In 1966, as a 19 year old, I sold everything I owned to buy a 1964 red roadster, with two tops. I always wished it was a 65, because the 65 had disc brakes.
My car was a simple, performance oriented model. No power anything, no air conditioning, just a 365 hp engine with a Muncie four speed. And when I raised enough cash to afford them, I put on a set of Pirelli radial tires. They were so much better than the OE Firestone 2 ply bias ply tires. And I mounted some Carello high powered driving lights under the front bumpers.
The car had so little electrical equipment, it came from the factory with a 37 amp alternator, with a larger than normal pulley (I assume because the engine was red lined at 6500 rpm). I also added a transistorized ignition that was triggered by the original equipment distributor points. It made tune ups last much longer. In those days of heavily leaded gasoline, a set of spark plugs only lasted about 6000 miles.
When you opened the hood, it really looked impressive with those stainless steel ignition shields and cast aluminum valve covers.
I have owned 7 midyear Corvettes as well as C1s, C3 and C4s as seen in my signature. My son-in-law owns a C7 that I have driven. I like the smooth ride but the smooth power of his car leaves my unimpressed As compared to the torquier feeling I get from either of my two midyears. However, I prefer a car that I am DRIVING rather than the automated feeling I have driving his car. Regarding the eye appeal and attention that one gets there is no comparison between the two.
Regarding handling with a set of Avon racing tires, QA1 adjustable shocks and a sport alignment a midyear will pull 1 g lateral force that the average driver can't drive to those limits. To me the appeal of a Corvette as something special went away in 1974 and up. They became so popular and sold so many that they just blend in with all of the other cars on the road and don’t really stand out like the midyears DO and DID even when new.
technology is great, yes, the newer ones are far superior to the old ones in so many ways but I still like the primal feeling of driving a midyear. BTW, I recently sold a really nice 1957 that I had upgraded with an aluminum headed 383, radial tires, HD shocks, shortened steering column, 15”steering wheel, electric power steering and quick steering adapter. I was chasing the best driving C1 you could build without going restomod to no avail as it never satisfied me like my 1965 coupe that I owned at the same time and felt the EXTREME difference in driving one to the other. So I sold it and bought the 1966 L72 convertible. However when you are talking about attention with a car the 1957 had it hands down compared to either one of my current midyears and I have driven ALL of these cars daily and see the public’s reaction all of the time.