Corvette: Year by Year1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
The Early Days
For the next two months "Safari" (its new nickname) became my daily driver. I have a 40 minute commute to work in Valencia which usually did not involve traffic. This was a getting to know each other phase.
- The new (for me) position of the ignition key took some getting used to. It is located on the dash to the upper right of the tachometer. I was constantly going to the steering column and then having to remind myself that no, this car is different and the difference made it special. The steering column ignition mounting on modern cars was a federal requirement designed to reduce auto theft. That's a noble effort which is hard to argue with but it is nice to know that I was starting my car the way the designers wanted it to be started, not the way some insurance lobbyist thought was best.
- Shifting was a new experience. The five speed manuals that I had been used to for the last 36 years became more of a habit than I had realized. Sometimes while enthusiastically running through the Corvette's four gears, while getting on a freeway for example, I would try to shift it into a non-existent fifth gear.
- The manual steering was not the big deal I thought it might be. I had been driving a manual steered 1990 Mazda Miata for the last 21 years, which probably helped.
- Driving a car as distinctive as a 1968 Corvette is different. People, mostly male, (unfortunately) have two questions: "What year is it?" and "What's the engine?". You also soon realize that if you plan on doing something you're not supposed to do, do not do it in a vintage Corvette. Acquaintances are always mentioning "I saw you at the corner of X and Y on Tuesday afternoon".
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Great information thank you for all your work putting this together. I had a 1968 convertible 327/350 hp, LeMans Blue/ white top, 4spd.I bought it in 1970 and it still had the firestone redline tires on it. Two weeks later the right rear axle bearing basicly melted, what a learning experience that was. 10 years later I was the Corvette,heavy duty truck,and motorhome mechanic at lyman Slack Chevrolet in Portland Oregon.A couple of things I noticed as per differences between early and late 68's was the late's had a brace between the fender and the wheel well at the hood hinge area to help keep the Fiberglas from cracking in that area.Also the trim piece that runs under the front fender back to the rear wheel well was black on the early's but silver on the later models (as I remember it ) so I painted mine silver. My steering wheel looked to be wood and I never had a left hand clearance problem with it.