This past weekend I brought home a test car appropriate for Father’s Day: a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette coupe that I knew my Vette-fanatic dad — who has owned the same 1964 Corvette roadster since 1976 — would flip out over.
Prior to my bringing it home, he instantly picked out the car when I quizzed him over the phone, “Guess what car I’m bringing home. I’ll give you a hint: It’s fitting for the Father’s Day weekend.”
“A Vette?” he asked, followed by an excited, “a Z06?!?!” Sorry, Dad, no Z06 this time, just the base 436-hp coupe.
Having this particular car in the Cars.com test fleet couldn’t have come at a better time, not just because it’s a Vette but because the 2008 coupe was bright red with a manual transmission — same as my dad’s ’64.
When my brother and I pulled into my dad’s driveway with the 2008 on Saturday, he was already sitting outside, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new weekend toy. As I stepped out, he looked at me with a grin and a “you son of a gun” squint. In fact, I think he actually called me a “son of a gun.” After plucking around the inside and showing him all the gadgets, we pulled his 1964 version out of the garage and hit the road; he and my brother in the 1964 and I in the 2008. We cruised all afternoon, pacing each other side by side down the road and greeting other Corvettes with the required wave of the hand.
After cruising both cars on Saturday, my dad and I took the new Vette to our family’s Father’s Day activities on Sunday. “It’s the most impressive car I’ve ever been in,” he said while we were leisurely cruising along at 60 mph, still trying to digest the fact that we were getting a consistent 28 mpg and riding smoothly along the highway in a car that’s capable of triple that speed.
In his own words: “Even though the seats are comfy, it has all the convenience features and all that horsepower while getting 28 mpg on the highway. If I did pick one up, it would have to be as a second Vette.”
There’s no chance he’d sell the ’64 for a brand-new 2008, which was the hot question all weekend. Even though the 1964’s selling price would provide a good portion of the 2008’s MSRP, there’s just too much personal history with his 1964 Vette. As he said to me, “The `64 has been around to see you, your brother and sister grow up, and it’s just like a member of the family.”