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March 17, 2013

Redesigning the 'Vette: A dream job but a tough one

(Continued)

So within that early stint, you do pick up tribal knowledge of the car, which I think is kind of essential.

Q: Is it a dream job?

A: Oh, yeah, definitely. It’s a privilege and you want to make the most of it every day.

Q: Is there a lot of pressure that comes with redesigning the Corvette?

A: There’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of hard work. A lot of camaraderie. It’s an iconic car, and I don’t want to say they get special attention, but they do get special attention It’s something that you have to be very respectful of, but it’s also something that you know this is not just another car to work on. If you’re not into working 8- to 16-hour days, you’re probably not going to be working on Corvette.

Q: Is there any car that you looked to or saw as an inspiration in designing the C-7?

A: More often than not, we’re competing against the previous Corvette. Ford has their look. Ferrari has their look. Part of what’s successful for Corvette is that it has to look like a Corvette, and that it has a very strong, loyal customer base, and we’re looking to broaden that. So we’re really making sure that we put enough distance in between the C-6 and the C-7. That was our goal.

Q: There’s a lot of talk about the rear end. Did you anticipate there would be a lot of discussion about that?

A: Yes, absolutely. We made a conscious effort to make the back end of the car different. There are a lot of detractors. One of the criticisms is that there isn’t a lot of difference from a C-4 to C-5 to a C-6. You know, we kept our dual element lamps, license plate was in the middle, exhaust down below. And from a block away, people couldn’t tell you there was a lot of difference — or there wasn’t 20 years of difference — in the car.

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