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Rumor: Corvette C8 will trow their brand, history and DNA in the trash?


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#1 MatsNorway

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 17:55

Corvette is looking to go mid motor in the future according to this article. i don't know about you but to me thats like Porsche announcing the 911 to ditch the Boxer engine. The rear engine layout. The front lights being round.. And i guess the overrall round shape... all at once.

 

Americans.. how do they do it..

 

http://www.roadandtr...-cdsynd?src=rss



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#2 imaginesix

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 18:07

They've been saying that for decades. Might happen, might not.



#3 MatsNorway

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 19:02

I hope not. Not if it replaces the front motor version.


Edited by MatsNorway, 12 October 2014 - 19:04.


#4 BRG

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 20:26

Only about 40+ years too late.  Not bad for GM.  The rest of the world might start taking the car seriously at last.



#5 MatsNorway

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 21:02

Sounds like your the one being 40 years behind. Corvette is allready a solid car and brand.

Oh please. Mock the GTR too.. its so outdated with the engine up front, right?


Edited by MatsNorway, 12 October 2014 - 21:06.


#6 Magoo

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 21:03

The average Corvette buyer is now 60+ years old. If the car has any future, it must appeal to a younger, hipper, more cosmopolitan car shopper. 



#7 MatsNorway

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 21:35

You wont do it with a mid engine. Give it turboes. And stopp making targa roofs!


Edited by MatsNorway, 12 October 2014 - 21:37.


#8 BRG

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 10:18

Sounds like your the one being 40 years behind. Corvette is allready a solid car and brand.

Oh please. Mock the GTR too.. its so outdated with the engine up front, right?

They haven't been making the GTR for decades though, have they?  And it has stupendous performance that challenges even the hyper-cars, unlike the Corvette.  



#9 NeilR

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 10:40

R35 GTR is current model



#10 Superbar

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 10:50

They haven't been making the GTR for decades though, have they?  And it has stupendous performance that challenges even the hyper-cars, unlike the Corvette.


"The first Skyline GT-R, known by the internal Nissan designation PGC10, was released on February 4, 1969" http://en.wikipedia....an_Skyline_GT-R

#11 BRG

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 11:06

I was viewing the current GTR as a new model but now you remind me of the earlier Skylines, I suppose it is indeed a lineal descendant of them.  But there was a 16 year gap after the 1969 car, so you should really count from 1989 when the current line of cars started. 

 

But my point about its startling performance remains (and come to think of it, it applied to most of the earlier Skylines as well).  The Corvette doesn't have that redeeming feature. GM should have gone mid-engined in 1970 when the writing was clearly on the wall from the supercar makers of the time.  Instead they just kept churning out basically the same car with a different hat on. And still are today.  That's fine if you don't care about producing a modern sports car to compete with the best of the world.



#12 Nathan

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 16:18

Corvettes get hot inside, hence why the targa tops are nice.

 

The only thing that would bother me is all that nice trunk space would disappear.  How many Corvette owners use them for road trips? 



#13 MatsNorway

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 16:28

BRG: Your so delusional most entusiasts knows the Corvette got fantastic performance to price ratio. Also even if the GTR is faster it doesn't conclude that the Corvette is ****.

Worth noting is that the Camaro got some good laptimes on the Nurburgergbburg ring. So if thats a pointer of things to come the new corvette ZR1 should be pretty good.


Edited by MatsNorway, 13 October 2014 - 16:29.


#14 Fat Boy

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 16:45

I pretty much stopped liking Corvette's after they came out with their mid-engine concept car...

 

 

 

68chevrolet_xp-880.jpg?12E2EC092BA8B06E9

 

 

If they do it, it will be because of the influence of Pratt and Miller. They're the ones that have to race with that big chunk between the front tires. It's no easy task.



#15 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 22:17

The average Corvette buyer is now 60+ years old. If the car has any future, it must appeal to a younger, hipper, more cosmopolitan car shopper. 

Personally at almost that age a Vette does nothing for me. 40 years ago my ultimate car was a 70 or so big block Vette. Not now!

Though making it mid engined with all the hassles involved in maintenance and servicing would make it even less desireable.

Vettes serve a purpose, quite cheap and simple but still quite fast Sports Cars. 

If Porsche can make a turd fast  with the rear engine I am sure GM can with a front engine. And really they have, for a lot less money and maintenance costs too.

What is the front rear weight on a current Vette? It would have to be close to 50 50. A Porsche is still about 65 35 with that great lump in the back. But these days they seem very predictable.



#16 Bob Riebe

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 22:22

Corvette is looking to go mid motor in the future according to this article. i don't know about you but to me thats like Porsche announcing the 911 to ditch the Boxer engine. The rear engine layout. The front lights being round.. And i guess the overrall round shape... all at once.

Probably the same, what can we do to sell magazines, type article that has been going on for decades, especially as another mag. had a similar article with a different rear-engined style.

 

This one is fat and and ugly but that fits the style of most Detroit cars.

 

The need for a rear-engined Corvette is half-way between none and next to none.

Turbo, hmm, just put the word turbo on the fender as most males nowadays have no idea what that represents much less how a car actually funcitons.


Edited by Bob Riebe, 13 October 2014 - 22:24.


#17 Fat Boy

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 22:34


If Porsche can make a turd fast  with the rear engine I am sure GM can with a front engine. And really they have, for a lot less money and maintenance costs too.

What is the front rear weight on a current Vette? It would have to be close to 50 50. A Porsche is still about 65 35 with that great lump in the back. But these days they seem very predictable.

 

There's nothing particularly advantageous about a 50/50 weight distribution outside of a sales brochure.



#18 gruntguru

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 23:28

Corvettes get hot inside . .

That would be that hot engine they insist on putting up front.



#19 desmo

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 23:51

Front engine inside the wheelbase should work essentially just as well for a fast street car as mid-engine shouldn't it? Polar moments should be similar and it's to me just a much simpler and tidier package. Rear weight bias obviously helps both accel and braking, but not seeing why it should be better or worse cornering if the tires are appropriate to whatever the f/r weight, within reason, happens to be. Front engined cars needn't be front weight biased either of course.

I support the switch to a mid-engine if it lowers the price and increases the practical usability of the car, otherwise probably not so much.

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#20 Greg Locock

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 23:55

Actually i suspect a lot of it is the trans and exhaust

 

 When I was at Lotus the nicest one to drive was the front engined Excel, not the mid engined Esprit.. Sure the Series One Esprit looked better (ie not like a Supra), and I assume in the right hands it was quicker on bends, 



#21 imaginesix

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 23:58

The Corvette has actually carved out a pretty sweet niche for itself, where tradition and technology combine conveniently to create a product that in many ways is one of a kind. The price/performance metric is a testament to that. It doesn't need a wholesale philosophical change now, especially since it's just caught up to the competition in terms of performance, style, and (almost) quality.



#22 Magoo

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 01:28

The Corvette has actually carved out a pretty sweet niche for itself, where tradition and technology combine conveniently to create a product that in many ways is one of a kind. The price/performance metric is a testament to that. It doesn't need a wholesale philosophical change now, especially since it's just caught up to the competition in terms of performance, style, and (almost) quality.

 

Except not really. The car is pretty ok but the buyers are over 60. Unless you can figure out how to sell cars in the afterlife, that's not a sustainable buyer target. The car needs to find a younger audience. The question is how. 



#23 imaginesix

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 01:47

I meant it's its own product niche rather than market niche.

 

I don't know about it's market success but I don't think it should be judged the same way a pickups and sedans are judged. Those who covet sports cars usually can't buy them until decades later. People who can afford a Corvette now were salivating over Porsches 20-30 years ago. It's a huge time delay between consumer acceptance and take-up. Also, it's a halo vehicle that carries a lot of the bones of Chevrolet's heritage skeleton. Without the Corvette, Chevy might as well be Kia.



#24 Fat Boy

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 03:35

Actually i suspect a lot of it is the trans and exhaust

 

 When I was at Lotus the nicest one to drive was the front engined Excel, not the mid engined Esprit.. Sure the Series One Esprit looked better (ie not like a Supra), and I assume in the right hands it was quicker on bends, 

 

...and that's really the sticking point. These idiot car companies have gotten in the habit of using the Nordschliefe lap time as some sort of penis measuring metric. Newsflash, the things that get a car around a racetrack the fastest often have little to do with the criteria for a better road car.

 

If you get a chance to go to a club race weekend some time, watch all the cars and tell me which looks like the most fun to drive. For me it's a toss-up between a Miata or a Formula Vee. Neither is particularly quick, but they look like an absolute ball to drive.

 

When you start putting out road cars with 600-700 HP and well north of 1G cornering abilities, the population with ability to handle that those types of capabilities become real thin. What was a fun on-ramp to slide your sports-whatever through now becomes a very good opportunity to kill yourself.

 

GM seems to think that racing the Corvette sells cars. They're probably right, but use it for what it is, a marketing device. It's not an opportunity to develop a street car.



#25 Fat Boy

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 03:58

Front engine inside the wheelbase should work essentially just as well for a fast street car as mid-engine shouldn't it? Polar moments should be similar and it's to me just a much simpler and tidier package. Rear weight bias obviously helps both accel and braking, but not seeing why it should be better or worse cornering if the tires are appropriate to whatever the f/r weight, within reason, happens to be. Front engined cars needn't be front weight biased either of course.

I support the switch to a mid-engine if it lowers the price and increases the practical usability of the car, otherwise probably not so much.

 

At some point you run into issues of real estate. When you take a front-engined car and pull the engine back, eventually it fills the space that you want to stick your driver. The old Panoz LMP cars kind of got around that, but it would be very difficult to pull off as a road car.

 

dave_price_08.jpg

 

Front-engined cars that are based on road cars, like the 'Vette, are nose heavy. It's the nature of the beast. Maybe it isn't necessary in the land of thought experiments, but in the land of rulebooks and racecars built to resemble road cars, it's inevitable.

 

Does a front engine inherently change steady-state mid-corner balance? No, it doesn't. You can generally put your roll-couple where you want it to achieve whatever balance you're shooting for. A point you did mention is completely true. A car with a rear weight bias is inherently better at braking and during acceleration. Here's a little secret I'll share which you may or may not believe. Handling balance around our mythical steady-state corner doesn't mean F-all in terms of lap time, particularly on a tin-top. You make your all your time on entry and exit. So if we have a car that inherently suffers on entry and exit then we're really going to struggle for laptime.

 

Weight distribution also has implications on tire sizing and aerodynamics that is really tough to get around. Tire sizes (if not the tires themselves) are specified by the sactioning body. Those sizes are almost always something that will benefit a weight distribution of about 45F/55R. Front aero is usually tough to make with a production based car, so if the car is nose heavy, you either end up taking rear away to get balance or putting the rear where you want it and living with an aero imbalance. Neither is optimal.

 

So that's my brain dump for the evening.  



#26 imaginesix

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 04:25

Note that his question was "for a fast street car".



#27 Wuzak

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 05:24

At some point you run into issues of real estate. When you take a front-engined car and pull the engine back, eventually it fills the space that you want to stick your driver. The old Panoz LMP cars kind of got around that, but it would be very difficult to pull off as a road car.

 

dave_price_08.jpg

 

Front-engined cars that are based on road cars, like the 'Vette, are nose heavy. It's the nature of the beast. Maybe it isn't necessary in the land of thought experiments, but in the land of rulebooks and racecars built to resemble road cars, it's inevitable.

 

 

 

Here is a car that is front-engine/rear drive where the engine is (mostly) behind the front axle and  weight balance is towards the rear. ("The F12berlinetta's weight distribution is 46% front, 54% rear." http://en.wikipedia...._F12berlinetta)

 

ferrari_100383666_l.jpg



#28 desmo

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 14:03

I always wondered if the Panoz cars were running on the same tires as their mid-engined competitors. I'd expect that to properly optimize tires for the Panoz might involve a separate tire development track, which is probably something the tire suppliers wouldn't necessarily be enthusiastic about funding. One wonders if having fixed tire sizes for a series limits many possibly valid heterodox design approaches. At least with street cars, the variable of aero DF isn't really in play.

#29 B Squared

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 14:28

Except not really. The car is pretty ok but the buyers are over 60. Unless you can figure out how to sell cars in the afterlife, that's not a sustainable buyer target. The car needs to find a younger audience. The question is how. 

That will be hard - the majority of younger people cannot afford to purchase one to become interested in. In 1976 I was able to purchase a solid 1969 Corvette convertible as my first car for approximately $1,000 (at age 18) having seen my grandparents buy a new 1963 coupe and also a 1968 coupe when they were introduced. If a 16-18 year old would want to purchase a similar seven year old Corvette today, the price is going to range (according to the proper dealer books) from $20,000 to $35,000, and closer to $40,000 if it's a very clean ZO6. This is seen throughout the car hobby. With the prices ever-escalating for all cars - it's no wonder many younger enthusiasts have fewer and fewer prospects of being able to "get in the game" in any type of exciting, or collectable car. The car hobby must find a way to appeal to a younger audience that can't afford the very cars that they are interested in - this is not a Corvette only problem.



#30 Fat Boy

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 16:03

I always wondered if the Panoz cars were running on the same tires as their mid-engined competitors. I'd expect that to properly optimize tires for the Panoz might involve a separate tire development track, which is probably something the tire suppliers wouldn't necessarily be enthusiastic about funding. One wonders if having fixed tire sizes for a series limits many possibly valid heterodox design approaches. At least with street cars, the variable of aero DF isn't really in play.

 

I never worked with those cars, but my guess is that they used the same tires as everyone else. The ACO gives you X,Y,Z dimensions for the front and rear tires. At the end of the day, you almost always want the maximum amount of rubber to the road, so you'll be faster if you maximize the tire sizes even if you end up with front/rear ratios that aren't really optimized for your car. You almost always get in the situation where you max out the tire sizes and then modify the car take advantage of it.



#31 Fat Boy

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 16:09

The car hobby must find a way to appeal to a younger audience that can't afford the very cars that they are interested in - this is not a Corvette only problem.

 

The import crowd has already addressed it. They look goofy as hell, but that's where the hobby side has pushed towards.



#32 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 16:11

Wasn't the story that the Panoz LMP1 felt tail-happy because how far back the driver was? There's probably a good lesson in remembering driver balance is part of the car balance.



#33 imaginesix

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 17:10

The car hobby must find a way to appeal to a younger audience that can't afford the very cars that they are interested in - this is not a Corvette only problem.

Indeed. The whole industry is shrinking as more and more people choose alternatives to cars. In the US, the number of cars per household is down, the number of newly licensed drivers is down, the number of miles driven per year is down. These aren't blips in the data, these are long term trends.

 

If you ask me, I'd say people aren't finding the rat race rewarding enough to keep chasing each other in circles any more. Not purchasing a car is one of the most effective and painless ways to dissociate oneself from the economic machine. Of course, all the other detrimental effects of having a car-dependent society also weigh heavily on the decision IMO.

 

If they want to sell more Corvettes - and I say this with complete sincerity - one of the best ways would be to fight for less income disparity, such as introducing a livable minimum wage. Of course that introduces other socio-economic problems, and I prefer for people to drop out of the industrial machine and gradually hollow it out from the inside anyways. But bottom line, to sell more stuff people have to have the means to pay for it.


Edited by imaginesix, 14 October 2014 - 17:11.


#34 Fat Boy

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 17:37

Wasn't the story that the Panoz LMP1 felt tail-happy because how far back the driver was? There's probably a good lesson in remembering driver balance is part of the car balance.

 

I talked to Johnny O about the car at one point. Once he got used to the positioning, he liked it. Apparently, it took a bit of time to acclimate to having the nose that far out ahead of you and it took a while before you were really comfortable with car placement. It's not like a open-wheeler where you can almost touch the front tire and can see it as it approaches the apex curbing, right?

 

Anyway, he said that sitting that far back in the car did give a large yaw sensation which made it easier to drive because the movement in your butt associated to the yaw was amplified.

 

It's a lot like driving a Lotus Super 7. Do those things look like a barrel of monkeys to drive around a racetrack, or what!



#35 Fat Boy

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 17:41


If they want to sell more Corvettes - and I say this with complete sincerity - one of the best ways would be to fight for less income disparity, such as introducing a livable minimum wage. Of course that introduces other socio-economic problems, and I prefer for people to drop out of the industrial machine and gradually hollow it out from the inside anyways. But bottom line, to sell more stuff people have to have the means to pay for it.

 

I really don't think that goes far enough. Anyone who works at a full-time job should be able to clear about $100-150k, which would allow essentially anyone (who chose to put thier money in that direction) to get a Corvette.



#36 Superbar

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 18:09

The car hobby must find a way to appeal to a younger audience that can't afford the very cars that they are interested in - this is not a Corvette only problem.


Maybe what is needed is not a faster Corvette but a step in the other direction. A back to basics affordable sportscar. Maybe not as fast, but fun and tuneable/customable. Basically an American take on the GT86: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_86

Edited by Superbar, 14 October 2014 - 18:14.


#37 B Squared

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 18:24

My Dad is a blue collar guy that worked for 30-plus years as a road test engineering mechanic for International Harvester. In the early 1970s my brother and I started prodding he and Mom into the idea that a Ferrari would be a great car to have in the collection, without thinking that it would ever happen. In 1973, they bought a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (Daytona) for the price of around $15,000, which was more than they paid for the house I grew up in, and had the garage in which the Ferrari was to be housed. The new Ferrari Daytona at that time was around $27,000. Bottom line was that even a blue collar man with ambition could attain lofty goals, car-wise or in other aspects of life with the proper work ethic. Let's see a "working man," let alone a young man, go out in two years and buy a used Ferrari La Ferrari ($1 million plus new) or the like. I'd say it is near-impossible unless a lottery win happened.The huge disparity in the elevation of automobile prices to the general working mans salary is so much more skewed now, it makes it very difficult for most of us to pursue a special car of their liking.



#38 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 18:51

I talked to Johnny O about the car at one point. Once he got used to the positioning, he liked it. Apparently, it took a bit of time to acclimate to having the nose that far out ahead of you and it took a while before you were really comfortable with car placement. It's not like a open-wheeler where you can almost touch the front tire and can see it as it approaches the apex curbing, right?

 

Anyway, he said that sitting that far back in the car did give a large yaw sensation which made it easier to drive because the movement in your butt associated to the yaw was amplified.

 

It's a lot like driving a Lotus Super 7. Do those things look like a barrel of monkeys to drive around a racetrack, or what!

 

Oh so feeling it earlier rather than feeling it more intensely? I may have mixed those up in the last 15 years.

 

The DeltaWing must be weird, you'd drive completely off the rear track? Kinda like Indycars back in the day at Long Beach. Apex with the rear tire not the front...



#39 desmo

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 20:34

My Dad is a blue collar guy that worked for 30-plus years as a road test engineering mechanic for International Harvester. In the early 1970s my brother and I started prodding he and Mom into the idea that a Ferrari would be a great car to have in the collection, without thinking that it would ever happen. In 1973, they bought a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (Daytona) for the price of around $15,000, which was more than they paid for the house I grew up in, and had the garage in which the Ferrari was to be housed. The new Ferrari Daytona at that time was around $27,000. Bottom line was that even a blue collar man with ambition could attain lofty goals, car-wise or in other aspects of life with the proper work ethic. Let's see a "working man," let alone a young man, go out in two years and buy a used Ferrari La Ferrari ($1 million plus new) or the like. I'd say it is near-impossible unless a lottery win happened.The huge disparity in the elevation of automobile prices to the general working mans salary is so much more skewed now, it makes it very difficult for most of us to pursue a special car of their liking.


This is true and the changes that have caused it have been so steady and inexorable and long term, we've hardly noticed but a tiny minority of Americans have been getting fabulously wealthier while most everyone else is getting less and less for their time and work. High end market is strong, low end market is as well, but just as the middle class is being decimated so guys with 140 foot yachts can buy 200 foot yachts with yacht tenders, so too consumers are bifurcating into either a handful of high end luxury consumers or tens of millions of increasingly precarious cheap Chinese junk consumers. The American middle class dream and all the consumer demand it created is being destroyed. The manufacturers don't really care as long as they think can sell their stuff to the people in China or India or whatever. Except I doubt anyone in China will be paying a premium for a Western brand name much longer when all the know how and expertise that builds the goods are now also Chinese.

The American dream--and I'd rate the Corvette as a piece of that, at least for a lot of people, is about as close to dead as the elderly Corvette buyer living off the stored fat of the good times and the middle class demographic that made it--and the rest of the American consumer culture--possible. Make it in China, sell it in China, hide whatever profits you make in some corrupt shit hole tax haven island, who needs America anymore when there's a buck or a billion to be made destroying it? If one were consciously trying to destroy the US and its economic engine root and branch you could hardly do better than the people currently in charge.

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#40 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 20:54

So if in 1973 a Ferrari was 15k what was the price of other things? What was the minimmum wage? The median income? Your household income? The fact that a Ferrari was *still* more expensive than a house doesn't automatically say to me it was within reach...

 

Then again there are a lot more stories of drivers in the 70s/80s and even early 90s mortgaging their houses to pay for a ride in <whatever>. I always chuckle at those stories. What young driver has a HOUSE to mortgage?



#41 Canuck

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 04:23

 Anyone who works at a full-time job should be able to clear about $100-150k, which would allow essentially anyone (who chose to put thier money in that direction) to get a Corvette.

Genuine question: Is that sarcasm?  While I am happily on the right side of even Canadian wage averages, "any" full-time job will not put you into that bracket.  Having said that, the up-'til-now insane oil market in Alberta has lead to a shortage of pretty much all skilled trades so welders, plumbers, electricians, millrights, heavy equipment operators and so on can pretty easily command this sort of wage if they chose to make the sacrifices to earn it (typically 2-in / 1-out camp work or live on location where rentals, when available are stratospheric).  The rest of the country however, doesn't support that and neither does most of the US.  The 80th percentile in the US is $101k as of 2011 - that's 79% of people working are earning below that. Interestingly, a full 10% of earners fall between the $100-$150 boundaries.  In Canada, the 80th percentile is $80k.

 

There does seem to be a large enough subset of the population with disposable (or not) resources to keep the price of these luxury items much higher than one might have expected.  It would have been infinitely cheaper for me to buy my teenage desire 1968 Camaro at 16 than to try and do it today.  Sure I make 2 orders of magnitude more than I did then, but my costs are that high too (and there's always the better half to convince).  The only deals these days are on the disposable S-class / 7-series etc that the uber rich throw away for peanuts after just a couple of years.



#42 B Squared

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 12:54

So if in 1973 a Ferrari was 15k what was the price of other things? What was the minimmum wage? The median income? Your household income? The fact that a Ferrari was *still* more expensive than a house doesn't automatically say to me it was within reach...

The U.S. median income was $12,050 - a 1973 Corvette was $5,635 according to Road & Track and tested one that cost $7,513, I'm sure you can easily find any of the other mentioned data of the time. The family home I mentioned was bought in 1960 for approximately $13,500 and in 1973 was valued around $35,000, so I was comparing two different times with this info - at the time the Daytona was worth slightly less than half the value of our home. I never discussed with Dad what his wages were. I do know when I went to Tokheim Corporation in 1977 I was making about $8.00/hour as a press brake set-up man and operator and was able to buy a 5,000 mile 1977 Corvette in January 1978 (age 20) for $6,700. Again, let's see the average 20-year old today buy a year old Corvette, which was the point of this conversation when Magoo pointed out that the Corvette needs to find a younger audience.    

 

http://www2.census.g...can/p60-093.pdf

 

http://www.roadandtr...ette-lt-1-coupe



#43 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 13:03

So did our incomes crater or did cars get more expensive or both?



#44 Fat Boy

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 16:38

So did our incomes crater or did cars get more expensive or both?

 

Cars are definitely more expensive because of the things we have mandated that they have. A car from the 60's and before is dead simple to work on. They are inefficient, belch pollution, they don't handle well, they don't crash well, they beat you up if you drive a long way, but they were relatively cheap. We've mandated efficiency, cleanliness, crash-worthiness, etc. The consumers now want handling and ride quality. This all costs money. Have you seen the $7000 car called the Elio? We can make cheap stuff, too, but the question is whether or not we will buy it. So yes, cars are more expensive than they were, but they also are a lot more than they used to be.

 

Here's another thought. How much did dear old dad pay for:

 

Internet, computers, cell phone, health insurance, private schools, retirement, etc.?

 

How much time off did he get(2 weeks/year, maybe)? How much overtime did he work(a lot)? How big was the family house(small)? How many TV's did he have(1)? How many cars did he have (2, and one is a hot-rod he doesn't drive)? What kind of beer did he have to drink(Blatz)?

 

My take is that real wages have stayed pretty much the same for the last 40 years or so. We have (often unconsciously) chosen to spend our money in different ways.



#45 Fat Boy

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 16:39

Genuine question: Is that sarcasm? 

 

It was more of a thought experiment.



#46 Bob Riebe

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 18:35

Indeed. The whole industry is shrinking as more and more people choose alternatives to cars. In the US, the number of cars per household is down, the number of newly licensed drivers is down, the number of miles driven per year is down. These aren't blips in the data, these are long term trends.

 

If you ask me, I'd say people aren't finding the rat race rewarding enough to keep chasing each other in circles any more. Not purchasing a car is one of the most effective and painless ways to dissociate oneself from the economic machine. Of course, all the other detrimental effects of having a car-dependent society also weigh heavily on the decision IMO.

 

If they want to sell more Corvettes - and I say this with complete sincerity - one of the best ways would be to fight for less income disparity, such as introducing a livable minimum wage. Of course that introduces other socio-economic problems, and I prefer for people to drop out of the industrial machine and gradually hollow it out from the inside anyways. But bottom line, to sell more stuff people have to have the means to pay for it.

Hmmm, let's see, I have to deal with houses and dependent persons sixty miles apart and not own a car, while performing around town acquiring tasks that take 2 to 3 hours with a car without a car, BRILLIANT   if you live in comic book land !



#47 imaginesix

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 18:51

I'd recommend you get a car. But it's up to you.



#48 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:40

Hmmm, let's see, I have to deal with houses and dependent persons sixty miles apart and not own a car, while performing around town acquiring tasks that take 2 to 3 hours with a car without a car, BRILLIANT   if you live in comic book land !

Yeah, town planners and bicycle clowns all seem to think that nobody needs a car or we dont need decent roads. We are all supposed to ride bicycles or catch a bus. 

Your commute of sixty miles will take 4 times as long in a bus,, yet alone waiting for the thing to turn up. And at what I guess a mean average of contributors to this thread we really are not interested in riding a bike more than a couple of miles along a beach strip or somewhere else relaxing.

So yes Comic Book land is where far too many people seem to live.

Nothing to do with Vettes but a statement of the real world.



#49 imaginesix

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:25

Strange that any new urban plan considers the flow of motorized traffic as a starting point in it's process, and that any bicycle clown I have ever heard of only ever clamors for more bike lanes, not fewer car lanes. Yet by your accounts, it's drivers who are hard done by.

 

I don't know about comic book land, but it's abundantly clear that you live in upside-down world.



#50 Fat Boy

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 16:34

I'm every bit the bike clown, but I don't see it as a viable transportation option for very much of the population. It works in Europe where the populations are very concentrated, but it doesn't work nearly as well in the US where you have a much more spread out/suburban population. It's the same reason why trains and subways are not very effective in most US cities. It works in New York and San Francisco. It kind-of works in Chicago, but in a lot of places it's very difficult to get the people to where the work is because we're dealing with scattered populations and scattered workplaces (We don't have many massive factories any more). I say we're much better off working remotely a couple days a week. Have a 'satellite' office where people can collect 1-2 times a week and maybe a 'main' office where people can get together once every other week. I think the first big company that gets this really sorted is going to have a huge advantage, but it's going to be tricky to actually get people to get their work done.

 

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Having said all this, we're way past the point where this has become a political discussion as opposed to a technical one.