My Corvette Story: José Lopéz’ Corvette Enthusiasm Is Life-Sized, Even If His Corvettes Aren’t

Images and story by José López

I want to introduce the reader to how I came into this hobby. I like to refer to it as “Corvettedom”, that is the Corvette Kingdom. I am 36, and though I have not yet achieved my lifetime goal of owning a Corvette, I consider myself Corvette crazy.

I’d say around 1986/1987 is when the bug bit me. I was just a kid when the new Fourth-Generation or C4 Corvette debuted. I remember vividly, because there were convertibles in 1986, when the drop-top returned to the Corvette fold. Also, the wheels were missing the black center caps. Back then, in the Showroom of Anthony Abraham Chevrolet (later AutoNation Chevrolet), I recall telling my dad I wanted the black one, a coupe. My dad is a GM guy and I owe my Corvette obsession to him. At the time, he had a new 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Sport Coupe –  the base one. A little silver car without any frills or wide bodywork, it was a car that I loved. Despite its six-cylinder engine, it still had a nice little kick to it.

I have collected Corvette memorabilia for years and appreciate Corvette's racing history as well as the performance street-drivers.

The Corvette always was, and currently remains my elusive dream car. I drooled over owning one all through my adolescent years and up into adult-hood. My heart is set on the C4 generation, specifically a ’91-’96. I attend shows, meets and races such as the Sebring 12 Hours. I have amassed a huge collection of models, books and memorabilia, with some very rare oddities in the collection. I Look to the future and God willing, to owning one someday.

It was a huge thrill to see some of the historic racers from the ’60s. While my version is slightly smaller, my enthusiasm is full-size!

I love them all, so any year, any condition would be great. As long it drives, I don’t ask for much else. I wait anxiously to see what the General dishes out with the upcoming Zora model or C8 or mid-engine, whatever they choose to call it. I would love to see the traditional V8 continue as well. Preferably as a front-engine model, sold side-by-side with the mid-engine car. I’m not interested to see any hybrid or electric versions, such as the Porsche 918 or LaFerrari, as I think the legendary V8’s song is music to my ears.

The epitome of Corvette coolness, I got an opportunity to visit both the Corvette SS and one of the original 1963 Grand Sports. I have adored these cars and having a die-cast of each one is a thrill to me.

The Mid-engine car, as most Corvette guys know, has been on the back burner since the 60s. My personal favorites are the non-rotary, mid-engine Corvettes. I really like the XP-882 or “Corvette Prototype” of 1970, before it morphed into the Four-rotor and later, as the AeroVette. Its sharp angles, wide and low presence appeals to me more than the later iterations of the car. There is no denying, whatever Corvette will look like or will feature, it will not completely satisfy all of us. Whether traditional Corvette buffs such as myself (I still miss the pop-up headlights and the round taillights) or any other armchair enthusiasts, there are surely features that we’ll have to warm up to. It will turn heads regardless, and it is my humble opinion that it will bring more non-Corvette people into Corvettedom. I think my love affair will continue no matter what happens when the C8 Is released and I certainly hope to one day, call a full-sized Corvette my own.

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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