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Still Rolling: Wrenching on and falling in love with Alex, a 1981 Chevrolet Corvette

This C3 lives in South Texas where it is a daily driver for a young Corvette enthusiast.

Photo by Jesus Garcia

You've heard of Mustang Sally, but what about C3 Alex? It may not be a Stingray but this yellow 1981 Chevrolet Corvette C3 has six figures worth of sentimental value that's been collecting interest for over 20 years.

Twenty-two-year old Evelyn Cortez has had Alex as her only means of transportation since she was a senior year in high school. Even though she has only been behind Alex's wheel for four years, the C3 has been a part of Cortez's life since birth.

You could say that she grew into this Corvette.

1981 Chevrolet Corvette Must of the Corvette is original.Photo by Jesus Garcia

During Cortez's childhood, she watched the Corvette evolve from a salvaged titled basket case to a T-topless, tire smoking, DIY hotrod.

Little is known as to how the 1980's treated this particular 'Vette. Cortez's father, a long-haul truck driver, found the car collecting dust in the corner of a freight warehouse somewhere in Kansas in the early 1990s. The car was in really bad shape with no interior, body damage, and a complication with its paperwork.

While it's true story has been lost to history, it is likely that this C3 was stolen early in its life. After being written off by the insurance company, the car was probably found and given a salvage title – a common practice for dealing with these sorts of occurances.

Despite its complicated history and condition, the car struck a chord with Cortez's father and decided to buy the press-molded fiberglass heap and take it home.

1981 Chevrolet Corvette Cortez is hoping to change out the interior from red to black.Photo by Jesus Garcia

The Corvette took a backseat to family life when Evelyn was born in 1997, but it was never forgotten. As Cortez grew up the Corvette became a vehicle for the young Texas and her father to bond over as they worked on it during moments of opportunity.

When Cortez turned 15, the keys to the Corvette were her birthday present. The car was now hers and motivation to get it road worthy was higher than ever before.

At age 18, Cortez became the Vette-girl at school as she drove the newly road legal C3 to school during her senior year. She named the the car Alex.

Under Alex's hood is the car's original 5.7 liter 350 small block V8 with some DIY modifications to keep it on the road while staying within budget.

1981 Chevrolet Corvette The Corvette has the car's original 5.7-liter engine under its hood.Photo by Jesus Garcia

The seats are correct for the year but not the original ones.

The C3 has survived with all its original dashboard gauges and the radio still works. The only thing that doesn't work, and is very high on the must-fix list, is the air conditioning unit. Daily driving a vintage Corvette with T-tops sounds romantic up until South Texas heat comes along and makes your head feel like an egg sunny side up on a flattop grill.

1981 Chevrolet Corvette All of the car's dashboard gauges and systems are original.Photo by Jesus Garcia

Evelyn adores her Corvette for many reasons that go beyond the horizon of the obvious. The car is a family member, an older sibling, a photo album of memories, and her ambassador to the automotive hobby.

To say that Cortez loves her Corvette is an underestimate as her Instagram account (@alex_vette.c3) is dedicated to her beloved C3.

1981 Chevrolet Corvette You can follow Alex's life on Instagram at @Alex_Vette.c3.Photo by Jesus Garcia

Cortez plans to restore and paint Alex in the future, changing the body to a royal blue. This blue will be matched with a black interior. If she is able to have her way, Alex will also add a third pedal to the firewall and convert the automatic to a 5-speed manual.

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New American supercar

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 gets reveal date

Chevy draws a line from the Z06 directly to its racing program.

Chevroley

The new Chevrolet Corvettewas a revelation when it was finally announced. The car brought a mid-engine design to the Corvette line for the first time, and put decades of speculation over the shift to bed. We've all known that Chevrolet would eventually release an even higher performance Z06 version of the car, but now we know the date. The automaker just announced that the car will be revealed on October 26.

To build hype for the car's announcement, Chevy released a short teaser video of the Z06 tearing around the Nurburgring. It's clear from the film that the car we'll see in October will be a different beast from its standard predecessor, which mainly comes down to a big change in its powertrain.


2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The new car will be revealed in October.Chevrolet


The new Z06 is expected to feature a flat-plane crank V8 that will allow it to rev to 8500 or 9000 RPM. The car should see in excess of 600 horsepower from its howling V8, which will be sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.



As it has done with other Z06 models, Chevy will bolster the Corvette's suspension and brakes to accommodate higher speeds and the jump in power. The car will be able to carry more speed into corners and stop in a shorter distance than its standard counterpart, which will improve its lap times at the track. Various active and fixed aerodynamics components are also expected.

The C8 Corvette's interior is anything but boring, and the Z06 will carry on with that tradition. We'll still see the long center strip of buttons and controls, along with a digital gauge cluster and nicely upholstered sport seats. The Z06 will most likely get more in the way of carbon fiber and race-inspired trim pieces, but the layout won't deviate from the standard car to a great degree.


2023 Chevrolet Corvette The Z06 will be powered by a flat-plane crank V8.Chevrolet

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The engine bay is decorated with images of the American flag.

Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

A new customized 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pays tribute to members of the U.S. military. Karl Kustoms, a Chevrolet Performance retailer and custom shop, recently completed the build in partnership with Bad Boy Vettes. Nearly every panel of the Corvette has been modified to honor a military branch. Even the underside of the hood and engine bay have been artistically sprayed.

"It is a privilege to take on a custom project like this and use our skills to honor our nation's military," Clint Quesinberry, Digital Marketing Specialist. "This Memorial Day, we are proud to recognize those who served."

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette The model started its life as a 2016 Chevy Corvette.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

Unique features include detailed lettering of the words "Honor, Duty, Country", three words given an important place in military history after they were uttered by General Douglas MacArthur in 1962 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as part of his farewell address. There's also imagery of a U.S. Army helicopter firing at a Russian helicopter, a serviceman with a German Shepard, the U.S.S. Iowa battleship, and Arlington Cemetery stones with Medal of Honor recipients from each major conflict.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Military imagery features throughout the body work.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

The car was created as a full-time show car and is currently on display at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It will remain there through the end of 2021 before traveling throughout the country at a variety of car events throughout 2022.

The customized Corvette is also a contender for the 2021 International Show Car Association (ISCA) Car of the Year.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Imagery is featured on the body and under the hood.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

"We did what we could to take this thing over the top," said Ed Birmingham, Karl Kustoms Painter. "I sat there for hours doing the detail work. I spent more time than I would normally spend on a hood, but it all paid off."

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