Monday,23 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1349, (15 - 21 June 2017)
Monday,23 October, 2017
Issue 1349, (15 - 21 June 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Classics in Egypt: Chasing a red Stingray

If you can park it and walk away without looking back, you brought the wrong car. Estabrak Fouad, the proud owner of a 1974 Corvette, tells Mohamed Abdel-Razek all about his love story.

Corvettes are known to be the pioneer model by Chevrolet that transformed the American muscle cars into a whole different style and taste, close to the European cars but still maintaining the American identity. With three generations the C1 that came in the 1950s and C2 from the early 1960s, came the C3 in 1968 to prove that General Motors was heading towards building a car aimed at overtaking Europe’s finest roadsters at that time. In the 1950s, GM didn’t want to increase the budget while building its first sports car so it took the chassis and drivetrain and many other parts from the road, going four-door saloon.


Fouad

In 1973, the muscular beast got a redesigned elegant sporty silhouette, ideal for the touring category. Upgrades also came to enhance the driving experience, reducing the noise level within the cabin as well as lightweight front and rear bumpers, adding struts and reinforcements to the body and chassis to increase the car’s rigidity and handling, especially with the big block V8 engines like in Estabrak Fouad’s 1974 Corvette. Less body roll and more equal weight distribution was necessary to prevent the car going tail-happy all the time and to be attached to the road, a feature that most European sports cars had.


C3 Stingray

“I saw this car five years ago and I got to know the owner,” said Estabrak Fouad who fell in love with the Corvette the first time he saw it, wishing he could own a similar car. Since the car is rare in Egypt he decided to go after this particular one. Fouad started calling the owner of the Corvette every now and then to try to persuade him to sell him the car. It was a difficult job but after several months and many calls, the owner finally gave in.


C3 Stingray

Fouad’s passion for American muscle cars developed when he first saw the movie Fast & Furious which was full of tuned American muscle cars. “I already loved American muscle cars in my childhood. I loved the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Chevelle and AC Cobra,” Fouad said.

The 1974 Stingray was launched with different types of engines, the small block L48 V8 which produced 195hp getting off from 0 to 100 in 6.8s.


C3 Stingray

In 1974, Car and Driver magazine tested the small block and the big block engines, and its choice was a shock to all car fans who love high performance. The magazine’s choice went to the small block, proving its point that the engine gives you all the power you want on the road “in a steady forceful manner”.


C3 Stingray

Fouad’s Stingray, with its 7.4L V8 engine, produces around 250hp, enough for a decent burnout. “The car was already restored. I just returned it to its original colour, red,” Fouad said, adding that the running cost of the car in Egypt is very expensive even though it’s not a daily user. According to Fouad, the car’s price in the US ranges from $16,000 to $37,000 and in Egypt between LE300,000 and LE600,000.

“The first thing that comes to my mind when I see or hear someone talking about muscle cars, I think of aggression and power,” Fouad said. “I will never think of selling this Corvette.”

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