Enthusiast Combines Passion For Corvettes And Video Games

Imagine if all you video gamers had a Corvette-themed game system for those days when weather or time doesn’t allow you to hit the open road in your Corvette. If you’ve ever wished for a gaming system that would scratch that itch on both fronts, then we’re happy to tell you that there is one such system. Sadly, there is only one.

Thanks to an enterprising gamer named Matt Herman, the Corvette-themed Home Console is now a reality! We came across Matt’s creation in a Facebook group and instantly saw it as the ingenious creation that it is. Many folks are searching for ways to further enjoy their various passions for other hobbies, and Matt had the skills and availability to successfully win on both fronts.

Matt has re-created that vintage feel of an honest-to-Donkey-Kong video game console. He did the graphics and designed the game, which runs off of a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a Retropie Linux operating system. It utilizes Suzo Happ buttons, Zippy joysticks and Cherry switches.

As we are challenged at anything higher in complexity than Pong, we were amazed at how he integrated the Corvette lifestyle into a gaming console that rivals anything you’d find in any leg-warmer worthy video arcade. In fact, we’d say his is better, but we might be biased. We asked Matt a few questions about how he decided to create such a fantastic Corvette-themed creation. He replied, “I have always had a passion for video games ever since my Dad bought me my first computer (an Atari 800) back in 1979 – I was 12 years old. I still to this day, play PC games on my custom-built, water-cooled PC. I also have a huge collection of hand-held electronic games from the 70’s and 80’s.”

Then and now. Matt has a collection of vintage hand-held games and also hand-built this ultra-cool, water-cooled PC that would be the envy of any gamer.

Clearly, Matt has a solid foundation in video games, but how did his Corvette enthusiasm start you might ask? The path to Corvette may surprise you! Matt explains. “To get to the Corvette, you need to fast-forward about 35 years. I always liked Corvettes and a few relatives had C6s. In 2014, I really stood up and took notice of the new Corvette C7. So, in December of that year, after researching for about eight months, I traded in my Prius C for a 2015 Z51 Stingray! Yes, I traded my Prius for a Corvette!”

Matt also has this 2015 Stingray that he's worked his magic upon. His hands-on approach reaches every corner of the car, although he did allow WeaponX to do the supercharger install.

As you can see, when Matt decides to do something, he jumps in with both feet! And lest you think that Matt merely went from Hybrid to high-performance for simply the looks, he is just as hands-on about owning his C7 as he is about building his own video console. And we might add that the quality is of the same caliber also!

Yes, I traded my Prius for a Corvette! – Matt Herman

You can check out the progression of Matt’s Corvette transformation on the thread he started on the Stingray Forums. For those simply wanting the highlights, Matt’s Stingray is now supercharged, thanks to an LT4-based factory unit installed by Weapon X Motorsports while the rest of the car wears many modifications performed my Matt himself. The thread really is worth the time to go check it out.

Building The Game

But what about the gaming console? Well, since we’re still solidly holding at “Pong-Level” we should let Matt describe the details. “I really started learning about making my own home arcade and I learned about how you can run these games on a Raspberry Pi device. So, I ordered a bare Bar-top cabinet and decided I would make a Corvette-themed retro arcade!  I designed the artwork myself and had it printed where I work. The cabinet came laminated in black and then I designed and printed the Corvette-themed artwork on adhesive vinyl paper and applied it to all the areas on the cabinet.”

Matt wired the entire gaming system which includes all the buttons and joysticks you would expect from any self-respecting arcade game. It runs off of a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a Retropie Linux operating system and features an integrated audio system and 22" LG display.

Okay, so he’s a gamer, he’s a hands-on Corvette owner, AND he’s good with shapes and colors on a computer! But what about inside the box?

Here are a few specs Matt has shared with us:

  • It has over 30 different arcade systems on it and almost 27,000 games!!!
  • It runs off of a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a Retropie Linux operating system.
  • It has a 22” LG monitor as the display
  • The cabinet is made from ¾” MDF board
  • The buttons are made by Suzo Happ and use Cherry switches
  • The joysticks are made by Zippy

And yes, if you can remember any of those vintage video games from your youth, chances are that they are one of those 27,000 stored within. Classics such as Pole Position and Zelda share hard drive space with Corvette-specific titles like The Corvette ZR-1 Challenge. Whether you’re racing for the trophy or fending off galactic foes, Matt’s Corvette-themed gaming console will keep you going, even when you can’t be going in your Corvette.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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