• Mark Harkleroad

Perspective: Garage Queen Corvettes

Updated: Dec 9, 2019


We love our Corvettes. As such, it should not be a surprise that the Corvette has earned a reputation of being a very pampered and well cared for vehicle. Much like the picture above, it is amazing how perceptions can vary depending on the perspective of the subject.

For example, many Corvette owners seem to enjoy telling stories about their car cleaning regimen, never driving it in the rain, or relish stating to anyone within ear shot at a car show about how low their Vette’s odometer reads. Then there is the other view point regarding the Corvette owners who daily drive their car, autocross or race it, take it on long road trips, and some that maybe even look down on those who rarely let their Vette out the garage. Perspective.

When the idea came up of writing a blog post about Corvette “Garage Queens", I thought my initial approach would be that I would write about how the Corvette was a premium sports car and why would anyone except a hard-core car collector not want to drive it as often as they could. After all, Chevrolet designed the Corvette as a high-end, reliable performance car for the masses. Given this, it seemed logical to me that Corvette owners should drive it hard, often, and enjoy it every chance they get. As the infamous “They” always say, “Life is short” and “You only live once”, right?

However, I realized that this would have been a one-sided perspective. So, I scanned various Internet Corvette forums and other web content and found that the garage queen topic is just another commonly argued and opinionated viewpoint ranking up there with other luminaries such as stick shift versus automatic, what type or brand of engine oil to use, black wheels versus chrome wheels, and run flats versus regular tires just to name a few.

Before going farther and to start with a common point of reference, just what is a garage queen? According to Wikipedia, garage queen means, “An automobile kept carefully in very good condition and rarely driven.” That’s a pretty generic definition and one that could be broadly applied to a lot of cars.

Another web based dictionary, Urbandictionary.com, has a little bit more specific description which is listed as, “A rarely driven car that is in mint or near mint condition, is only driven in fair weather (no rain/snow), and is kept in the garage, usually washed and waxed, under a cover. For example, “That guy's car is a garage queen, the only time you'll see it out is if there isn't a cloud in the sky.

With respect to my research of garage queen topics, some of the opinions that I found on-line are as follows:

  • I spent my hard-earned money on it, so who are you to tell me how to enjoy or drive my car.

  • For many people a Corvette, a motorcycle, boat, etc.. is either a dream or accomplishment they've always desired. Just the fact you were able to obtain that dream, is reason enough to buy one. Even if sits in the garage.. and all you do is clean & admire it.. it gives a sense of accomplishment that you have what you have desired so much.

  • I have multiple vehicles, a family, and a job so I don’t have time to drive it that much.

  • Seriously, why do people care what other people do with their own property???

  • My step father often asks me why I have a garage full of expensive cars. I reply with "What's the difference if you die with all your money in the bank, and I die with some of my money in the bank and some of it in my garage?"

Counter viewpoints in support of driving their Corvette as much or hard as they want are as follows:

  • The LAST thing I'll be doing is lying on my death bead wishing I had driven my Corvette LESS.

  • I drive Corvettes because I LOVE them.

  • Not driving your Corvette to keep miles low for resale value is like not banging your girlfriend to keep it tight for the next guy.

  • The Corvette has an engine, it has wheels, and it even has a warranty. So, in my opinion, it is meant to be driven.

  • The ONLY person who can tell me how to drive my Vette is the person that paid for it and I paid for it.

As I read and considered all the varying opinions on this topic I thought to myself, “Well, that was unexpected.” How often and the way someone drives their Corvette is just another personal preference. That said, the next time you meet a doting Corvette owner who applies more coats of wax per year than they drive their car, or one that takes their Corvette to as many track days, quarter mile track events, or daily drives their car as often as they can, perhaps it now will be with greater appreciation and insight of the different ways Corvette owners enjoy and value their car.

#garage #queen

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