Live Blog: Exploring Los Angeles In A 2019 Corvette Z51

As I write this, I am sitting at a Starbucks in Burbank, California. Sitting outside, directly in my eyesight, is the Torch Red 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 I’ve been loaned for the next five days.

The itch to shut my laptop, run out with a coffee in hand, and get back behind the wheel of the ‘Vette is insatiable. However, duty calls. Welcome to the Carscoops live blog of our Californian adventures with what is for many, the most American of all sports cars.

In the coming days, this blog will be updated as I tour around the Los Angeles area in search of fantastic driving roads where the Corvette can be put to the test. Each day, you’ll see new photos and text added whenever I visit particularly great places. A complete review of the car will follow afterwards.

Update: Day 4 – Change of plans.

Today I intended on driving east out of Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park roughly 2.5 hours away. The morning didn’t start out as expected as heavy rain doused LA for hours on end. Roughly one hour into the drive and with no sign of respite, I decided to head back to Los Angeles but by making a detour through San Bernardino over to the north side of the Angeles National Forest.

Once again, the weather crippled my plans. While driving along Angeles Crest Highway through the small towns of Wrightwood and Big Pines, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It started to snow. I was driving a Corvette. Before long, the road was covered in snow and ice and I was surrounded by nothing but all-wheel drive SUVs. As quickly as I could, I found a safe place to turn around and got out of there. You do not what to be driving a Corvette on summer tires in the snow. It did make for a unique photo opportunity, however.

The weather forced me into yet another detour as I made my way around to Santa Clarita. However, this did allow me to test out the Corvette’s road-tripping abilities. As I expected, it performed brilliantly. The seats are very comfortable for long distances and the cruise control systems works perfectly. The ride is also supple when the vehicle is in ‘Eco’ or ‘Tour’ modes.

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Update: Day 3 – A surprising all-rounder.

Our 2019 Chevrolet Corvette equipped with the 2LT and Z51 packages retails for a touch over $72,000. That is one hell of a proposition when you consider its performance. Making that price all the more superb is the fact that the Corvette Z51 can easily be used as a daily driver, as I began to discover today.

Los Angeles is notorious for its traffic and I’ve experienced my fair share of it in the past few days. However, not once while stuck in an endless line of cars have I wished I was in something else. The Corvette Z51 is very compliant when you want it to be and neither the clutch of shifter is particularly heavy and arduous to use in traffic. The seats are also exceptionally comfortable.

Angeles Crest Highway (again)

Bored of putting through traffic and exploring famed parts of Los Angeles like Rodeo Drive and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I headed back to the Angeles Crest Highway. The Corvette proved to be an excellent companion once again. This afternoon’s drive was made all the more memorable thanks to the thick fog across some of the higher points of the forest. For parts of the drive, I was joined by a Porsche 911 Turbo S and Chevrolet Camaro SS but they had no hope of keeping up and were made light work of with the Z51.

Tomorrow I’m planning to put the Corvette’s road-tripping abilities to the test with a day trip to the Joshua Tree National Park. Stay tuned.

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Update: Day 2 – Rain and sunshine.

Rain and sunshine. These are the two words that best describe today in Los Angeles. For the first half of the day, there were fairly ferocious thunderstorms before the sun broke through, making for an enjoyable afternoon with the Corvette.

With the rain pelting down in the morning, we decided to make a visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum. The facility houses a dizzying array of vehicles from film classics through to championship-winning race cars. The museum frequently cycles through different exhibitions and currently, much of the displays are located to classic and modern Porsches.

Mulholland Highway

Once the sun revealed itself from the clouds, I swiftly drove to Mulholland Drive. Due to my blissful ignorance, however, I didn’t realize that Mulholland Drive is simply a curvy road that winds its way through some residential areas in Los Angeles. After a while, the road becomes Mulholland Highway. That’s where I wanted to be.

‘The Snake’ on Mulholland Highway

Unbeknownst to me, much of the area around Mulholland Highway was destroyed by the recent Californian fires. Charred trees, blackened soil, and the smell of smoke still dominate the landscape. The road itself is still in excellent condition and the Corvette Z51 proved to be at home along the damp roads. On damp roads, you can’t let your focus drift while driving the car as the tail continuously kicks out even with traction control on. It takes a while to get used to but only adds to the experience.

Two days down and roughly 300 miles (482 km) added to the odometer. What will the next few days hold?

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Day 1: Angeles Crest Highway

Before I flew to the United States of ‘Murica, I was determined to make a trip out to Angeles Crest Highway. This morning, I did just that. Ladies and gentlemen, it lives up to the hype.

I entered the famous mountain road from La Cañada Flintridge at roughly 9 a.m. I had expected to encounter some traffic but the roads were empty, save for a few other car enthusiasts making the most of the deserted roads.

PS. We didn’t leave any of the tire marks you see.

First impressions of the Corvette? Fantastic. The thumping naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 is the obvious highlight and sounds absolutely phenomenal when the engine and exhaust are placed in Track mode. Front-end grip is also exceptional and try as I might, I was unable to induce even the slightest hint of understeer. The controls of the Corvette with the Z51 Performance Package are also a particular highlight. From the weight of the clutch pedal to the feeling of the brakes, the progressiveness of the throttle and the short-throw shifter, the ‘Vette proved to be fantastic to drive on these roads.

I can’t wait to continue exploring the car in the coming days. Stay tuned.

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  • Six_Tymes

    strange, I look at this and for me, it seems to be getting more appealing in its design.

    • SteersUright

      They’ve subtly updated tons of little details in the design, mostly incorporating element from the higher trims (ZR1, Z06, GS). Most obvious are the side skirts that add more visual mass, perceived width, and aggressive stance. Also, the Corvette is so sensitive to viewing angles, and these photos are clearly flattering. It looks stunning from some and incongruous from others, definitely more so in specific colors. White seems to match this car very well for whatever reason.

      • khc

        I think white downplays a bit of the extreme angularity of the shapes. I pass by a neighbor’s recently purchased ‘Vette every day, and it looks, to me, as outrageous as I remember the ’63 split-window Stingray did, back then. It’s definitely a head-turner.

  • Blade t

    Sounds fun..


    • Billie Bob Norton

      WHY ALL CAPS?????????????

  • SteersUright

    Test drove one. Aside from the mostly shit looking plasticky interior that would look right at home in a 10 year old Kia (and would be shameful even a modern Civic), the performance was exhilarating. This engine, wrapped in a relatively lightweight chassis, is a rare gem in today’s unfortunate, turbo-heavy environment. Throttle response, sound, visceral sensations, the sheer drama of it all. The car was addictive and even despite the poor visibility and limited 2-seat practicality, I’d love to have one. They seem to hold their values better than prior generation Corvette’s too.

    • nauticalone

      I agree. It’s a great car, but in dire need of a nicer interior!

      • TheAmerican2point0

        Ya but it costs $60k. They went for performance, not interior quality. If you want both, try ferrari.

        • nauticalone

          Starts at $60k bare bones, and tens of thousands more with nicer trim levels. It’s a nice car – I’m just saying GM could offer better material quality, as an option even. I couldn’t afford a Ferrari, but I’m loving the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

      • SteersUright

        I actually looked online extensively to see what I could do on my own to spruce it up. Unfortunately, not much. The solution I found varied from way too expensive to not very OEM looking. Figured best leave it to the manufacturer to get it right. Hopefully there will be 2 C8’s moving forward. A FR RWD as well as the mid engine thing they’re cooking up that I can’t imagine won’t be very expensive.

  • WalthamDan

    Still a looker at the end of it’s model life. Something you couldn’t say for some of the previous series.

  • Nila

    I have been making 86 dollars per hour from running an internet work from comfort of my home… My neighbor taught me methods how she was averaging over 4 thousand dollars every month by doing a work she found using the net… I felt very inspired and decided to have a shot at it… Now i really feel very graced she showed me this, and would certainly urge it to anybody to check it out… This is exactly what i do> 4OU.IR/Cou

  • TheAmerican2point0

    Writing a blog on your laptop in Starbucks…. classic

    • Christian

      I bet he voted for the red elephant

      • I’m not American so I don’t even know what you mean 🙂

        • Christian

          but did you do your part ?

  • Bash

    Driving this one in a cold weather is one of my dreams really.

  • Blanka Li

    if you want a fun short road, go up 23 from the Fillmore side to Moorpark. It’s very well maintained, banked, short and sweet. I’m on it every week. Another one is Hwy 74, east of Hemet.

  • Isn’t what from Car and Driver? All pics and text are mine, I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂

  • Callanish

    “I was joined by a Porsche 911 Turbo S and Chevrolet Camaro SS but they had no hope of keeping up and were made light work of with the Z51.’

    I think the limitations of the 911 Turbo S not keeping up was down to the driver, not the car. The Z51 is fast, but nowhere near that fast.

    • Ben

      Exactly, the only limitation that 911 had was how much the driver wanted to push down the pedal.

    • You’re both absolutely correct.

  • Harry_Wild

    A Tesla S would destroy the Z51!

  • Danny Boy

    I really wish that Vettes did something for me. Literally, nothing!!!!! I’d walk right past it to grab the TT RS keys any day!! Maybe the Mid Engined version will move me?


    • Billie Bob Norton

      DO YOU GET THE JOKE?????????????
      WHY ARE YOU YELLING????????????????????????????

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