Dealer tech tests C8 Corvette repair with 148-mph street race

When American philosopher George Santayana wrote in 1905 that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” we’re certain he didn’t realize people would repeat the past so soon. Over the weekend, as GM Authority reported, a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette owner in the San Francisco Bay area took his car to a regional dealer for an engine issue. He’d waited 11 months for his car to be delivered, and now the engine was making a ticking noise and suffered from hesitation during acceleration. The Drive spoke to the owner, who said the dealer got the car back to him the following day, fixed — the problem was a loose spark plug. When the owner, who goes by “tastysauce” on YouTube, checked out video from his car’s Performance Data Recorder (PDR), he saw just how thorough the service department tested the fix: The tech took his car out for a lengthy test drive, doing more than 100 mph on his own, then racing a Dodge Charger on the highway and getting up to a PDR-indicated 147.6 miles per hour.

Here’s the thing about history: the PDR caught a dealer tech at another California dealership doing this in July 2016, and another dealer tech at a shop in Michigan doing this in November 2018, and yes, one more dealership in central California doing the same thing just two months ago, in June. That’s right — Two. Months. Ago. There are many more examples; we chose these because they’re all about joy rides in Corvettes, specifically. Point being that every dealership that works on Corvettes should know by now that Corvettes are recording and Corvette owners will watch those recordings. Why hasn’t the entire class learned this lesson yet?

Tastysauce told The Drive he called the service department but the manager wasn’t in. He headed to Yelp and happened on the e-mail address for the dealership’s owner, and the diplomatic talks began. We say “diplomatic” as a nod to tastysauce, who managed to keep his cool when the dealership offered him $500 in detailing services for his Corvette. Talks continued until the dealership agreed to give him an extended warranty, which, at last writing, tastysauce said he’s happy with but is still awaiting the paperwork for.

After coming to an agreement, the dealership asked that the video be taken off YouTube. That was done, but since nothing dies on the Internet, the videos have been re-uploaded without sound. The service tech emerges from the shop at 37 seconds. Less than 90 seconds later he’s doing more than 75 mph. Less than two minutes later he’s doing 104. When the tech notices a black Charger about to merge from the highway on-ramp at 9:25, it’s really on. An edit of just the race on Reddit still has sound.

At this rate, we expect the next Corvette PDR boondoggle to go down before October, because people just don’t want to learn. And for any drivers who have a mind to race a Corvette, know that winning is losing, because once you pop out in front, the PDR is recording you, too. And police are just as interested in such footage as Corvette owners.

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