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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 CorvetteMust 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 CorvetteCortez 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 CorvetteThe 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 CorvetteAll 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 CorvetteYou 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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The Denali Ultimate trim is new for 2023.

GMC

The GMC Yukon has always been a luxurious family hauler with beefy capability, but it moved even more upmarket in recent years with added tech and upscale interior materials. GMC just announced an even cushier version of the SUV for the 2023 model year. The Yukon Ultimate Denali gets unique styling touches and upgrades that take the already plush SUV to another level.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate22-inch wheels are standard GMC

The Denali Ultimate gets exclusive upgrades over other trims that include 22-inch wheels and chrome accents outside. The full-size SUV just got a complete redesign for 2021, which brought updated boxy styling, and a sleek look, so there are no additional exterior changes for 2023.

GMC offers three engines in the standard Yukon, but only two make it into the Ultimate. The standard powertrain includes a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel is also available that makes 277 horsepower and a whopping 460 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission is standard for all engines, and four-wheel drive is available.

Inside, the Ultimate comes with Alpine Umber full-grain leather upholstery with 16-way power front seats and massaging. Trim-exclusive contrast stitching and aluminum trim accent the space, and the top model gets an 18-speaker Bose audio system with stainless steel speaker grilles.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali UltimateGrained leather upholstery and upscale interior finishes are standard. GMC

A 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen comes standard, and offers Google services built in. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, along with wireless phone charging. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Amazon Alexa functionality are available. GMC also offers Super Cruise hands-free driving system in the Denali Ultimate.

GMC hasn’t detailed pricing for the new SUV yet, but we expect it to start at a premium over the standard Denali, which starts at just over $70,000.

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The Z06 isn't on sale yet, but it's already raising money for charities.

Chevrolet

Just a couple years ago, the Chevrolet Corvette got a major overhaul that completely changed its design, personality, and performance. The car moved to a mid-engine layout for the first time, and its V8 produces thundering performance at a reasonable price. As it has always done with the Corvette, Chevy's laying out special editions for the car, and one of the first in the new generation will be the 2023 Corvette Z06. An early Z06 sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction this weekend to raise money for charity, and the final dollar amount crested the $1 million mark.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06The car raised $1 million at the Palm Beach Auction. Chevrolet

The car crossed the block at the Palm Beach Auction, which took place on April 9. It's the first production model of the car, which builds on the mid-engine eighth-generation Corvette. It's powered by a 670-horsepower 5.5-liter flat plane-crank V8, which sends its power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The engine revs much higher than a standard V8 and features a distinct sound. Chevy says the Z06's engine offers the most horsepower of any naturally aspirated V8 on sale.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06Rick Hendrick was the winning bidder for the car. 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The car's $1 million price tag raised money for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The organization supports training of educators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI). This auction, together with the first retail version of the car auctioned earlier this year, brings the Corvette's total charity haul to $4.6 million in 2022.

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