during nearly a week of driving the new Z06.
Evolution in action
The “base” C6 was what stylists like to call an “evolutionary” design, carrying over most of the prior-generation’s visual cues, including the low-slung nose, arching, cat-like, towards the massive rear deck. Most distinctive were the aero-flush headlamps, which replaced the pop-ups that had been a Corvette signature since my youth. What was less obvious was the fact that the new sports car was six inches shorter, making it roughly the same size as the 911.