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Heavy Metal Affliction 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe

John Schommer
Thursday, August 28, 2014

I think it’s safe to say that most of us in the Forza community were pleasantly surprised as we read about the coming of the 2014 Corvette Stingray. There was tons of anticipation and a few worries – that were quickly assuaged as soon as the first reviews and photos came out – followed by excitement for the C7’s arrival. It had been a few years since America’s heartthrob had seen a redesign and it was about time. If you have raced the new C7 in Forza – found in The Bondurant Car Pack – you know for yourself, this sucker is awesome.


I probably don’t need to persuade anyone about just how good the new Vette is, but this edition of Heavy Metal Affliction will do exactly that. Robert Durff – Gamertag BobbyBear76 – is a serious car buff. Let me quantify that. Robert’s Dad bought a 1975 Porsche 911 brand new, just before Durff was born. Durff grew up with that car and his dad’s enthusiast habits and was given that car later in life. Durff joined the Porsche Club of America, got involved in driver skills training, and then went on to chair the local club’s program. He still has the 1975 911, but stepped up to a 993, and then later a 997. Both cars have seen lots of track time, road trips and “spirited” driving. Along the way Durff even got a calf-sized tattoo of the crankshaft, connecting rods, and associated parts from a 3.0L SC engine. I may be stating the obvious here but, Durff has been a Porsche man most of his life.


Then he drove the new Corvette.



“After it became clear that I had a reasonably extensive performance driving history and wasn't a (complete) yahoo,” Durff said, “[Bill Pierre Chevrolet] agreed to let me have a test drive [The Chevy salesman] and I took the C7 out for a good long drive and I was sold.” Bill Pierre Chevrolet was one of the first local dealers to take orders for the C7 in the Seattle area. Durff was skeptical of the ordering and delivery process, having never bought a new car before. Over the four months it took to receive his prize, parts of the C7 custom-ordering process were fun; like when a cheery fellow with a Kentucky accent called Durff to ask him what he would like inscribed on his personalized plaque for the interior. The wait was long, but the dealer checked in every two weeks with status updates and Durff was able to track his build through a specialized Chevy website.


While Durff, and I (I have been planning this HMA since he ordered the car) were waiting for the car to arrive, he changed his mind on trading the 997 in at the dealer and then sold it for a great deal. Interestingly, the buyer was a seller of high-end sports cars who bought the 997 to resell it. However, he liked it so much, he kept it. Durff still owns and drives his 1975 911, but it has more than 300,000 miles on the original 2.7L motor and is due for a freshening up soon.


You may wonder – as I did – what his Porsche friends thought about Durff’s fall from 911 grace. Long before Durff’s C7 was delivered, word got out that he had ordered one. Durff was volunteering at a driver skills course and, at the pre-event instructors meeting, one of the senior guys broke the silence by saying, “You’re dead to us, man.” Then everyone burst out laughing, and proceeded to ask him about his new ride. Durff and the C7 will be headed to their second track event since taking delivery, this time at The Ridge Motorsports Park. If you want to know more about the PCA driver education program check out this link.



Having friends in the PCA club has given Durff further insight into just how awesome the C7 is. A senior instructor said he couldn’t find the limits of the car on the autocross course. Durff himself has pushed the car. “Whatever I asked the car to do, it just did,” Durff said. “The way it puts the power down and the way it turns in and the way it grips creates a pretty killer combination.”


Coming from the world of Porsches and his 997, I had to ask Durff how the C7 compared. “Both feel incredibly precise, mainly noticeable through quick turn in and accurate, fast steering. Both are fast and make great noises, but the nature of the speed and noise are nothing alike. The C7 has so much torque that you can drive it lazily and still have a great time; that was never possible with the 997,” Durff said.


Going down the road, this C7 will be driven daily, hit a few track days per year, and see many road trips. Durff got the car at the end of June and it already has 5,000 miles on it. The only upgrade he has planned is a set of winter tires and wheels. The car is that perfect, it simply doesn’t need anything.



Performance aside, owning the C7 has been a hoot for Durff and his partner. As soon as they picked it up, the pair headed down the California coast with their dog Max. The car’s superbly adjustable ride proved itself as both passengers fell asleep soundly on the trip (in the passenger’s seat!) Then, when requested, it provided grip and handling that made every corner a thrill. The C7 brings out giggles and screams from burble to blast-off, from even Durff’s gruffest friends. This is something I can personally attest to from when Durff let me drive it. My grin nearly broke my face as we hit 100mph faster than I had ever done before on four wheels.


The C7’s celebrity is also continuously bringing smiles to Durff and a multitude of audiences. He has been flagged-down by young guys demanding photos and, just the other day, a woman who appeared to be in her seventies did her best to drag race Durff down an on-ramp. As Durff blew her doors clean off, he could still see the look of adoration – and gigantic smile – on her face. All this constantly proves to Durff that he is happy on the Dark Side. Chevy, you have a new loyal customer.



Before I ask for comments about Durff’s 2014 Corvette in this week’s HMA thread. I want to let you know about the sale we are having this weekend at the Forza Store.


Use the code PAXPRIME at checkout to get 30% off. The sale kicks off today so I recommend you go grab yourself a deal on cool Forza gear while the sale is on.


I am interested to hear what you have to say about the C7, both in the real world, and in Forza Motorsport 5. No doubt this was one of the most anticipated cars to come to the game and I wonder how it has been treating you. Tell me about it in the HMA thread.


One last thing, check me out tomorrow on #ForzaFriday on the Forza Motorsport Twitch channel doing something I have long been waiting to do. Details tomorrow in the Week in Review!