I traded in my Saturn Sky for a C7 Corvette for small block Chevy

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I Traded My Saturn Sky for a C7 Corvette Because Small-Block Chevy

As you may already know, I used to have a 2008 Saturn Sky Redline, a weird roadster that I loved for many reasons, most of which I’ve shared with you over the course of several blogs (and a few rants too). With a few modifications, the Sky was a really fast convertible that most passers-by were happy to see, even if they often didn’t know what it was and were too shy to ask. It was fun being the half-asleep Saturn guy, but I decided to double my cylinder count. I just traded it in for a Lime Rock Green 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7. A few weeks later I never look back.

The C7 is a performance bargain, that much is true. When it went into production in 2013, the Corvette name was still the victim of jokes about New Balance shoes and cargo shorts. That soon changed, partly because the C7 was just a really, really excellent car. The Corvette had found a new groove and, in its seventh generation, became the flagship for American performance. By the time its run ended in 2019, it had not only earned the love and affection of many enthusiasts, but also paved the way for the upcoming C8. GM itself has said so — the move to a mid-engine powertrain was a long-cherished dream for many, but it also came about because the company has pretty much exhausted the capabilities of a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive Corvette with the C7. Despite being eight years old, it still feels modern and on par with today’s sports cars.

The journey started a while ago when I set out to find a C6 Z06 in good condition but to be honest the C6 interior is the same as the Sky (they were made at the same time after all). As much as I wanted an LS7 – still – I was willing to sacrifice a few horsepower to get a newer, more reliable car with a better-looking cabin. That’s when I started thinking about the next generation instead.

You might be wondering if there’s something wrong with Sky. no My biggest problem with this was that I don’t commute regularly and the car just wasn’t a cruiser. When I drive it’s usually several hours at a time so I really needed something that would be better on longer distances, something bigger and more comfortable. When I first started looking at C7s, I quickly became fixated on an ideal spec – lime rock green exterior with Kalahari tan/brown interior and Z51 package – and after a few months of searching I bought exactly that from a dealership in New Zealand York in June, trade in heaven. If you’re curious, this kind of resolution is really satisfying for your brain, but really unsatisfying for your wallet.

My C7 has a 460hp 6.2L dry-sump V8 and a seven-speed manual transmission that together have seen less than 20,000 miles on the road. It’s a 3LT so it’s got that nice leather-wrapped dashboard, although it’s slowly shrinking and self-destructing like many other 3LT C7s, but that’s okay. Even with its flaws, it’s pretty much what I wanted. The only things I didn’t want were the chrome rims, but I’ll live with that for now.

If you want a full review of the C7, that will come at a later date. For now, the gist of it is that this thing is exactly what I needed. It’s quick and fast, it’s smooth, it’s got loads of space. I’ve found it to be a powerful cure for social media doom scrolling too – it’s that good.

Just leaning into the throttle trigger brings out a grin. The cohesive feel you get from the powertrain is something that was missing from my Sky. At 75 mph, it cruises just a little over 1,500 rpm in seventh gear. The Corvette was built for cruising and cruising in comfort. I’ve even seen highway fuel economy of up to 33mpg with minimal effort. That’s a number many cars struggle with these days, but the C7 pulls it off with little trouble despite packing eight cylinders and 460 horses.

The same applies to handling. At high speed, the stability this car shows is simply amazing. The sort of maneuver I would have reconsidered on other cars—newer cars—is absolutely no problem for it. Even so, at low speeds and in tight corners, it still feels like it’s biting me. I don’t know how to find such a balance.

While every vehicle has its trade-offs, I don’t think many find a balance like the C7, not even the C8. There’s plenty of cargo space, it’s quiet when it needs to be, and it has magnetic shock absorbers so its ride is finely tunable. It just is Pretty. The C7’s biggest problem is that since it only has two seats, you can only share its size with one other person.

This C7 was around $75,000 new in 2014, but I paid far less for it. And I feel like that’s what Corvette is about. Every Corvette ever sold is a worthy car, and nobody’s worth owning one. It will always be an all-American bargain and I’m grateful for the opportunity to own one.

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