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Vette-eran Sports Car Turns Curmudgeon into Convert

By Jim Bray

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Okay, I get it. Finally.

I’ve never been a Corvette fan, at least not since the late 1960s. Though car buffs regularly bow and scrape at the temple of Vette, it always seemed excessive to me, showy and bloated, a brute.

Granted, I had only driven a Vette once during the late 1970s when I had to pick one up from a customer while I was working for a car audio installation place. That trip was about three blocks long, but it helped create my impression of a Corvette that was showy and bloated--and of course back then horsepower was in short supply.

Then Chevrolet gave me a bright "Hey, Look at Me, Officer!" red C6 Corvette convertible for a week.

Wow. Time to haul out those old, relatively uninformed opinions and take another look at them.

The new Corvette is an awesome car. It’s incredibly fast, comfortable and well appointed. It’s awfully hard to slide behind the wheel of this car and not have a wonderful time. This car is for real.

Chevy Unleashes a Cobalt Bomb

By Jim Bray

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Don’t take the title of this column to mean I think Chevy’s replacement for the Cavalier is a bomb in the sense of it being a failure. Instead, take it to mean this car is a blast, a lot of fun to bomb around in — that it offers megatons of driving entertainment behind the wheel.

Or any other bad puns you can think of…

The model of which I speak is the Cobalt SS, the 205 horsepower (200 ft. lb of torque, too!) supercharged version of the Cobalt. This car is a moving experience!

I must admit I feel as if I’m inviting a lightning strike by saying good things about this car. Its predecessor, the Cavalier, was popular, but I found it bland and ordinary and assumed people were buying it because of pricing strategies when they’d really rather have a Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta or Toyota Corolla.

But be darned if the new Cobalt SS isn’t a real, live car, well designed and built and a genuine indication that, if they can keep this kind of thing up, GM may be on track to return to its glory days.

Oh, sure, it ain’t perfect, and there are a couple of things about the Cobalt that would prevent me from buying it — though to be fair I wouldn’t buy a two door anyway at this stage of my life. But for those in the market for something fun like the Acura RSX, this Cobalt SS is well worth consideration.

Aveo, A New World Chevrolet
by Rod Cleaver, Automotive Editor
April 26, 2004

If you’ve been in the market for a new vehicle lately, no doubt you would have noticed General Motors change to revitalize its product line up. In previous years this focus revolved around the flagship Cadillac brand, which manifested itself in a flurry of luxury sport utility vehicles, sports sedans and most surprisingly, the XLR convertible sports car.

GM’s focus for the 2004 model year is the mainstay Chevrolet brand, probably due in part to the demise of the Oldsmobile brand which was paired with Chevrolet at dealer lots. In keeping with its populist approach, the range of new cars begins at $13,500 with the Aveo and climbs to over $70,000 with the Corvette and the SSR pickup/convertible.

In addition to the Aveo, the Optra and the Epica have been added to the Chevrolet line up. These cars are produced by a Korean-based division of General Motors, DAT, formerly known as Daewoo.

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