Corvettes have long had a complicated relationship with the automotive fandom. Car fans tend to either love them or dismiss them, citing a list of flaws. But values keep rising and maybe that’s warranted.
Every week, it seems, there’s a new video claiming which Corvette set the standard for the brand, but the C2 really did introduce a lot of what we recognize as a Corvette today.
Although it might not have been the best performer of its time, as a recent buyers guide from Hagerty points out, there are few race series where it didn’t see serious success.
Also Read: Mickey Thompson’s Personal Split-Window ’63 Corvette Could Fetch Half A Million
And although, yes, the body is heavy, the brakes are weak, and there’s a leaf spring in the back, it does actually drive well. The 327 V8 still provides truck-loads of torque and even with skinny tires, you can rag on this thing.
Video host Sam Smith allows that you have to work to get the most out of it but, he says, it’s an enormously communicative car. The chassis lets you know what’s going on as you drive down the road.
“Great cars make you forget the rest of the world,” says Smith. “The split-window Corvette makes you forget other great cars.”
That’s not to say that you should just go out and buy any Corvette you come across, though. It’s important to make sure that the drum brakes are good, because Smith argues that they can be a canary in the coalmine of maintenance. The mechanical fuel-injection on the most powerful of the C2s also requires a careful eye. It’s a neat set-up and it’s one that can work well, but it can also lead to a lot of problems if it isn’t properly maintained.
The point here being, that despite a reputation for being big, dumb, and simple, C2s are actually a bit delicate and it’s worth it to look for one that’s in good condition.