Classic Sports Car
A ’Vette in practice
As a serial Corvette owner (Buyer’s guide, February), the C4 represents remarkable enough value that two years ago I bought another, 25 years after I sold my previous one. A ‘loaded’ car is only a small percentage more, so I chose a ’94 convertible with FX3 suspension and sports seats. The FX3 is a speed-sensitive system that still has manufacturer support: prepandemic, Bilstein was rebuilding them for a small but useful fee. I had an early aluminium-head Z51 coupe that did beat you up; the FX3 is a party piece that allows you to take the edge off or on with a switch between the seats. Not as clever as suspended magnetic particles, but far cheaper to repair.
The C4’s rustproofing should have been highlighted for local operating conditions in Blighty. Suspension bolts were coated to ensure longevity of those delicate aluminium A-arms, as my 27-yearold Midwest car attests. A warning
I’m a bit tired of all these shiny and better-than-new so-called classics. We use and drive our cars regularly, and the ‘Alpine Trial’ story in your February issue reminded us of our previous two trips, shortly before the restrictions came in.
Driving my dainty 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta in battle-scarred condition is the best escape from all of the daily struggles. Heading high into the mountains on old military roads, often closed to the public, is challenging, but the Alfa rides with the now old-fashioned high ground clearance, which is practical when passing boulders – although the aluminium sump has lost a few fins. Up the gruelling Col du Parpaillon we needed to remove rocks and build a ramp out of stones to reach the unpaved, muddy and very dark abandoned tunnel at the top. Yet with my ever-enthusiastic wife, the Alfa was once again a dependable workhorse for these adventures.
We all should use our old bangers: polishing is not for me. So stay safe and continue to enjoy your classic motoring!
Dr Florian Nicolai Brandt Koenigstein, Germany