Quadriplegic Drives 2016 Corvette Z06 — Jay Leno’s Garage
Driving with a disability can be a huge accomplishment, whether it is an amputation or something more severe. In Sam Schmidt’s case, it couldn’t get more severe. In 2001 Sam was paralyzed when his race car went backwards into the wall at 210 mph. Sam’s doctors were thinking he may not live the year but Sam defied the odds and currently lives life as a quadriplegic.
What makes Sam even more unique is that he still drives race cars. Believe it or not, Sam has a custom built 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 valued at approximately $1 million. Jay’s Garage highlighted Sam’s ride in a recent Youtube video and boy is this thing cool. All mechanics are essentially the same as a regular Corvette Z06 and Sam has full access to all 650 horsepower. Thanks to the folks at Arrow Electronics, Sam has been able to get into the driver’s seat and relive what he fell in love with over 25 years ago.
Not only is Sam allowed to hone his skills on the track, the state of Nevada has granted him a driver’s license, making him the only quadriplegic with a full driver’s license. As Sam says in an interview with Jay, getting behind the wheel makes the 2.5 hour routine of getting up in the morning all worth it.
The high tech Corvette functions using a series of sensors and cameras. The throttle is controlled by blowing into a tube and brake break is control by sucking. Both functions can be brought to their extremes based on how hard Sam blows or sucks. The steering is controlled by numerous infrared cameras that look at the sunglasses Sam wears while driving.
Towards the end of the video Jay calls Sam out about driving carefully throughout the whole interview. Being a man of action, Sam takes Jay’s comment as a challenge and smokes the tires on his $1 million Corvette Z06. If you get anything out of this video from Jay’s Garage, it should be you can do anything with enough determination.
By Max Goldberg, The Drive