I know I typically use this space to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like running one of Canada’s biggest car blogs. But today I felt compelled to interrupt that regularly scheduled programming to answer a very pressing question: where do you put things in a C3 Corvette?
My good friend and Opponaut Clayton asked me this yesterday as he puzzled over how he was going to make weekend getaways in his ’70 happen when the ’Vette has no trunk (and when he refuses to install a rear luggage rack, for aesthetic reasons).
A wellspring of ideas immediately leapt to mind, all of which he poo-pooed, but not until after I’d shared a doodle of one. For him, and for Corvette owners in the same predicament, I decided to illustrate all of my fantastic solutions in rudimentary pen-and-marker.
This was my first and most obvious solution, and one I’m sure has been done before: a trailer shaped like it’s made out of a Corvette, specifically the rear fenders.
Most ’Vette owners who have put this into practice probably dressed the trailer to match its tow-er, but Clayton’s car is—well, derelict-looking is giving it too much credit.
But that’s the appeal for him, he’s a drive-it-don’t-show-it guy. So in that vein – the let’s-piss-off-purists one – I suggested he get his trailer fitted with a plaque explaining how he cut up a numbers-matching survivor just to make it. Holy shit, I can hear the whistle of steam coming out of NCRS members’ ears from here.
The Cowl Induction Hood
Well, if a trailer was no good, what about under the hood? A massive fake cowl induction hood with a storage compartment built into it (demarcated here by the dotted lines) would give you plenty of space to store stuff, right? You’d probably have to insulate the bottom to keep it from heating up, but otherwise it’s perfect!
This solution has the secondary benefit of implying your Corvette is running some high-rise tunnel-ram shit, and is way more powerful than it actually is. Everyone else on the road will assume it’s so tall because that’s where you have to store your nuts of steel. (No, literally, it’d be great for keeping spare parts in, in case of breakdown.)
The Saddle Bags
For this one I looked to the world of motorcycles, who similarly face the problem of looking cool while piloting low-occupancy no-storage conveyances. What do they do when they need to move stuff on their hog?
They use saddle bags! A pair of large leather bags draped over the rear fenders works well for the two-wheels-bad crowd, so why not scale it up for ’Vette owners? You could probably emboss the inside of the cover flap with the Corvette crossed-flags or some shit.
The Front Trailer
The problem with saddle bags is they’d probably mess with the airflow around the rear tires, if they didn’t catch fire from the side-exit exhaust. My mind kept going back to “trailer”—hey, if he didn’t want one out back, what about one in front?
While initially I was going to put this piece on separate wheels, I figured it might be a little hard to control around corners and what-not, so I just fixed it right to the nose with brackets on either side.
I’m imagining a hard dark plastic case that splits open in two, and is secured shut with retro-throwback leather straps (the clashing materials and eras would do well to mirror the rest of the Cletus-Vette aesthete). Plus it’d be super aerodynamic, I’m sure—it might even improve fuel mileage!
The Roof Rack
The front trailer was a fave, until I realized it would almost certainly block the grille from getting air. That’s when I seized upon my best Corvette cargo solution yet: the roof rack.
The upsides here are numerous: first of all, I know something like this is feasible, since our pal Peter Cheney worked a similar deal on his Lotus. Second, you could totally make it out of a kayak or an old canoe or something, if you sealed up the open side—cheap! Third, it’s aerodynamic-ish, and it doesn’t block the airflow to the engine! Win-win-win!
The only downside is a canoe would look arguably a little dorky up there; but if you sticker it up with a message letting people know it’s not dorky, you’ll be A-OK! —Except Clayton’s car has T-tops and they would almost certainly not work in this application. Damn.
The Cargo Kites
It was actually our buddy Alex who suggested this one, perhaps the most brilliant solution of all: cargo kites.
There’s actually something vaguely majestic about a Corvette blowing down the open road, Corvette-logo-emblazoned kites billowing behind, like the sails of a mighty ship. It would also give you a good incentive to keep your speed up and never stop, lest your cargo picnic baskets eat the asphalt or crash onto that police cruiser following you for definitely-not-kite-related reasons.
I’m really hoping Clayton goes for this option, or if he doesn’t, some other woe-be-gone C3 owner does. Your days of joyless no-luggage Corvette weekend road-tripping are over, my friend. You’re welcome.