My mom claimed that my passion for Corvettes started when I was a young lad. My parents had taken my brother and I to the local Christmas parade and there it was amongst the floats and marching bands… a black ’63 split window. For more than 50 years, that has been my dream car.
My first attempt to own a Corvette was the week before Christmas, 1985. Fresh out of college and having a little cash saved up, I came upon a red ’62 at a local Chevy dealer. The salesman said that it was a one owner car that was traded in on a new C4. The engine had been replaced because the original was seized up… which meant they were offering a warranty. Sweet! As we’re talking about the C2, there was an elderly woman and her grandson sitting at the desk next to us. She was buying him a brand-new Corvette for Christmas and he was whining about getting it detailed. Really? My negotiations ended with the lack of a co-signer. The salesman suggested I build my credit by buying a different Vette… a 1985 Chevette. I passed.
Fast forward about 10 years. While walking our dog, my wife and I found a ’78 Corvette tucked away in the overgrown back corner of someone’s yard. After walking past it for weeks, my wife convinced me to knock on the door and inquire about it. The gentleman said that it was in bad shape and needed a lot of work. Work? Hell.. I’m a mechanic. I can do that. Needless to say, to work on it, you need a parts budget…. Something I didn’t have. The need of a new roof and HVAC system parted me with my first Vette.
Fast forward another 20 years. I purchased a ’91 that… you guessed it… needed a lot of work. Some people just don’t learn from their past mistakes. It’s been sitting under a cover in front of my shop… waiting for a winning lottery ticket to come my way.
You should have a pretty clear picture that I have a real passion for Zora’s fiberglass sportscars.
And… the outrage I felt when I saw the images of the SS Dolphin. It’s supposed to look like a 1958 Corvette… in the same way Frankenstein was supposed to resemble a real dude. The SS Dolphin is the creation of Songsan, a Chinese boutique brand that came to fame for producing faux-Harley motorcycles.
The Dolphin boasts (Boasts? Yes, I’m being facetious) a 1.5-liter turbocharged, plug-in hybrid power plant (Wow… runs on coal and dinosaur bones) that produces 315 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed up with a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Battery-only range is 62 miles. Once you convert your U.S. dollars into renminbi, this monstrosity of a copyright infringement can be all yours for around $88,000.
Contrast that with the starting price of a 2021 C8 with the 3LT trim level at $72,000. Throw in another five-grand for the Z51 performance package any you’re still $10,000 south of the SS Dolphin. I’m gonna’ make a bet that you won’t see any Dolphins tucked in Corvette row at the local cars shows.