Boys and their American toys

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You’re not going to fit in on Arrowtown’s most exclusive street unless you own the ultimate American sports car.

For four Cotter Ave neighbours, who own seven flashy Corvettes between them, it isn’t just keeping up with the Joneses – it’s a mutual love of American V8 grunt.

Dave Varcoe was the second of his mates to buy a Corvette – he loved neighbour Steve Rogers’s 1962 C1 so much he had to have one himself – so he bought a 1964 C2, currently under maintenance in Invercargill.

Then Varcoe bought a 2000 C5 – and now he leaves on Tuesday for the US to pick up a brand new 2009 ZR1.

He won’t say what his latest Corvette is costing but adds: “It’s called a SKI car – spend kids’ inheritance. [The ZR1] is the most powerful Corvette they’ve ever produced, it produces 638 horsepower.”

Rogers also went over to the US to pick up his second Yank tank – a 2005 C6 – and neighbouring mates Trevor Toshach and Dave Peek followed suit to buy a 2003 C5 and a 2003 special anniversary model C5 respectively.

An average second-hand Corvette costs about $NZ72,000, Varcoe says.

“You see them and have a ride in them and if you can part with the pennies then you get one,” retired builder Varcoe says.

“It’s just American power – they’re an iconic car over in the States and for Americans. A lot of people in NZ like Corvettes.”