Last Call: C8 Corvette’s True Origin and True Delays

Today we learned that the production of the mid-engine, eighth generation Corvette has been bumped up to February. This is due to UAW’s strikes, because agreements with General Motors couldn’t be made. That’s too bad because we’re all anxious to drive this thing, which some of us still don’t believe exists.

Since we can’t look forward to the mid-engine Corvette, perhaps we can look back at C8’s humble beginnings. It all started with a drunk idea dream in a suburban home of an excellent engineer, whose father and grandfather were proud GM employees and union members. Sometimes all it takes is a drunk idea dream.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

East Coast Editor. Races crappy cars and has an unhealthy obsession with Eastern Bloc cars. Current fleet: 4Runner, Integra, Regal, Lada

17 Comments

  1. I think the CERV II, Astro II and subsequent 70s XPs, Aerovette, Indy, and the CERV III are more significant ancestors of the C8. The Fiero was just a weird great-uncle that the family would rather forget.

  2. I am at the top of the slippery slope hoon approach to car ownership with our Leaf. This car is full of design flaws and I am waiting for parts to fix one of them: The water-to-air-HVAC-system will heat its water to 72°C no matter what even if you have heat off and are going a short distance only. The system also produces a fantastic amount of condensation you will find again on your windscreen. So people sell switches-and-cables to turn that off, promising 15-25% better range. And then there’s stuff like this…a guy from the Netherlands intending to sell boot-sized batteries and modding his 24kWh first gen Leaf into a modern-day-machine at 55-60kWh. Sounds fantastic:

    1. That’s pretty brilliant, actually. The guy has serious patience, and I have sincere respect for shade-tree reverse engineering by the average joe.

      I would think that RWD would be a better layout for electric vehicles– it seems to me that they would be less complex and have better steering/handling, but perhaps this is just wishful thinking on my part. I accept that EVs are the future of personal transportation, and I’ll certainly miss the sounds and characteristic non-linear power delivery of the internal combustion engine, but what I think I’ll really miss is the manual transmission (EVs have little need for gearboxes, much less manually-actuated ones) and rear-wheel-drive.

      I think I’d personally be more inclined to convert an old RWD car to EV than modify a Leaf for better performance. I realize the latter is a far more practical notion, but at the end of the project, I would want to be driving something that speaks to my inner hoon. I just don’t understand why the range of conversions seems to be limited to about 100 miles, whereas the Chevy Bolt can go more than twice that distance.

      Something like this EV 240 wagon would be more my style:

      1. Oh, that is an awesome conversion! Surprised by how tight the engine bay gets with the electric motor and batteries – what is the range on that one? Any idea if they preserved that awesome 50/50 weight distribution? The Leaf is not a particularly good car by any means, but I really respect that this guy picked up the challenge. There might be a marked for his upgrades and I believe it can be driven economically for quite a long time; rust will be the end of it.

        As to enjoyable rides etc., there’s no doubt in my mind that we will see awesome, entertaining, very fun cars to drive for as long as we are allowed to turn steering wheels with our suboptimal human hands. There’s a lot to like with EVs, and batteries are only getting better.

      2. Oh, that is an awesome conversion! Surprised by how tight the engine bay gets with the electric motor and batteries – what is the range on that one? Any idea if they preserved that awesome 50/50 weight distribution? The Leaf is not a particularly good car by any means, but I really respect that this guy picked up the challenge. There might be a marked for his upgrades and I believe it can be driven economically for quite a long time; rust will be the end of it.

        As to enjoyable rides etc., there’s no doubt in my mind that we will see awesome, entertaining, very fun cars to drive for as long as we are allowed to turn steering wheels with our suboptimal human hands. There’s a lot to like with EVs, and batteries are only getting better.

      3. I suspect the conversion range issue is based on the dual concerns of price and packaging (for batteries that were never designed to exist). At the higher end, when Jaguar developed their EV conversion for the E-type (which they confirmed was compatible with everything that used the XJ I6), they’re promising 170 miles or so, but it’s expected to be a pricey kit.

        Also, it’s probably a case where most classic cars aren’t being pushed into high mileage use to begin with, so 100 miles is probably in the ballpark of the max where most get used in a day (with less concern about cold weather losses as well).

      4. Oh, that is an awesome conversion! Surprised by how tight the engine bay gets with the electric motor and batteries – what is the range on that one? Any idea if they preserved that awesome 50/50 weight distribution? The Leaf is not a particularly good car by any means, but I really respect that this guy picked up the challenge. There might be a marked for his upgrades and I believe it can be driven economically for quite a long time; rust will be the end of it.

        As to enjoyable rides etc., there’s no doubt in my mind that we will see awesome, entertaining, very fun cars to drive for as long as we are allowed to turn steering wheels with our suboptimal human hands. There’s a lot to like with EVs, and batteries are only getting better.

        1. I’m very pleased to see hotrodding is making the transition to electric cars so quickly. It’s a good thing.

          As for the condensation upon using the heat in the Leaf, the old time cure for that was to turn on the a/c (along with defrost) to dehumidify the air. Most cars do that automatically nowadays but I suspect that the Leaf doesn’t, as a battery saving decision.

          EDIT – I am waiting for Mrs Lokki while she has an appointment and so have had time to wander the net – it looks like interior condensation is a common (I won’t call it a problem) thing in the Nissan Leaf; apparently the most popular solution is to get packet of moisture absorber (“Damp-Rid”) such as you might use in a closet and put it in the back seat.

          https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=29867#p563058

          I don’t think there is anything particularly magic about the brand Damp-Rid but it’s so common here it’s become the vernacular name, like “Coke” or “Xerox”.

        2. I’m very pleased to see hotrodding is making the transition to electric cars so quickly. It’s a good thing.

          As for the condensation upon using the heat in the Leaf, the old time cure for that was to turn on the a/c (along with defrost) to dehumidify the air. Most cars do that automatically nowadays but I suspect that the Leaf doesn’t, as a battery saving decision.

          EDIT – I am waiting for Mrs Lokki while she has an appointment and so have had time to wander the net – it looks like interior condensation is a common (I won’t call it a problem) thing in the Nissan Leaf; apparently the most popular solution is to get packet of moisture absorber (“Damp-Rid”) such as you might use in a closet and put it in the back seat.

          https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=29867#p563058

          I don’t think there is anything particularly magic about the brand Damp-Rid but it’s so common here it’s become the vernacular name, like “Coke” or “Xerox”.

          1. You’re right, there is something off with the Leaf’s HVAC. AC comes on automatically when defrosting or changing “modes”, which is just the choice of vents, too. The AC does work and is dimensioned well, but the condensation issues return quite quickly if you a) turn off AC or b) just park the car for an hour. I first thought we had a leaking seal. All the while our Camry has been dry as a Sahara fart with its broken AC compressor having been dormant for three years.

        3. I think they said range was about 170 km, or again, roughly 100 miles. I guess on something like this, that range is acceptable, but if I were going to put such money into a conversion, I think I’d want at least 150.

        4. I think they said range was about 170 km, or again, roughly 100 miles. I guess on something like this, that range is acceptable, but if I were going to put such money into a conversion, I think I’d want at least 150.

  3. I think the CERV II, Astro II and subsequent 70s XPs, Aerovette, Indy, and the CERV III are more significant ancestors of the C8. The Fiero was just a weird great-uncle that the family would rather forget.

  4. Darth Fiero: “Zora-Arkus Duntov never told you what happened to your father.”

    C8: “He told me enough! He told me you killed him!”

    Darth Fiero: “No. I…am your father.”

    C8: “No…no….that’s not true…that’s impossible!”

    (I agree with Zentropy about the mid-engine Corvette’s heritage, but this was the first image to pop into my head upon seeing this post. Not entirely sure what that says about me.)

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