Welcome to wheels magazine Khalid! You are a huge Chevrolet Corvette fan — but is it true that at one stage you had 19 of these cars? What is it about the Corvette that you like so much?
Thanks for featuring me in the magazine, I make sure to never miss an issue — and yes that is correct — I had 19 at one stage in my life but now I am down to just eight!
I think the Corvette is the best sportscar of all time and I don’t think it’s a surprise that it is the longest-running, continuously produced passenger car in America because it is simply brilliant. Since it was launched in the Fifties, this famous two-seater has found its way onto racing tracks and popular culture too. It was selected as the pace car several times for the Indianapolis 500 and has made numerous big screen appearances. It has always been an accessible sportscar and sure is an attention grabber!
There’s no doubt about that. You love the C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 generations but dislike the C6 and C7; is there any reason why?
The reason is because Chevrolet dropped the pop-up headlights after the C5 and I think this was a big mistake. I love those lights — they add so much more character to the car.
Also with regards to the design of the earlier models, I love those more — they look so stylish. The old American cars are considered amongst the best in the world but unfortunately, I think General Motors has lost its way with the last two generations of the Corvette. They lack a bit of visual excitement.
For me, the best and most beautiful is the C4, specifically the ones built between 1991 to 1996. I think these had the best design and interior too.
From all of the Corvettes that you have owned, this C4 has to be the rarest. It isn’t a Callaway Sledgehammer but it sure looks like it is what with that Series 1 B2K Callaway Aerobody. Still, there aren’t many of these around at all — how did you find this Corvette?
I found it online. I had been searching for one of these for a long time but wasn’t having any luck. Then one day while scouring the internet, I finally came across one for sale. It was in the US and the owner accepted my bid. Before I knew it, my dream had come true and the car was on its way to the UAE. I have been the proud owner of this beauty since 2014 and am loving every minute with this rare classic which as far as I am aware is the only one in the country.
The only other one that I was aware of used to be in Kuwait. It belonged to my friend Hani but he moved to Slovakia and had the C4 Callaway shipped with him.
Being such an aficionado of the Corvette — and a member of the International Corvette Club — I am sure that there isn’t another one in the region like mine.
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Well it sure is a sight for sore eyes. Unlike the bonkers 1988 Sledgehammer, which had a twin-turbo V8 making 880 horses, this one has the naturally-aspirated 5.7-litre but it still makes very good power doesn’t it…
Yes definitely — the LT1 motor has more than enough power to put a smile on my face and is mated to a smooth shifting automatic.
Even though the car is 25 years old it still drives like new. When you put your foot down, the rear wheels produce great big clouds of smoke! This truly is a really enjoyable car to drive.
You have some wonderful roads here in Khor Fakkan — is there any in particular that you enjoy driving on? How often do you drive the car?
Yes we have some fabulously winding mountain roads and I do enjoy cruising along the east coast road from Dibba to Kalba.
However, since I have several Corvettes that I can drive, I haven’t been using this 40th anniversary model (this was a package that was available on all models in ’93) too much because I want to keep the mileage down!
Smart move. Aside from the Corvette, you have owned some other very potent cars, what were they…
Yes I have had a 2001 Dodge Viper GTS, 2003 Holden HSV Clubsport and a 2000 Camaro SS and all three were tremendous fun.
Finally, what is your dream car?
This might come as a surprise but it isn’t a particular Corvette — I would love to own a Lamborghini Diablo SE30 or a Countach.
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