Welcome to wheels, Rob! We love your Corvette — where did you find this awesome C4?
Thank you for featuring me in the magazine!
I bought this vehicle in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had been looking at a lot of different cars such as Mustangs, BMWs and other Corvettes but settled on this 1987 model because this particular one was in really nice condition. It didn’t have any cracks on the dash and it was in great shape mechanically too. I’ve done some upgrades to it such as adding Urethane bushings all the way around the suspension system and Koni shocks along with a K&N air filter but other than that it’s all original and a lot of fun to drive.
It was its handling capabilities that really drew you in wasn’t it…
That’s right, it handles extremely well and rides on fat P255 60R 16 tyres all the way around so it has an equal footprint and can go up to .93 of a G before they start to slide.
It was touted as America’s first supercar and in fact the only vehicle that had more speed other than this in the same category was the Porsche 911 of that year. It had a max speed of 268kph and my Corvette has 267kph — but the Porsche was selling for around $80k back then while the Corvette was only $30k so it was great value and you got a lot of performance for your dollar too.
That 5.7-litre V8 has plenty of power doesn’t it…
Definitely and since the car is so light (it is built out of fiberglass, aluminum or plastic — there is very little steel and no cast iron except for the engine block) the 240 horses that the motor produces is more than enough to make this car really hustle down the road.
The block has aluminium heads and it has the tuned port injection on top of it and it makes 345 foot pounds of torque which is pretty good on a car of this size and weight. It can hit 100kph from rest in just 5.1 seconds, and still gets 11 litres per 100km with no modifications.
This generation was launched in 1983 with a completely new chassis, modern sleeker styling, and other improvements. Is it still fun to drive after all these years?
It’s a lot of fun and I take it to Fujairah through the mountains on the Dibba side quite often where there are a lot of turns and it’s always a good experience!
I occasionally run into some problems but nothing too serious and most parts are available locally 99 per cent of the time so it’s great in that regard too — although I needed a new Lexan roof when I once left a can of penetrating oil in the cabin which exploded and shot right through the polycarbonate resin thermoplastic top!
I laugh about that incident now when I look back at it, but trust me, I wasn’t happy when it happened!
We can imagine! What do you like best about it and why?
Generally speaking I love everything about it. It looks great, is fast and easy to maintain; I fill it with premium petrol and regularly change the oil and that’s about it — it doesn’t need a whole lot of work to keep it up and running but the downside to it is sometimes people with bigger vehicles try to bully me out of position but this car has the power to get ahead them! Unlike most cars the bonnet tilts open all the way so it’s really easy to work on the engine.
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What sort of reaction does it get?
It tends to be one of surprise as there just aren’t that many 1987’s floating around. There are a few of us out there but compared to all of the Lamborghinis or Ferraris, we’re a pretty rare breed.
It sure is a sight for sore eyes. Take us back to how your passion for motoring began?
It started in 1973 when I lived in Germany just 22km from the Nürburgring and I used to ride my bike there and watch legendary drivers such as Jackie Stuart on a regular basis. From that point on I have been mad about cars and every summer for the next three years I would work odd jobs to save for my first car which was a 1968 Pontiac GTO.
Wow, what a beauty!
It was indeed; I got it after returning to the USA and it had the 400 cubic inch (6.6-litre) 360 horsepower V8 and a four-speed manual. I paid $300 for it and it was a tyre burning gas guzzling beast! It was a total rush to drive at 16 years old!
You’ve owned several true American muscle cars since then…
Yes I have, I had a Ford Torino with a 429 cubic inch and a Dodge Demon with a 340 cubic inch and four-speed.
I have also been an off-road rally car navigator for 23 seasons in the Middle East and have competed in over 135 rally’s and more than 20 world championship events with my best finish being first place in the National category of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 2016.
That’s tremendous — and is it true that you’ve done some stunt work for Jackie Chan?
That’s correct — I was the stunt coordinator on his movie Kung Fu Yoga which was filmed here in Dubai last year. I drove two Bugatti Verons a Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 650 and a bunch of other great cars.
That must have been a lot of fun…
It was but to tell you truth I love my Corvette more than anything else I have driven. I drive it every day in the winter and on the weekends in the summer. Nothing beats a classic American supercar!
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