The Barkhamstead Reservoir, otherwise known as the Saville Dam, is an iconic place for photoshoots in Connecticut. Car enthusiasts are known to love it due to the winding nature of the roads, the scenic views all around, and of course for the humble charm of the beautiful masonry work amongst the gatehouse.
Lee was looking for an opportunity/reason to bring the 1970 Chevy Corvette up from Long Island. What better opportunity than this?
We’d be exploring some blissful CT backgrounds otherwise unknown to us, and with the car performing like a top, we even felt daring to take it up to the Northeast corner of CT, to scout the roads by Lime Rock Park.
I found out during our spirited drives that Lee had never been to Lime Rock. After hearing that, there was no way I was going to keep it that way!
The C3 felt so right in this context. Beautiful, empty, curvaceous roads awaited us with pine trees decorating our side views. Lakes, rivers, and reservoirs in the backgrounds, without a soul in sight. The L46 350 small block truly shined on these roads. Its iconic rumble would resonate on the roads in the forests, and the silence between shifts helped further establish the connection of the driver to the Corvette, and the driver to their empty surroundings.
While the C3 doesn’t bring nearly as much performance to the table as a modern C7, this C3 still has quite the pep in its step. This 1970 model boasts 350hp from the L46 block. Featuring 11.0:1 compression, this package was only available in a 4 speed; wide or close ratio. And I have to say this car truly sings with a manual.
I’d even go as far to say that having this car in manual is what gives it its soul. The exhaust note, as any V8 lover would say, is incredibly intoxicating. But the tactile experience of roaring the car up in it’s RPMs, pressing that clutch pedal in, and shifting the long throw from 2nd to 3rd, and slowly allowing the car to roar it’s V8 again is an incredibly satisfying feeling that can’t be had from an automatic.
I’ll also say this: everything about this car is a tactile experience. To experience the C3 in it’s purest form, has to be with a manual. Think of it this way: no power steering, nothing digital anywhere. The doors give you that satisfying click when you pull the chrome handle open, and when closing they release a sound quite like a 1950’s refrigerator. It’s safe to say that’s one of the most common things people love about old cars. But there’s also the wood grain surrounding the shifter. Tactile levers for the heat, knurled knobs for the radio volume, and raised text & graphics for your manual shifter. It all provides to the experience.
Originally dressed in Donnybrook Green, this car was a true gentleman’s car back in the day. Honestly, it still is, but it wears it’s history now. And I couldn’t think of a cooler car to experience the Barkhamsted Reservoir in.
You can follow Lee and his adventures at @Lee_allevat on Instagram.