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What do the current owners of Corvette think about the new C8 Stingray?



We visit one of Corvette's oldest events in the world to find out.

Chevrolet announced its all-new Corvette Stingray for 2020 on Thursday, July 18th. Luckily, he saw more than 400 corvettes on the same day, and about 1,000 fans of Vette were transferred to the small western city of South Dakota. th Black Hills Corvette Classic. This annual event is organized by the Sioux Falls Corvette Club and brings Corvette owners across the country to enjoy an incredible blend of mountains, canyons and open prairies across the region. The four-day festival is not the biggest American American sports car event, but after it has lasted for as long as the Corvette itself, it is one of the oldest. Retain Motor1

.com the western office in Rapid City, just 50 miles south of the action. More importantly, the Corvette Classic black hills is a very driving event – the vast majority of those arriving arrive at the Corvettes from the C5 generation upwards, and yes, the owners are mostly retired. In other words, this group is the main audience GM hopes to reach with the new C8. Still. More about this in a little, but here's a tease. My establishment from this event can be summed up in two words: Dangerous optimism.



While I was attending the show and the glamor of the event in downtown Surfside, I had the opportunity to talk to Sioux Falls Club member Barry Conkenn. In addition to selling Corvettes and having a deep passion for Vette, inherited from his father, Konken is very active with both the club and the Black Hills Corvette Classic as an organizer. 2019 marks its 33 year year of the event, and this time around the arrival of the band in Spearfish coincided with the release of the C8. The live traffic was on a big screen for those in the hotel's congress center, and according to Conkenn, he did not look like anything he had seen. , "he said." We have a banquet and entertainment on Saturday night, which gets a crowd, but for the disclosure, the room of the congress center is completely complete. 800? 1000 people? The Chevrolet Corvette Live

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette [ChevroletCorvette19659112] However, Konken explained that after the car was discovered, about half of the crowd was left without hearing details about the engine, performance or price. Is this a bad omen for GM? Probably, but logistics can be a factor here. C8 did not go on stage until 21:30 local time and most of the participants had already spent a long day on the road. And let's not forget, the average age of Corvette owners is 61, and this is average . In fact, I saw a man climb from a C7 car on an automobile tank with an oxygen tank so that this mass exodus could simply be pulled out of exhausted retirees ready for a good night's sleep

Yet cautious optimism seems to be the key phrase for the current owners of Corvette, at least among this crowd. Studying the hundreds of Vettes parked in the center, I had the opportunity to talk to dozens of dozen owners. Yes, this is a very small cut in the big scheme of things, but almost everyone had the same things to say, and that's remarkable. In short, the new C8 is a good-looking car – it really looks great. Almost everyone agreed, but I did not talk to a guy who was willing to buy one, even though the original price was less than $ 60,000.

I did not talk to a guy who was ready to buy, even though the price at the original level was less than $ 60,000.

Why? The question that is most mentioned is reliability. Almost everyone has expressed concern that GM will get all the bugs, especially since this is a brand new vehicle. Some have heard rumors of electrical problems in the prototypes, but most of them were just wary of jumping into a completely new Corvette medium-power platform. Some people I talked to expressed clear interest in a few years, but the majority of the owners I talked to were cautiously optimistic. the car behind the driver was indeed Corvette. Overall, the answers I received on this subject were favorable if they were unclear. For the most part, people were more interested in presenting the car than the location of the engine. This does not mean that there was not a handful of vocal critics who did not want anything to do with C8. In fact, more people have been dissatisfied with the fact that the C8 still has no round tail lights than the average engine configuration, including the few younger Corvette owners present at the event (yes, they exist). Do you hear that, Chevrolet?

As for younger owners, this is where things are becoming cumbersome for GM and the new C8 Stingray. There is absolutely no doubt that Corvette buyers are getting older and without being painful, it is not possible from the business point of view to expect that demographic growth will grow. Yes, the Corvette should appeal to the larger audience, but it should also appeal to the younger audience that could otherwise invest in the Porsche 911 or the Audi R8. The hard part is to attract this new audience without completely alienating the loyal, existing customer base. This is not easy to do. Will the C8 Corvette Stingray be able to overcome the difference in age? To be stupid, he has to have to if Corvette hopes to survive. Exclusive productivity and low cost will certainly help, and based on my evening with the current owners of Corvette in the heart of America, there is some optimism that this can happen.

Special thanks to Barry Conkenn, Black Hills Corvette Classic and Sioux Falls Corvette Club.

Black Hills Corvette Classic Photos by Christopher Smith / Motorcycle1.

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Gallery: 48th Black Hills Corvette Classic [CorvetteClassicCorvette

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