My name is Jim McClain and I have been an avid Car (Muscle cars & Corvettes) and speed enthusiast (Boats, Cycles, Dune Buggies, etc) since I was a small boy and my father and uncle's passed this bug on to me.
Having grown up and actually been lucky enough to experience the family 63 split window, Early 70 stingray, 73 big block, a few late 70's and early 80's vettes as well as the first 84's and 1985's before growing old enough to enter the fray myself in 1987 with my first vette, I consider myself a bit of a Corvette historian. Now 34 years old, I have been the proud owner of 6 of these beasts myself now, including my first used 1987, used 1992 LT1, new 93 40th anniversary, new 96 LT4, new 1999 C5 and current 2003 Z06.
I am also a big Viper enthusiast and current owner of a mint 2000 Dodge Viper GTS ACR in addition to a few other fast toys including a 1992 GMC Typhoon, 2002 Lexus SUV, 502 cu. in. 500+ HP 27' Mirage Race boat and Sea Doo GSX Waverunners. Obviously I like speed and things that look hot like all previous Vettes.
The reason I bring this all up is that, I can be as big a critic as anyone, but I feel the C6 is getting a bad rap by many before anyone should really be judging it until they see it in person.
I own a very sucsesful new media development company in Illinois where we do a lot of design, interactive cd-rom/web/dvd, high def video production, tv commericals, print, 3D animation, special effects and other services. With this, one of the services I commonly am providing clients is professional design and digital photography services. (Plug- www.bmediaweb.com)
Poor/odd camera angles, magazines that may not want a car to look very flattering, bad choices in colors, bad/distorted scans, poor press photos, etc... all seem to be currently contributing to the current wave of critisism I am reading on many Corvette sites of the C6.
As a result of all this I decided to take the photos I have collected online, do some minor corrections to camera angles on some, cleanup others, improve the color on them and create a compilation piece for all to BETTER judge the new design but NOT cast a final negative vote until they see it in person. Attached is a copy of this work. If you want a high-res version email me and I can send it to you as well - it makes a nice poster.
Overall, I am blown away by the car and I love it. It does not look like a Viper, RX-8 or any other vehicle for that matter and will be recognizable as a true Corvette without question!
The new headlights do change the overall mood of the car slightly, but I feel it does so in a modern year 2005 way that a car of the future needs to stay on top. The pop-ups looked good down, but when they were on, they looked out of date and ruined the lines of the car. With 350Z's, Infiniti's, BMW's and other nice rides all using multiple hid/xenon headlights, I was always envious of these anytime one would pull behind me and make me take notice. In fact the new lights in many ways are a modern version of the conversion many Vette owners did to the early 70's to early 80's vettes when they converted thier pop-ups to the flush headlights for that Daytona look which I always liked.
I also have noticed that many shots of the car do not show how the car will sit and the lines will really flow. Example - the trailer/carrier shot had the rear strapped down and was taken from below the carrier, the magazine shots show the rear from a high view and so on. The one recent shot that gives you a good indication of the rear 3/4 view at a normal standing level, although slightly inclined, which has been included in my composite is incredible! It reminds me of a modern remake of the early 70' Vette (one of my personal favorites) but with even more muscle. It has the curvy fenders, flatter/inwardly curved rear end and with the modern door handle placement, new door lines, exhuast area (very exotic/tigershark looking) I think GM did an incredible job with the design of this car based on this shot.
From the front, that one magazine shot everyone keeps basing opinions on should be burned. It over exagerates the nose, which based on any other photo I have seen and is included in my composite, should be much smaller and more exotic along the lines of the Modena.
Outside of these comments and personal opinions I also think some other incredible points to consider with what GM has done includes:
• Offering current Z06 level power with an automatic (great for the female market or those who do a lot of city driving and dont need the extra performance of a stick)
• Providing a Targa coupe/convertible Z06 in essence.
• Providing current Z06 performance at base Corvette pricing.
• The nicest Rims yet with increased dimensions.
• Many hightech gadgets for those who want them that even SUV's, mini vans and sedans now have but were void from the Vette option list (nav, heated seats, XM, etc)
• A nice blend of some retro lines with new technology like the HID headlamps.
• Hopefully a Viper/GT 40 beater with the 500hp Z06 or 625HP Blue Devil. Of special note to GM - please build the Blue Devil and I will be the first one in line to plunk $100k down as the Vette needs a limited supercar version to shut the mouths of all those in the world and show what AMERICAN engineering can do that no others in the world can match - especially based on final price.
Last, can someone please post this message and image link on the other Corvette websites like Corvetteforum as I have been holding on to this composite image and observations for 3 days waiting for registration approval to post it on such other sites.
Thank You and Enjoy!