It's funny how owning a Corvette changes your driving habits. A 400 horsepower engine in a carbon fiber body provided me unprecedented power. I remember the first time I hit 100mph by accident. I thought I was only doing 70. Eventually, I was doing things I normally wouldn't do on the highway. Like drag racing every car that had the balls to challenge the supremacy of the 'Vette. Improving my cornering times on the cloverleafs of the Capitol Beltway. Snubbing every Ford Mustang that crossed my path. And bowing to the Ferrari, acknowledging that someday I would graduate to the prancing horses. However, the 2003 Corvette did have features not found in the Ferrari, the most prominent being its heads up display. Just like the F-16s I used to work on, the Corvette displayed key data like speed, RPMs and fuel level on the windshield, enabling the driver to focus more on the road instead of the instrument panel. A very useful feature for a street legal vehicle capable of top speeds of 175.
Driving a Corvette gave me true street cred on the highway. Most cars allow you the right of way. Those that don't get dispatched with extreme prejudice. Fellow Corvette owners give you "The Wave", a courtesy extended reminiscent of two knights passing each other in medieval times. Even the state troopers understood that it was difficult to restrain the power of the LS3 engine. I was stopped once for going 85 in a 65 mph zone (I was actually going 105), but the officer refused to write an expensive speeding ticket, instead offering to "work with me" by giving me one for not having a front license plate.
Over time, I became like a fighter pilot, constantly stretching the envelope, discovering the true performance characteristics of my thoroughbred. And to be honest, I had a couple of close calls. Ultimately, I came to the realization that I should not push my luck any further. I traded my Corvette for a more sensible Lexus ES350. And never looked back.
But sometimes I miss the Corvette. I miss being part of "The Club". Corvette owners do not respond to me giving them "The Wave" from my Hyundai Sonata, and when I talk to them as they display their cars in the parking lots on Sunday morning, I get treated like a "has been." However, whether my short stint as a Corvette owner was a response to a midlife crisis has yet to be proven. Maybe when I finally get around to suffering from that midlife crisis, it may take an Aventador to console me.