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Corvette Today Podcast With Kai Spande BGA Manager

On this episode of CORVETTE TODAY, you get to meet the Corvette Plant Manager for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, Kai Spande!
Your host, Steve Garrett, introduces you to Kai as he traces his career with GM. Kai talks about how the Bowling Green Assembly Plant transitioned from the front engine, C7 Corvette, to the mid-engine C8 Corvette. You'll get insights on the plant expansion and how they made that all happen...giving the new C8 Corvette a true state-of-the-art build facility. Kai also tells you about the Corvettes he has owned and the funny story of how he loved Corvettes, but never thought he'd get to work for it during his tenure at GM. Get to personally know Corvette Plant Manager, Kai Spande, on this episode of CORVETTE TODAY!

Listen here: https://adori.page.link/corvette-today
Website: www.CorvetteTodayPodcast.com
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXCRn-2X0SjjEXUt_...
Get CORVETTE TODAY emails: https://CorvetteToday.ck.page
CORVETTE TODAY Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2718423201763136
NEW!!! Get CORVETTE TODAY merchandise here: https://www.agpestores.com//lanmarxgraphix/grouppr...
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Spring Mountain fun

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  • Spring Mountain fun

    I just returned Thursday night from Spring Mountain, and I have to say that I have never had so much fun and learned so much about the C8. But one thing I'll mention, and I know I'm gonna catch some flak for it. I can't understand why anyone would long for a standard shift, clutch pedal, and yes archaic transmission after driving this car. Yes I've owned a Porsche, a C1, both with three pedals, learned (and mastered), the heel/toe method of rev matching during shifts, but compared to a dual clutch...........no way I'd go back. I understand the feel, and the drivers involvement with getting the car to do what you want it too, it is a skill for sure. And if I'm honest, stick shifts on the regular street can be fun, there's a certain level of control with that, that is not present with the dual clutch. But the speed of the shifts is phenomenal. The fact that the driver no longer has the rev matching work and shift gate location to deal with, in my opinion, just makes the focus on hitting the apex and getting back on throttle or brake just that much more enjoyable, and easier. Go ahead a clobber me with your opposite opinion if you must. But I'm no longer old school, I'm new school and loving every minute of it. Hope many of you will take advantage of the Corvette owners school, it is everything you've heard said about it.
    Last edited by Jetdriver; 02-28-2021, 10:38 AM.

  • #2
    Thanks Jetdriver. So glad but not at all surprised you had a great time at Spring Mountain. I can not wait to return for my third time (May 5th & 6th).

    I understand and support your analysis regarding the diff between a clutched manual and the C8’s DCT. Having come from 53 clutched manual trans vehicles in a row to now the C8’s DCT, I truly do not miss the clutch pedal. I thought I would but I do not.
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

    Comment


    • #3
      Bummer.... I'm going to miss you at Spring Mountain by one week!
      2020 HTC Torch Red with lots of goodies. Built in September. Museum Delivered in October......

      Other toys in the garage: Ferrari California, BMW i8 Roadster, Bentley Flying Spur

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by John View Post
        Thanks Jetdriver. So glad but not at all surprised you had a great time at Spring Mountain. I can not wait to return for my third time (May 5th & 6th).

        I understand and support your analysis regarding the diff between a clutched manual and the C8’s DCT. Having come from 53 clutched manual trans vehicles in a row to now the C8’s DCT, I truly do not miss the clutch pedal. I thought I would but I do not.
        Will you be in an advanced course or the standard owners school course when you go back? I would like to take an advanced course with the C8, I'll have to research that and see what they offer for the C8. I had a lead follow session where the instructor and he and I left everyone else so far behind we lost sight of them. I compared my recording with the demo ride I took and my speeds were very close to what the demo driver did, although I'm sure he was faster in the parts of the track I was needing to work on, but after some practice and listening to your instructor, you can really get the car up to speed. BTW, I was the Autocross Champion in my group! What fun!!!

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        • #5
          Going to do the entry Corvette Owners School.
          GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jetdriver View Post
            I just returned Thursday night from Spring Mountain, and I have to say that I have never had so much fun and learned so much about the C8. But one thing I'll mention, and I know I'm gonna catch some flak for it. I can't understand why anyone would long for a standard shift, clutch pedal, and yes archaic transmission after driving this car. Yes I've owned a Porsche, a C1, both with three pedals, learned (and mastered), the heel/toe method of rev matching during shifts, but compared to a dual clutch...........no way I'd go back. I understand the feel, and the drivers involvement with getting the car to do what you want it too, it is a skill for sure. And if I'm honest, stick shifts on the regular street can be fun, there's a certain level of control with that, that is not present with the dual clutch. But the speed of the shifts is phenomenal. The fact that the driver no longer has the rev matching work and shift gate location to deal with, in my opinion, just makes the focus on hitting the apex and getting back on throttle or brake just that much more enjoyable, and easier. Go ahead a clobber me with your opposite opinion if you must. But I'm no longer old school, I'm new school and loving every minute of it. Hope many of you will take advantage of the Corvette owners school, it is everything you've heard said about it.
            Firstly, let me publicly thank Jeff (Jetdriver) for his communicative help in my upcoming days at Spring Mountain this coming Wednesday and Thursday.
            Because of available airline schedules, I'll be arriving quite late in Las Vegas the night before, and probably won't get to Spring Mountain until well after midnight local time, which to my tender body will be like 3 am. Jeff has been most helpful in giving me all the tips in order to expedite my departure from the airport and get to the track, including what to expect when arriving at the track.
            However, he did not impart upon me as to how to win the autocross. Actually, I'll feel I'm a winner if I don't send too many cones to the cone hospital.

            But, he raised a point about shifting that I have very strong opinions on.
            In racing, I think automatic transmissions should be banned!
            I believe that half of the skills demanded from a race driver is the ability to be able to shift, and shift properly. Just like separating the men from the boys (or ladies from the girls) (PC).

            In the 8 years that I raced seriously, all my cars had manual shifts, and several times I was rudely awakened to the penalty of a bad or missed shift.

            I watch Formula 1 now and the paddle shifting that makes it so easy. They wouldn't drive as quick if they had to take a hand off the wheel and do some shifting work.

            Because of the dog clutches in my Formula Continental, I only used the clutch to get the car rolling, then all shifts were rev matching and as fast as I could move my arm, which is just about as fast as a DCT because of the short gear lever. However, a missed downshift could potentially send you off the track. All part of the skill set.

            Don't want to sidetrack Jetdriver's post, but he did pose the question as to why anyone would want a standard shift. I agree with him, no way would I want to shift 8 gears on my C8, and I do enjoy playing with the paddles, just posting that I would like the paddles to be taken away from the racers.
            Cape Cod Taxachusetts

            3LT GDO/AYM Coupe. Z51, Mag Shocks, Yellow Calipers. Black Interior, Black Suede Seats, Yellow Stitching. Yellow Seat Belts.
            Illuminated Sills. Front and Rear Splash Guards. Chrome Wheel Locks,
            Home 08/10/20

            Down to #439 from 450 on MacMulkin C8 Z06 Wait List

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by USCANAM View Post
              Firstly, let me publicly thank Jeff (Jetdriver) for his communicative help in my upcoming days at Spring Mountain this coming Wednesday and Thursday.
              Because of available airline schedules, I'll be arriving quite late in Las Vegas the night before, and probably won't get to Spring Mountain until well after midnight local time, which to my tender body will be like 3 am. Jeff has been most helpful in giving me all the tips in order to expedite my departure from the airport and get to the track, including what to expect when arriving at the track.
              USACANAM. I'll see you at breakfast Wednesday.
              3LT; GMO Rapid Blue; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 Performance Package; E60 lift.

              Home is Leelanau County in northwest lower Michigan where almost every road is paved, hilly and curvy. Many roads provide great views of Lake Michigan since it surrounds us on three sides.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JDN View Post

                USACANAM. I'll see you at breakfast Wednesday.
                Great JDN

                Please come knock on my door if it appears I’ve slept in!!
                But, if I’m there I’ll have a Corvette jacket on😁😁
                Cape Cod Taxachusetts

                3LT GDO/AYM Coupe. Z51, Mag Shocks, Yellow Calipers. Black Interior, Black Suede Seats, Yellow Stitching. Yellow Seat Belts.
                Illuminated Sills. Front and Rear Splash Guards. Chrome Wheel Locks,
                Home 08/10/20

                Down to #439 from 450 on MacMulkin C8 Z06 Wait List

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the ringing endorsement, gonna try make it this year, but likely it will be next year.
                  [Current Corvette 1999 C5 Z51 Magnetic Red Coupe]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll be there the 9th thru the 11th, can't wait. Jetdriver or USCANAM can you share your airport exit experience we me.
                    Thanks
                    Joe

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Every C8 Corvette owner should take advantage of this very focused school. Everyone will leave with tons of smiles, story’s & a new understanding of the ability of the car.

                      Don’t think about this trip, book it you won’t regret it!
                      Vette's owned: 99 Sebring Silver Convert - 10yrs, 2008 Crystal Red Convert,w/cam, longtubes and Vortech supercharger. C8 VIN 00336 built on 2/10/20 - Delivered 3/18/20 C8 Spec: Torch Red 2LT, Z51, FE4, E60, CF7, FA5, AH2, HUL, J6E, TU7, 3F9, Q8P, 5ZU, R8C

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jlc41 View Post
                        I'll be there the 9th thru the 11th, can't wait. Jetdriver or USCANAM can you share your airport exit experience we me.
                        Thanks
                        Joe
                        Joe
                        I’ll PM you what Jetdriver sent me.
                        Very thorough.

                        Cape Cod Taxachusetts

                        3LT GDO/AYM Coupe. Z51, Mag Shocks, Yellow Calipers. Black Interior, Black Suede Seats, Yellow Stitching. Yellow Seat Belts.
                        Illuminated Sills. Front and Rear Splash Guards. Chrome Wheel Locks,
                        Home 08/10/20

                        Down to #439 from 450 on MacMulkin C8 Z06 Wait List

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          USCANAM, thank you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I took delivery of my first C8 coupe last July. I want to go to the school but not sure if I can extend the time to have a friend attend with me as I am getting my next C8 HTC within a month. At 3400. It would be nice if I could utilize both invitations based on 2 C8 purchases.and give one to a friend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ZORA 69 View Post
                              I took delivery of my first C8 coupe last July. I want to go to the school but not sure if I can extend the time to have a friend attend with me as I am getting my next C8 HTC within a month. At 3400. It would be nice if I could utilize both invitations based on 2 C8 purchases.and give one to a friend.
                              I am sure you can, but call and find out. You will have to have the vin on the newest C8.

                              Comment

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