I Traded My Saturn Sky For A C7 Corvette Because Small Block Chevy

As you may already know, I had a 2008 Saturn Sky Redline, a weird roadster that I loved for many reasons, most of them I’ve shared with you over several blogs (and a few diatribes too). With a few modifications, the Sky was a really fast convertible that most passers-by liked to see, even if they often didn’t know what it was and were too shy to ask. It was fun being the guy with the half-sleeper Saturn, but I decided to double my cylinder count. I just traded it in for a Lime Rock Green 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7. A few weeks later, I never look back.

The C7 is a performance bargain, that’s true. When it went into production in 2013, the Corvette name was still the victim of jokes about New Balance shoes and cargo shorts. That quickly started to change, partly because the C7 was just a really, really great car. The Corvette had found a new rhythm, and in its seventh generation it became a standard bearer of American performance. When its run ended in 2019, not only had it won the love and affection of many enthusiasts, but it had paved the way for the new C8. GM itself said so – the move to a mid-engine powertrain was a long-awaited dream for many, but it also came about because the company all but maxed out the capabilities of a front-engined, twin-engine Corvette. rear-wheel drive with the C7. Although it is eight years old, it still looks modern and on par with today’s sports cars.

The journey started a while ago when I set out to find a C6 Z06 in good condition, but to be fair the interior of the C6 is on par with the Sky (they were made in the same time after all). As much as I wanted an LS7—I still do—I was willing to sacrifice power to get a newer, more reliable car with a nicer cabin. That’s when I started considering the next generation instead.

You might be wondering if something was wrong with the sky. No. My biggest problem was that I didn’t move regularly and the car just wasn’t a cruiser. When I ride it’s usually for several hours at a stretch, so I really needed something that was better for longer distances, something bigger and more comfortable. Once I started looking at the C7s, I quickly settled on an ideal specification – the Lime Rock Green exterior with the tan/Kalahari brown interior and the Z51 package – and after a few months of research, it was This is exactly what I ended up buying from a dealership in New York in June, trading through the skies in the process. If you’re curious, this kind of resolution is really satisfying for your brain but really unsatisfying for your wallet.

My C7 has a 460-hp 6.2-liter dry-sump V8 and a seven-speed manual transmission that together have done less than 20,000 miles. It’s a 3LT so it has the nice leather-wrapped dash, although it will slowly shrink and crumble like many other 3LT C7s, but that’s fine. Even with its flaws, it’s pretty much exactly what I wanted. The only things I didn’t want were the chrome wheels, but I’ll live with them for now.

If you want a full review of the C7, that will come later. For now, the main thing is that this thing is exactly what I needed. It’s fast and fast, it’s fluid, there’s plenty of space. I’ve found it’s also an effective cure for scrolling doom on social media – that’s how good it is.

Even just leaning on the accelerator brings a smile. The cohesive feel you get from the drivetrain is something my Sky lacked. At 75 mph, it revs just over 1,500 rpm in seventh gear. The Corvette was built for cruising and comfortable cruising. I’ve even seen highway fuel economy as good as 33 mpg with minimal effort. It’s a number a lot of cars struggle with these days, but the C7 does it with little trouble despite its eight cylinders and 460 horsepower.

The same can be said for handling. At high speeds, the stability displayed by this car is simply amazing. The kind of maneuver that I would have reconsidered doing in other cars – newer cars – is absolutely no problem for him. Nevertheless, at low speeds and in tight corners, I feel like it could still bite me. How it can find a balance like that, I don’t know.

Every vehicle has its trade-offs, though, but I don’t think many strike a balance like the C7 does, not even the C8. There’s plenty of cargo space, it’s quiet when it needs to be, and it has magnetic shock absorbers so its ride is fine-tuned. It is so pleasant. The biggest problem with the C7 is that you can only share its greatness with one other person because it only has two seats.

This C7 was around $75,000 when new in 2014, but I paid a lot less. And I feel like that’s what the Corvette is. Every Corvette ever sold is a worthy car, and no one is unworthy of owning one. It will always be an all-American flight, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to own one.

Email the author at peter@thedrive.com

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