Say America and you might think of stetsons, big bellies and enormous cups of coffee. If you’re a Stateside car fan your first words will most likely be ‘Mustang’ or ‘Corvette.’ These two blue collar cars are the icons of American motoring, as Yankee as Coca Cola and French Fries. Americans tend to be either Mustang men or Corvette connoisseurs, but here in good old Blighty we’re less fickle. So to complement our recently added Ford Mustang in the Peak District we’ve added a stunning Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C3 to our fleet in Yorkshire. It’s the classic ‘Coke Bottle’ shape with razor edge snout and brutal 5.7 litre V8. It is available to hire now from our Yorkshire base near Harrogate. Few cars have quite the visual impact of a classic Stingray. Its relative rarity in the UK makes spying one for the first time a genuinely jaw dropping moment. This is a sculptural car that looks good from any angle, much like an E Type. It is more muscular than its British counterpart but has the same lightness of design touch with clever detailing. It is a long but narrow car, which makes it suitable for British roads, and very easy to drive – power steering and automatic gearbox plus every other driver aid in circulation in the 1970s means there is not much to do but steer, accelerate and brake.
You sit very low in unusual bucket seats, the Interceptor-esque rear window bubble bulging out behind you. Our car has a red interior and frankly, there is no other choice for a Corvette – it complements the white bodywork well and feels right, in a way that no other car could pull off. The interior lacks the lightness of touch typical of an E Type and the speedo only runs up to 85 mph – a sign of over zealous US legislation in the late 1970s. Of course the Corvette will go much faster. The Corvette handles surprisingly well with good steering response and feedback despite the massive tractor-spec 15 inch wheels. Whereas the Mustang is a GT car for the Interstate, the 1970s Corvette is a proper sports car – quick, responsive and with firmer suspension. US emissions legislation progressively emasculated the Corvette’s performance but our late 1970s car still pumps out 220 bhp, more than enough to enjoy it on British roads.
The Corvette looks intimidating but is remarkably docile and easy to drive from the off, despite being left hand drive. Visibility is good, gearchanges are taken care of and the brakes work well. It is long but no more so than an E Type and when you point it it does what you ask it to do immediately. Despite the whopping 5.7 litre V8 it is, in the manner of a Jensen Interceptor, surprisingly docile unless provoked. The Great Escape Corvette is fitted with the popular T-Top roof which consists of two removable panels that are stored in the smallish boot. With these off you can drop the windows – a legal requirement at all times of course – and enjoy the rumble of that massive Chevrolet engine. This isn’t a car for wallflowers – or if you think you are, consider it therapy. Rest your arm on the door, put your shades on and just enjoy possibly the most eye-catching car on our fleet. To find out more call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk. Mention this article and claim 10% off the normal hire price.