Copyright 2013. TheDetroitBureau.com
They were the darkest of days, all the more so in the design studios at General Motors where a small team had been assembled and given the less than humble task of building the world’s best sports car.
True, the Chevrolet Corvette has always been an icon of American design, but this time, Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and design director Tom Peters had to take things the next step, producing a vehicle that could challenge and beat the best the Germans and Italians could throw at it.
There was only one problem: the U.S. economy was in meltdown, the automotive market facing its worst downturn in more than half a century and General Motors, rapidly running out of cash, seemed all but certain to declare bankruptcy. And when it did in June 1, 2009, the lights went out. Even with the likelihood of a federal bailout, it was anything but certain the long-awaited C7 Corvette would ever make it to market.
But tonight, at a well-attended ceremony at an old warehouse in a run-down section of Detroit, Juechter and Peters will get the honor of pulling the wraps off a 2014 Chevy Corvette that is already being hailed as the best American sports car of the past half century, perhaps the best ever.