As always, news and events surrounding the Chevrolet Corvette moved at near supersonic speeds. This year brought us two new special editions for 2009, a Corvette Grand Sport for 2010 and launch control. We also had to deal with 26 weeks of Corvette plant closings and the bankruptcy of General Motors. Corvette Racing successfully ended its GT1 program with a class win at Le Mans and the GT2 Corvette made it to the top of the podium at Mosport. Check out the complete yearly review after the jump.
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson selects the Corvette ZR1 as his Car of the Year. A year after making its debut with dancers and Kid Rock, the Corvette ZR1 returned to a much more low-key Detroit Auto Show. At the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, GM sold off several Corvettes from its Heritage Collection. GM Announces the Limited Edition 2009 Competition Sport Corvette. Grand Sport #002 reached a high bid of $4.9 million but failed to sell at an RM Auction in Arizona. Rumors begin circulating about a Grand Sport model for 2010. The Gulf One 1963 Corvette Z06 sells for $1.05 Million at Mecum’s auction in Kissimmee, Florida. Details emerge about a GT1 Championship Edition for 2009.
The Transformer’s Corvette Stingray Concept was revealed in public for the first time at the Chicago Auto Show. Renovations at the National Corvette Museum show off new Corvette Cafe, Library and gift shop. GM prices the Corvette ZR1′s LS9 crate engine at $21,000. GM officially releases information on the 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition.
Spy Pictures show the 2009 Corvette GT1 Edition at the decal shop. Corvette Racing shows off its new livery that matches the exterior of the 2009 GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes. The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition makes its public debuts at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Corvette Racing announced that the Corvette ZR1 would be basis for the ALMS GT2 C6.R that would make its debut later in 2009.
A few more of GM’s Heritage Collection Corvettes were sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach. Spy pics show Corvette Racing’s flat black Corvette ZR1-based GT2 C6.R race car getting some practice at Road Atlanta. Stile Bertone announce their Project M car is based on the Corvette ZR1. Corvette Racing’s last American race for the GT1 Corvettes was on the temporary race course at Long Beach. The new 2010 Corvette Grand Sport is unveiled to enthusiasts at the National Corvette Museum. In addition, we hear about all the new features including on Launch Control.
We learned about the 1 of 1 Hero Edition Corvette ZR1 that will be raffled for the Kids Wish Network. The Black ZR1 features Red badges and embroidery. Geiger’s 890hp BiTURBO Corvette Z06 shows its stuff. Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis of Germany takes delivery of a 2009 Corvette ZR1. GM releases pricing for the 2010 Grand Sport. Chevrolet celebrates production of the 1,500,000th Corvette on May 28th.
GM Enters in Bankruptcy – Corvette appears to be safe. GM announces pricing for 2010 Corvette Coupe, Convertible, Z06 and ZR1. Corvette Racing scores its sixth GT1 Class win at Le Mans. Bloomington Gold hosts Mecum collector car auction. Only 108 of the 286 Corvettes offered were sold.
The Corvette Coupe tops Strategic Vision’s 2009 quality list. Hertz begins selling off portions of their Corvette ZHZ fleet. A 1962 Custom Corvette is named Good Guys Street Machine of the Year. Oliver Gavin Joins SRT for Spa 24. The National Corvette Homecoming held its annual get together. We got our first look at the Corvette-Based SV 9 Competizione. Full pricing is now available for all 2010 Corvettes and options. Final production stats for the 2009 model year were released; just 16,956 Corvettes built.
Corvette Racing officially introduces the new ZR1-based GT2 Corvette C6.R. In its first race at Mid-Ohio, O’Connell and Magnussen finish second. GM’s 2-year product plans calls for a C7 Corvette to begin production in 2012 as a 2013 model. As Cash for Clunkers sweeps across the US, we watched a video of a C4 Corvette having its engine killed. Corvette Racing takes third place at Road America. A 1964 Corvette was stolen during the Woodward Dream Cruise. Paul Graham is replaced by Bob Parcell to lead the Corvette Assembly Plant. Corvette Racing scores its first GT2 victory at Mosport. Rain comes down hard at Carlisle but it does little to dampen spirits.
Corvette caravans from around the USA converge on Bowling Green for the 15th Anniversary Celebration at the National Corvette Museum. GM shows off the dry-sump oil package for the new Grand Sport LS3. Also announced is that the Dry-sump equipped LS3s are being built at the Performance Build Center in Wixom. Porsche and Ferrari complain to the ACO about Corvette Racing’s direct injection system. NCRS announces its award confirmation service. GM’s VP of Global Design Ed Welburn told Inside Line that the new C7 Corvette will go retro and will feature a split rear window. Corvette Racing dominated the first several hours of Petit Le Mans, but rains forced an early end and Corvettes finished 4th and 7th in GT2.
Magnussen wins first Pole for Corvette Racing in GT2 at Monterey. Bruce Willis sold his 1967 Corvette Convertible for $150,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas auction. The final ALMS race of the year is a wild one with Corvette Racing’s Magnussen and Porsche’s Bergmeister going at it until Magnussen crashes on the final straight. Both racers are slapped with a 2-race probation for 2010. Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan wins his second “From the Fans” awards. A bone stock Corvette ZR1 runs a 10.851 @ 129.89 MPH. GM renames the Transformer’s Centennial Concept the 50th Anniversary Corvette Stingray Concept.
Corvettes are out in full force at SEMA. GM sends a highly accessorized 2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible to SEMA to help show off its Genuine Corvette Accessories. Superformance announces its building continuation rollers of the iconic 1963 Corvette Grand Sports.
Vette Garage: The Series kicks off with a three episode run with Pfadt Race Engineering. Loma Performance unveils the Corvette C6.BlackforceOne. A 1965 Corvette was recovered after being stolen 39 years ago. Corvette shines in Consumer Reports Owner Satisfaction Survey. Corvette Grand Sport #002 finds a home at the Simeone Foundation Museum in Philly. The National Corvette Museum names Grady Davis, Fred Gallasch and James Ingle as 2010′s HOF inductees. A Lingenfelter Corvette ZR1 runs 9.81 @ 145.74 mph. GM lays off an additional 75 workers from the Bowling Green assembly plant. It was a tough year for workers at Bowling Green as the plant was shutdown for a total of 26 weeks this year.