Been Reading Issue 28

You’ve gotta love a Corvette. To me, they’ve always been a sort of blue-collar supercar; an accessible exotic. In that sense, they’ve all been special editions, but this book deals with the special Special Editions.

The first half of the book deals with the sort of popular collector Corvettes you’ll see at shows all over the world, the Anniversary editions and the Pace Car replicas. It seems that the Chevrolet top brass didn’t think much to the idea of anniversary or special editions until the model was 25 years old, but after that, there was no stopping them.

The middle of the book deals with the Commemorative and Tribute ‘Vettes, mostly from this century, and mostly concerned with the team’s successes in ALMS or Le Mans. Then there’s a section about Collector editions, just released as an options package because Chevrolet had finally realised that people were buying Corvettes as a sort of investment (or, possibly, that’s how they could justify the purchase of a Corvette to their other half).

I had definitely enjoyed the book so far, but it was about this point that I began thinking, “Enough with the Corvettes, already!” This was bizarre, because not only was I reading a book that I knew was all about Corvettes, but because I appeared to be channelling the spirit of Jackie Mason (“You’re channelling the spirit of a man who’s not dead yet? Oy!”). Perhaps I’m not as big a Corvette fan as I thought I was? However, I got back on track with the next section which was all about the limited RPO Corvettes, the original Grand Sports and Z06s, and, my favourites, the early C3 ZL1 and ZR1; the sort of cars that really make me wish I had a time machine, and not just because they’d make me a very rich man today. The rest of the book is about the third-party special editions, the Callaways, Greenwoods and Baldwin-Motions.

The preceding paragraph might make you think I didn’t enjoy this book; I did, it was a treat, beautifully researched and presented, entertainingly written, and covering a subject which has demanded its own title for some time. I think I just overloaded myself by attacking it all in one go. If you’re one of whatever the Corvette equivalent of the Tifosi is, then you’ll drink this in and love it. Even if you’re not, chances are you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, and Christmas is coming…

Corvette Special Editions, by Keith Cornett, is published in hardback by CarTech with a RRP of £38.