As my Uber pulled up to the street corner in West Hollywood, I knew I made the right decision. It was going to be a good day. The Corvette stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the “normal” cars parked along the street. The arctic white supercar was even more impressive in person. The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a true world-class supercar. Conceived on the track and engineered alongside the C7.R race car, Z06 features a lightweight and rigid aluminum space frame, as well as a supercharged 6.2L aluminum V8 engine delivering 650 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to drive a Corvette. The chance to drive the Z06 made my life-long dream come true and then some. I exited my Uber and did a walk around the supercar. It was more impressive in person. Our guide asked me if I wanted to look under the hood – you’re damn right I do. He popped the hood and showed me the beautiful V8 inside. This car does 0-60 in 3 seconds flat. I caressed the aluminum frame as I dropped the hood and moved to the driver seat. I eased into the plush leather racing bucket seats and paused to look over my shoulder at the fleur-de-lis flag crisscrossing the checkered racing flag stamped in the middle console – admiring it. I got even more giddy as I caressed the carbon fiber steering wheel and turned the engine.
Pressing the engine button brought this amazing super car to life with an impressive roar. The supercar immediately began to tremble as if it was getting impatient and wanted to be off. “Where would you like to go on your driving tour”, asked our guide. I replied that I wanted to experience Los Angeles’ beauty and diversity but also have the opportunity to avoid a lot of the infamous LA traffic so I could enjoy cruising in my dream car. “I know just the place”, replied our guide. Before I knew it, he had taken down the Corvette’s convertible top just as the rich California sun began burning through the clouds and we were off to the Hollywood Hills. I put the car in drive and took off to follow my guide in his car. I was thankful that I had my sunglasses on to hide the tears of pure joy in being given a chance to experience one of my life-long dreams.
The powerful V8 let me climb the Hollywood Hills with ease. Every so often I would get brazen and push down on the gas pedal a little more forcefully to hear the engine roar to life and respond by propelling me forward at an intoxicating speed. On the way up the hills, our guide stopped at a scenic spot for pictures. Seeing the city from up high was thrilling; however, I insisted that we only stop for a little while as I was eager to continue to drive. It was only 5 minutes into our stop before my heart ached to get back behind the wheel. It was exhilarating. We continued on our journey through the Hills – seeing various neighborhoods and communities along the way. Our next stop was Malibu where we again stopped to view the beautiful beaches and ocean vista. Our guide was happy to take a number of pictures both of us with the scenery and – more importantly – the Corvette! Again, we didn’t stay long as I wanted to get back in the car for more.
After the second stop, I was less nervous about controlling the 650 horsepower and started opening it up. I scaled down the hills to Santa Monica but, this time, I took every opportunity to push my foot down on the accelerator. The engine boomed – propelling me forward at a velocity that I have never experienced. Jealous onlookers watched as we raced past them on the road. Once we got to the bottom, our guide took us along the beach to see the beautiful sights. Seeing the palm trees and feeling the warm California sun in my face made me feel at ease. The wind in my hair made me feel like I actually understood (at least a little bit) what the beach boys were talking about. I wondered how much more California this California experience could get when it hit me – I needed to stop in for lunch at In-N-Out!
We promptly texted our guide to let him know that Animal Style was on my mind. In less than 5 minutes, we were at an In-N-Out and adding one more amazing experience to our already amazing day. As soon as I finished my meal, I got back in the car and was off again – finishing my Quintessential California Experience by driving through Beverly Hills. Driving through the posh neighborhoods of Beverly Hills was truly an experience of its own – especially after seeing some of the other areas of LA. At this point into our 3-hour drive, I was fearless with my Corvette – trying to find any excuse to feed my need for speed. I also was able to appreciate how diverse LA was and how many different neighborhoods the city had to explore. Driving gave me the opportunity to see the many faces of LA and all that the city had to offer.
As I pulled over to the same curb I had first seen the Corvette at 3 hours prior, I knew this was an experience I would never forget. The car was amazing – the raw power supported by a sophisticated and sexy design was everything I hoped it would be and more. The guide was professional and responsive – catering to our needs and making sure we got the most out of our experience. The the trip was powerful – as we got to see a lot of LA with different vistas and landscapes. If I could encapsulate what a perfect excursion to experience LA would be – it would be this. You know the old saying that, ”sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination”? I get it now. I highly recommend this experience to anyone looking for the Quintessential California Experience.