Welcome to wheels magazine, Mariana! That’s a gorgeous 1978 Corvette you’ve got there; where did you find this lovely Chevy?

Thank you for featuring me and my Chevy in the magazine!

I found it online and being a petrol head through and through I could not turn it down. I have been an enthusiast ever since I bought a 250 Yamaha (I was only 16 years old!) I then got a Fiat 600 (it was small and slow but comfortable and fun to drive around in with my friends!) and soon began alternating between cars and bikes a lot over the next few years including a Ford Falcon and a 1969 Chevy Nova. Then I landed a consultancy job at a motoring magazine in my native Argentina and got to test drive all the latest cars which really fuelled my passion.

I love the adrenaline of motor racing, I love bikes and classic cars and nothing makes me feel happier or more relaxed than driving in my Corvette while listening to my favourite music. This particular Chevy is one of the models that I always wanted.

 

Chevrolet marked the Corvette’s pacing of the 1978 Indianapolis 500 by building 6,200 Limited Edition Indy Pace Car replicas; how does it feel to own one of these collectible American classics?

It feels really special I must say; I am always on the lookout for rare or limited edition classic cars because it makes me feel like I am a part of their history.

I went to see it last October and before I knew it I was driving it home! I love searching for classic cars online and seeing what’s available and learning all about them and their history.

 

That’s always fun to do — but you already also own one of the most iconic cars ever — a 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville!

I love my Caddie, it is such a beautiful car. I love the tail fins, the tons of chrome and the sheer size of it.

I’m still into my bikes too and have a 2017 Ducati Diavel while my 2014 Ford Raptor 150 is great fun for tackling rough terrain and exploring the UAE.

 

That’s a fabulous collection. Your Corvette has special paint, unique decals and a full leather interior — but what is your favourite feature of the car and why?

I love all of the special attention that Chevy gave this variant however I must say that I love the front end of these C3 Corvettes; the aggressive styling and curvy bonnet is something that I am very attracted to.

 

It has the 220 horsepower L82 V8 — does it still pack some firepower 40 years later?

Oh yes, it can still move in a hurry — of course, it isn’t comparable to sportscars of today but back in 1978 this was one of the fastest cars you could buy in America and it had torque to burn too. But since it is a classic, and a limited edition at that too, I don’t push my car too hard. I treat it with respect and enjoy cruising around with it.

I make sure that I take care of my car and maintain it meticulously; if I have been a long drive with it then I make sure that when I return home I give it a basic service (clean out the air filter, tune the carb etc) to ensure it is running smoothly.

 

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Your kids are learning all about cars too aren’t they?

Yes I have been teaching them as much as I can and the passion is rubbing off on them; they always ask me to drop them to their football matches and practice in the Corvette and when I am working on the car they always come and help me.

In fact I am studying to become a mechanical engineer and I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to work in complete confidence on my V8. It is purring like a kitten and so I drive it at least three times a week and head down from Abu Dhabi to Dubai twice a month to join my friends at events held by our Ninth Degree Ladies Club of which I am a member.

 

It has t-tops which must make the car even more enjoyable to drive…

Definitely; as it’s a clear glass panel you can see the sky from inside with them on and when you remove them and drive it feels fabulous. It is something that I really love but it would be even more enjoyable in other countries with a cooler climate which is why I have been making the most of the winter season here and driving around with the t-tops stowed in the back. I won’t be able to do that when summer is here but that’s ok as the AC in my car is ever so cold.

 

It is all original but you have plans on upgrading the exhaust system, right?

Yes that is correct — I would like to change it for a system that makes more or a roar after all this is a classic muscle car and I would love it to have more of a deep sound, but that is the only thing I have plans for. I will keep everything else as original as possible — but I do want to tidy up the engine bay and make it look more presentable for when I attend car shows.

But it sure gets plenty of attention and lots of positive comments from people and I love taking my friends for a ride in it so they can experience classic American muscle!

 

Lastly, what’s your dream car?

I would love a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.