When I coach new writers on their first press loan, I usually advise them to take photos as soon as they receive the car, when it’s clean, shiny and freshly delivered; you should also take photos later, but it’s good to have a lot of your photos out of the way and on your plate so that your later photo shoots can focus on the things you want to talk about in detail. But when I got my hands on a 2022 Corvette Stingray for the Miami Grand Prixi was so excited to start conduct that I totally forgot to take my pictures until I prepared to return the car, when the ‘Vette had been well loved during a weekend of full-throttle Formula 1 speeds and dead-end traffic at South Beach.
(Full disclosure: My lovely friends at Chevrolet saw me heading to Miami and asked if I’d be interested in driving a Corvette Stingray for the duration of my visit. The response was a resounding “hell yes.”
If you want a full and proper review of the C8 Corvette, I already wrote onee when I had the chance to take the car on the track at Ron Fellows Performance Driving School. Not much has changed for this new model year – why spoil perfection? — but instead of pushing the ‘Vette to its absolute limits, I had the pleasure of seeing how it performed as a daily driver (or, at least, as a racetrack commuter).
My first stumbling block came from the whole “luggage capacity” situation, which I should have adequately prepared for but didn’t:
There was also the fact that I realized that my sitting posture was right do not conducive to easy entry or exit due to my small size, which I didn’t really notice until I tried to quickly jump out of the ‘Vette to get credentials or rush over Track. But all these concerns barely registered while I had the vehicle.
It may seem contradictory: as a daily driver, the Corvette Stingray was perfect. Was it practical? No. Was it a great vehicle for maneuvering the Miami GP media parking lot, which was really just a glorified dirt road? No. Was it any vehicle? Absolutely not.
But I’d rather sit in a Corvette while stuck in traffic than anything else; it was time to crank up the music and turn some heads as I headed from Miami Gardens to Fort Lauderdale and then South Beach. In many ways, practicality trumps everything else in Miami, which made the Corvette perfect for flaunting excess on a daily commute.
The Miami Grand Prix weekend was complex for me. I was simultaneously having the best time of my life and also counting on the sudden onset of a painful impostor syndrome that stemmed, in part, from showing up at an expensive race track driving a very obvious vehicle that stood out from all the rest in the media lot.
Today I want to focus on the opposite side of the coin – the one where I couldn’t believe my luck because I was doing a job I loved and driving the only brand new car I would ever have. Actually think about splurging — because god, if the Corvette didn’t epitomize all that is delicious about Miami. I didn’t fit in, not even a bit, but at the same time I had brunch with the CEO of a racing series, shook hands with Jackie Stewart, and achieved so many of my dreams of starry-eyed teenager that I felt truly spoiled. It was one of those weekends where the functions of daily life – eating, sleeping – took precedence over the understanding that this was a once-in-a-lifetime weekend, that I had to indulge myself as much as possible.
There is an inherent contradiction with a vehicle like a Corvette. Despite the fact that I did over 300 miles in a single weekend, I just didn’t feel like I had my fill, as most of that driving was on freeways. straight and flat Florida where racing traffic has lowered an already average level. even lower speed limit. I would have loved to spend hours behind the wheel of the ‘Vette’, looking for coastal roads and small towns. I would have loved to take my good friend for a drive, but our schedules never aligned. I would have loved to take this damn thing home, where it could find its stride on Texas’ 85mph toll highways and winding farm-to-market roads.
As with so many other things this weekend, I wanted more. A ride in a Corvette is like the honeymoon period of a new relationship: it’s so screwed up Well that you’ll never quite be able to quench your thirst because that thing you want just isn’t yours yet. In fact, it may never be yours, and that makes every second that much more precious.
I wanted the Corvette, desperately. I was frankly infatuated with it, and as the weekend drew to a close, the prospect of returning to a life without a Corvette was like going back to black-and-white television after watching color movies. I still miss him, but I’m also very happy to have had the chance to drive him.
So when it came time to finally take my photos and return the Corvette, I didn’t want to to clean it up or make it look completely pristine. I didn’t want to forget the weekend I had or the places I had been or the damage I had done. My dusty, bug-ridden photos testified to the fact that I had driven this car properly, that I had used it the way it was meant to be used—and, probably, for uses the designers never dreamed of. And that’s exactly how it should be.