Shock and Awe in Herts

autojournals002_492da75edb19c-lightboxI was persuaded by my good mate from Racing Green, Chaz, to have a look at the new C6 Z06 Corvette and he gave me the phone number of American Carriage Company in Barnes. I called, Dominic gave me the figures and I was instantly hooked so I sent him my deposit.

I picked the car up from the showroom on the 12th of December 2005 and having spent the first hour on cloud 9 just looking it over, I was shown how this thing worked which took another hour. Once all the documents had been signed and I had handed over £74,000, it hit me, I had to drive this monster home. Having not driven a left hooker for some years I was somewhat concerned, especially bearing in mind the fact that this motor could reach take off speed very quickly. This soon became apparent when I pulled out of the showroom, left the traction control off and started to do a donut. I quickly found the right button and went on my way ‘nervously’.

Having now had the car for some months I have to say it is utterly awesome. The sheer power of the 7 litre (427 cubic inches for those of you who think in American Old Money) “small block” is breathtaking. 1st gear is seldom used and when it is, too much right foot instantly incurs a terrible smell of vaporising rubber. 2nd gear is quite sufficient and before you know it you can hit 120mph before changing up (this lump really revs for a pushrod V8, reaching 7,200 rpm.) Where she is dangerous is if you are in the mid range and you change down, for example to get away from some budding F1 driver in a BMW M3 or similar, [yeah those pesky M3 drivers, eh? -ed] if you’re not careful, the back end will swing round.

The positives are that everywhere you go car enthusiasts stop you and ask what it is, she’s extremely quick, very easy to drive and I can get my golf clubs in the boot. The only negative I can think of is the hardness of the ride; she’s not a car to drive all the time around town. However on a long run up the motorway that’s a different matter…

At the risk of gilding a lily, I decided to ask a good friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, to undertake further breathing work on the engine and I can confirm it is now at about 550bhp, (45bhp up from standard) which I know is somewhat stupid. After all who really needs to tamper with a car that will reach 200mph straight from the factory but hey, why not, now she’s really quick…






Neil Hobbs