Classic Sports Car

A ’Vette in practice

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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

 ??  ?? Barnhill has rediscover­ed a love for ’Vettes
Barnhill has rediscover­ed a love for ’Vettes
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