The car started easily and settled into a loping idle, the exhaust burbling out of the sidepipes. The shifter is set to a short-throw (Michael said this is an adjustment that can be made on any C2). With a blip of the throttle and an easy release of the clutch, we were off.
Around town, the Corvette is running on the center two-barrel, the front and rear carbs being vacuum-operated. I only put my foot into it a couple of times (Just where do you go 100 mph in third gear in Portland?), and the rush of acceleration twisted my grin like an Apollo astronaut at launch.
There are no power brakes or power steering on his car, and the steering was light and responsive at anything above 10 mph. And the brakes? Well, as with any old car, you give yourself lots of extra room when it comes to stopping, and everything works out just fine.
What makes Michael’s car especially satisfying is that he has restored it to completely stock specifications–suspension, shocks and all–and driven it enough for all the various bits to settle in and make peace with each other. It drives like a well-kept three-year-old car. That is to say, it’s a time machine.
Michael, thanks for letting me go back to 1967 yesterday, if even for just a few miles.