When Chevrolet released the first Corvette with its curved fiberglass body in 1953, its introduction was met with skepticism. In retrospect, this birth marked the beginning of America’s love affair with sports cars. Through many renditions, the Corvette remains an idol of innovation, performance and Americana.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, the Corvette was the car of choice for pilots, astronauts and celebrities — a symbol for those au-courant with American style and luxury.
It’s no wonder Craig Roth chose to spend his savings at age 16 on a 1973 Corvette C3. As Corvette owners will tell you, driving such a car isn’t just mere transportation, it’s a full sensory experience demanding your attention and when the engine purrs you’re more than willing to give it.
When a young Roth joined the workforce, he traded in his ‘Vette for a more modest means of transportation— a tractor — vowing to buy another Corvette one day.
In 2021, his dream was realized when he bought a red 1970 C3. His enjoyment and enthusiasm for the classic car are shared by his son, Joe Roth, who has caught a penchant for cars himself.
“There’s something incredibly special about driving a classic Corvette,” Joe says. “From the way the car smells to the way it rides to the sound it makes — push the throttle and it just goes.”
The allure of the Corvette seemed to extend past Roth’s immediate family, with Joe’s uncle purchasing a 2020 Corvette C8. He let the youngster take it for a spin to test run the evolution of the stingray. “The legacy of the Corvette continues to endure — from the earlier generation until now,” Joe explains. “It’s the same car from 50 years ago but so much better.”
The new design is seamless. Chevrolet ditched the soft top convertible design in favor of a sleek hard top and didn’t stop there.
“Everything you come into contact with, from the carbon fiber interior to the quality leather seats, it’s impeccable,” Roth notes. “The interior is so driver-focused, with everything seeming to wrap around the driver and create a feel of importance.”
The ‘Vette has always been about performance, holding its own against its European counterparts. Chevrolet has fine-tuned the American sports car, consistently upholding and improving upon its legacy. With speed, an unmatched driving experience and luxury design, the Corvette hangs with the rest of them at a much lower price point — a testament to American innovation.
So what’s the verdict? Classic or contemporary? Classic collectors may grit their teeth, but for the young Roth going 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds, sometimes it’s fun to live in the past — but perhaps the future is a little brighter.
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